Kinky Apes Get Protection

Officials in the Congo have announced the creation of a massive rainforest preserve intended to protect the bonobo from its two greatest enemies: poachers and deforestation.

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You may recall the bonobo from our article on the World’s 5 Freakiest Creatures, which discussed their rather prolific mating habits. The kinky apes are one of human beings’ two closest relatives. They closely resemble chimpanzees, and are found only in the Congo. The World Conservation Union lists them as an endangered species.

American and Congolese government agencies and conservation groups are working together to create the new 11,803 square mile Sankuru Nature Reserve. Sally Jewell Coxe, president of Washington, D.C. area conservation group Bonobo Conservation Initiative, said: “We are elated.” The group will begin work with the Congolese government and environment groups. They are funded by a $50,000 American grant aimed at protecting the Congo basin’s forests and great apes.

Bonobos have been under rising pressure from poachers for years. The market for bush meat fuels the bonobo poaching industry. Local legend holds that eating their meat and bones makes children stronger.

Source: New York Tiems


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