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Bonobos Trekking in congo- Congo Gorilla Safaris

On this page , we present to you the most updated facts about primates in democratic republic of congo including Bonobos , Mountain Gorillas in Virunga National Park, Maiko national Park  & Kahuzi Biega National Park Eastern Lowland gorillas trekking .

Congo gorilla Safaris presents you the mostly updated facts about info about the bonobos ,where to find the Bonobos, when to visit congo, visiting river congo and exploring other primates for great gorilla trekking experience in Democratic republic of congo for memorable Safari holiday.

Bonobos in Congo are managed by lolaya bonobo  or bonobos in Congo  which is non profit organization responsible for the conservation of these apes. A sanctuary for orphaned bonobos and one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Kinshasa area. The bonobos are hunted for bush meat, and when a mother is killed, the babies are often taken and sold on the black market as pets.  The sanctuary tries to recover as many as possible so that they can live out their lives in safety.  One of the four great apes, bonobos has been relatively isolated until the 20th century.  The sanctuary covers 30 hectares of forest and you can visit the several feeding stations that the staff uses to help track the apes.  The sanctuary also accepts volunteers.

Find the Facts about Bonobos.

The bonobo also historically known as the pygmy chimpanzee and less often, the dwarf or gracile chimpanzee,is an endangered great ape that is still trekked in democratic republic of congo and one of the two species making up the genus Pan; the other being the common chimpanzee .

  1. Closest living relatives.
    They are more closely related to bonobos (and chimpanzees) than we are to any other animal on earth. We share 98.7% of our DNA with bonobos – this means that bonobos are more closely related to us than they are to gorillas. This leads to many similarities between bonobos and humans.
  2. Females in charge; The main reason that bonobos are so peaceful is that males are not in charge. The dominant bonobo in any group is never a male. This is unusual in the animal kingdom. Usually, if females are in charge, they are a lot bigger than the males. Bonobo females are smaller than males, but the females have very special friendships. If any male in the group becomes aggressive, the females join forces and prevent him from hurting anyone. Over evolutionary time, bonobos have become much less aggressive than their ape relatives, including humans.
  3. Peaceful, Most of us believe that humans are the most intelligent animal on earth. It’s true that we have been extremely successful, and we have impressive technology. But there is one problem we have not been able to overcome. We have not figured out how to avoid, murder, war, and bloodshed. We share this trait with our other closest relative, chimpanzees. In fact, the murder rate of chimpanzees and humans (before we had modern weapons) is about the same. Bonobos are the only great ape that have never been seen to kill their own kind.
  4. Conflict avoidance, Bonobos have evolved to avoid fighting, about anything. Researchers working at our sanctuary discovered that in a situation that had the potential to cause conflict (two individuals were in competition over food), chimpanzees had an increase in testosterone, which is related to competitiveness, and bonobos had an increase in cortisol, which is related to stress. This stress response leads bonobos to seek social reassurance and they hug and share instead of fight.
  5. Good Samaritans, Recent research at Lola has shown that bonobos are truly good Samaritans, perhaps even better than people. We prefer to help people we are related to, or people we know, rather than strangers. Bonobos do love to share, and feel empathy towards family and friends, but when given a choice, bonobos prefer to share food with strangers.
  6. Bonobo Handshake, The main way bonobos diffuse tension is certainly original – they have sex, or more specifically, they use social sexual contact. To strengthen their relationships, females will rub their genitals together. If anyone in the group, male or female, is feeling stressed, anxious, or irritated, someone will run over and give them a ‘bonobo handshake’. This kind of conflict resolution seems to be at the heart of their peaceful society.
  7. Highly Endangered, Bonobos live only in one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. They live in the Congo Basin, which is a huge forest, almost three times the size of France. However, the bush meat trade has left them vulnerable to hunting. Bonobos are the most endangered great ape. No one is sure how many are left in the wild, but it could be as few as 5,000.

 

Distribution and habitat

Bonobos are found only south of the Congo River and north of the Kasai River (a tributary of the Congo),  in the humid forests of the Democratic Republic of Congo of central Africa. Ernst Schwarz’s 1927 paper “Le Chimpanzé de la Rive Gauche du Congo”, announcing his discovery, has been read as an association between the Parisian Left Bank and the left bank of the Congo River; the bohemian culture in Paris, and an unconventional ape in the Congo

Many writers and travelers may get confused to think that Bonobos are chimpanzees yet they are not a subspecies of chimpanzees as they are different from the chimpanzees in Africa , but rather a distinct species in their own right, both species are sometimes referred to collectively using the generalized term chimpanzees, or chimps. Taxonomically, the members of the chimpanzee/bonobo sub tribe Panina are collectively termed panins.

Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are a great ape species found exclusively in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They are endangered and may become extinct in the next 75 years. Only between 50,000 and 75,000 remain in the wild today. You can help us protect this species by supporting the Lola Ya Bonobo Sanctuary.

The bonobo is distinguished by relatively long legs, pink lips, dark face and tail-tuft through adulthood, and parted long hair on its head. The bonobo is found in a 500,000 km2 (190,000 sq mi) area of the Congo Basin in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central Africa.

The species is omnivorous and inhabits primary and secondary forests, including seasonally inundated swamp forests. Political instability in the region and the timidity of bonobos has meant there has been relatively little field work done observing the species in its natural habitat.

Along with the common chimpanzee, the bonobo is the closest extant relative to humans.Because the two species are not proficient swimmers, the formation of the Congo River 1.5–2 million years ago possibly led to the speciation of the bonobo. Bonobos live south of the river, and thereby were separated from the ancestors of the common chimpanzee, which live north of the river.

The species is listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red List and is threatened by habitat destruction and human population growth and movement, though commercial poaching is the most prominent threat. They typically live 40 years in captivity; their lifespan in the wild is unknown.

Description of Bonobos.

Primatologist  states bonobos are capable of altruism, compassion, empathy, kindness, patience, and sensitivity and the entirety of parental care in bonobos is assumed by the mothers.  The bonobo is commonly considered to be more gracile than the common chimpanzee. Although large male chimpanzees can exceed any bonobo in bulk and weight, the two species actually broadly overlap in body size. Adult female bonobos are somewhat smaller than adult males. Body mass in males ranges from 34 to 60 kg (75 to 132 lb), against an average of 30 kg (66 lb) in females. The total length of bonobos (from the nose to the rump while on all fours) is 70 to 83 cm (28 to 33 in).

When adult bonobos and chimpanzees stand up on their legs, they can both attain a height of 115 cm (45 in). The bonobo’s head is relatively smaller than that of the common chimpanzee with less prominent brow ridges above the eyes. It has a black face with pink lips, small ears, wide nostrils, and long hair on its head that forms a parting. Females have slightly more prominent breasts, in contrast to the flat breasts of other female apes, although not so prominent as those of humans. The bonobo also has a slim upper body, narrow shoulders, thin neck, and long legs when compared to the common chimpanzee.

Sexuality of the Bonobos

Bonobos do not form permanent monogamous sexual relationships with individual partners. They also do not seem to discriminate in their sexual behavior by sex or age, with the possible exception of abstaining from sexual activity between mothers and their adult sons. When bonobos come upon a new food source or feeding ground, the increased excitement will usually lead to communal sexual activity, presumably decreasing tension and encouraging peaceful feeding.

Bonobo clitorises are larger and more externalized than in most mammals while the weight of a young adolescent female bonobo “is maybe half” that of a human teenager, she has a clitoris that is “three times bigger than the human equivalent, and visible enough to waggle unmistakably as she walks”. In scientific literature, the female–female behavior of bonobos pressing genitals together is often referred to as genito-genital   rubbing, which is the non-human analogue of tribalism, engaged in by some human females.

Group of bonobos

Bonobo reproductive rates are no higher than those of the common chimpanzee. Bonobo males engage in various forms of male–male genital behavior. The most common form of male–male mounting is similar to that of a heterosexual mounting: one of the males sits “passively on his back  with the other male thrusting on him”, with the penises rubbing together due to both males’ erections. In another, rarer form of genital rubbing, which is the non-human analogue of fretting, engaged in by some human males, two bonobo males hang from a tree limb face-to-face while penis fencing. This also may occur when two males rub their penises together while in face-to-face position. Another form of genital interaction (rump rubbing) often occurs to express reconciliation between two males after a conflict, when they stand back-to-back and rub their scrotal sacs together, but such behavior also occurs outside agonistic .

More often than the males, female bonobos engage in mutual genital behavior, possibly to bond socially with each other, thus forming a female nucleus of bonobo society. The bonding among females enables them to dominate most of the males. Although male bonobos are individually stronger, they cannot stand alone against a united group of females. Adolescent females often leave their native community to join another community. This migration mixes the bonobo gene pools, providing genetic diversity. Sexual bonding with other females establishes these new females as members of the group.

Diet of Bonobos

The bonobo is an omnivorous frugivore; 57% of its diet is fruit, but this is supplemented with leaves, honey, eggs,  meat from small vertebrates such as anomalures, flying squirrels and duikers, and invertebrates. In some instances, bonobos have been shown to consume lower-order primates. Some claim bonobos have also been known to practice cannibalism in captivity, a claim disputed by others.

Congo Safaris- Primate Safaris in Democratic republic of congo .

When planning a congo safari tour , dont forget to include the visit to the various national parks of congo like Upemba National Park, salonga national park.

 

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