Sunday, March 18, 2012

Bonobo - Making Love Every Few Minutes Does Not Guarantee Survival

Known in the scientific world as 'sex addicts' and actually the closest genetic relative to humans, the bonobo ape is now facing extiction.

One might well think that by constantly making love - in fact as often as every few minutes in the case of the Bonobo - should ensure the protection of a strong population growth or at least sustainability (or at least make the males happy, right?). However, due to the combination of low fertility and the fact that they are often hunted for meat and baby Bonobos being stolen for pets, this native primate of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are dangerously dwindling in numbers.

The 'endangered' classification, comes after the latest estimate that puts the population at around just 5,000 in total (with a few more housed in zoos around the world). Prior to the civil war in the DRC, there were around 100,000 in existence.

Evelyne Peteolot (Lola Ya Bonobos Sanctuary near Kinshasa) said, "We know that the number of animals is diminishing in dramatic proportions... It is so difficult with all the political problems here to be able to carry out a proper census... It's a species that will disappear, unfortunately, because this animal only exists [in the wild] here in Democratic Republic of the Congo. If there are no longer any left here, they will no longer be found anywhere. So they will become extinct, which is a real shame."

I recently watched a documentary on these amazing animals and was in awe at how closely their behaviour and mannerisms matched our own... they are as cloesely related genetically to humans as the chimpanzee.

As an aside, from such a sad piece of news to one celebrating the joys of childbirth, I caught sight of this video on YouTube. It's obviously not the first 'time lapse' video of a pregnant Mum from conception to birth, but it definitely strikes me as one of the most artistic and coolest - just wait until the baby comes... sort of just sucked right out of her tummy... this is a must watch, my friends:

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