This blog has moved!
Friday, March 18, 2011
You can also find us on facebook: "Friends of Bonobos"
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Because bonobos get ignored back front and sideways as demostrated by this family tree:
which happens ALL the time (ironically this image was on the post "know your family tree" ) WHERE ARE BONOBOS???
So like the fat kid at school, to make up for all the times they are left out, forgotten, uninvited to the party, Claudine Andre will be coming to dedicate the evening to our long lost cousins.
If you don't come for bonobos, come for signed men's basketball memorabilia.
So if you're on Duke's campus, watch out for:
which is a lemur chasing a banana (we couldn't get a bonobo suit made in time). But come see for yourself.
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
Monday, April 12, 2010
Friday, April 9, 2010
Just got some more photos from Suzy at the release site. She writes:
Our education program at the release site has been going great! We had t-shirts made with the Ekolo ya bonobo logo on it and had a great public parade - check out all the bonobo females in a line.
We've been keeping in close contact with local officials to tell them why bonobos are important and not to forget them! We've been broadcasting on local radio, telling them especially why bonobo females are so important to bonobo society:)
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Internationally renowned conservationist Claudine André will visit Duke University April 14-18 as part of the "Primate Palooza," an effort to raise awareness for our primate relatives.
André founded and runs the world's only sanctuary and release program for orphaned bonobos in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Bonobos, like chimpanzees, are our closest living relative and are highly endangered. However, unlike chimpanzees and humans, bonobos are the only ape that has found a way to maintain peace in their groups.
When bonobos have a disagreement with each other they tend to hug or share food instead of having a fight. Bonobos have never been observed to kill each other and females cooperate to prevent males from bullying smaller bonobos. Ironically, this peaceful ape only lives in one country, the Democratic Republic of Congo, which has been torn apart by almost a decade of war that has killed more than five million people.
André was given an orphan bonobo called Mikeno when she was caring for abandoned animals at the Kinshasa zoo during the war. She collected food from local restaurants to feed Mikeno and other starving animals while starting kindness clubs to teach Congolese children about animals. Further north, soldiers were shooting bonobos for food, and before long, she was flooded with bonobo orphans.
"I wanted a paradise for my bonobos," Claudine says. "Somewhere they would always be fed and taken care of. Somewhere they could always see the sky."
She established Lola ya Bonobo in 2001 in a forest just outside Kinshasa, the capital city of Congo. Since the sanctuary has opened her non-profit "friends of bonobos" has funded the visits of tens of thousands of children to the bonobo sanctuary.
In 2009, André enlisted the help of Duke students and faculty in the Evolutionary Anthropology Department to aid her efforts to release bonobos orphaned by the illegal pet and bush meat trade back into the wild.
"Having Claudine here at Duke is a wonderful opportunity to share with students and the general public the difference a single individual can make," says Duke researcher Brian Hare. "Claudine has done more for bonobo conservation than anyone else in the world. If you want to meet a conservation heroine this is your chance."
Duke's Primate Palooza will run from April 14th - 17th. The main events open to the public are as follows:
Primate Symposium: Why you need to know you are a primate
5-8 p.m., Wednesday, April 14
Duke faculty studying primates will discuss how knowing you're a primate can improve your life. Keynote speaker Claudine André will speak about her work saving bonobos and defending the world's last great tropical forest in the Congo Basin. A silent auction including Duke Men's basketball, Duke Lemur Center, and Bonobo memorabilia will be held to benefit "Friends of Bonobos."
Levine Research Science Center
308 Research Drive
Durham, NC, 27708
Public Parking available in Bryan Center on Science Drive a short walk from Center
Contact: Kara Schroepfer, email@example.com, 919-943-3482
A night with Claudine André and the bonobos of Congo
6:30 - 7:30 p.m., Thursday, April 15
Durham Museum of Life and Science
433 Murray Avenue, Durham, NC 27704
Contact: Darcy Lewandowski, Darcy.Lewandowski@ncmls.org, (919) 220 -5429 x372
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
Monday, April 5, 2010
So my hubby Brian is a hard science kind of guy, and he doesn't usually get into the whole anthropomorphism, huggy state that i do with the bonobos.
but before he left the release site, something happened that really moved him.
Etumbe, the alpha female, came to the door before the exit. She didn't try to escape, and she had never approached Brian before. He'd been there for a week. But it was the last day, and how she knew, Brian has no idea. But she sat by the door, and took his hand, shaking it, as if to say 'good-bye, thanks for coming'.
It was just so human-like, and so touching. Brian hasn't stopped talking about it since.
Friday, April 2, 2010
My husband Brian was just at the release site, looking at the potential to do long term studies there with the released bonobos.
He followed some of the released bonobos for a while, which was a nex experience for him because usually, he's on the other side of the fence - in fact Brian's never been in the same space as a bonobo bigger than a 5 year old before.
Anyway, Beni, who he always plays with was there. The trackers were discouraging contact but Beni wouldn't have anything of it! He lay on his back and started laughing, which is the cue for Brian to start tickling him. Brian didn't want to make contact, since the bonobos are in traiing to be independent from humans, but Beni woulnd't let up, he just lay on his back on the ground, laughing hysterically in anticipation that Brian would start tickling him...
Brian said it was just about the cutest thing he'd ever seen...
Thursday, April 1, 2010
sorry i was offline for so long, leaving you with no updates on the bonobos! i had a small medical issue and i took a while to get better but i'm back online.
Also, i started another blog at Psychology Today: http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/your-inner-bonobo
I think it's a great opportunity to bring bonobos to a wider audience, so I'm happy they invited me to be on the blog roll.
and i'll be linking there posts to this blog, hope you guys don't mind. Today's is:
have fun reading!
Monday, March 1, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Not sure if you remember the furore of the bigfoot photo
where someone actually took my photos and entered it into a bigfoot competition! but now the original bigfoot, Bandundu, has finally grown some hair. Which is lucky b/c now her baby has something to hold onto!
photo: David Reid
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
I always love photos of the photos with the lilies - they look so romantic - liek htey're just inhaling their faint heady scent. But actually it's the scene before they chomp them up - which doesn't look so romantic - petals shredded everywhere. I've heard of bonobos foraging for pith (the bit inside the lily stem)- that ties into Richard Wrangham's theory of the aquatic ape. And bonobos do hae a bit of webbing between their 2nd and 3rd toe.
But I haven't heard of them eating flowers before...
photo: David Reid
Monday, February 22, 2010
This is little Bisengo, who I have known since he was born. He is the perfect example of an alpha bonobo. So we usually say that the females are in charge of bonobo groups, but actually it the babies - especially a little prince like Bisengo who can get anything he wants! If there is a grape within even 10 feet of Bisengo, it's his, no matter who else is around!
Bisengo is quite a little climber - maybe a prime candidate for the release project?