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Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Fact Sheet
Species: Pan paniscus - bonobo
Male: 39 kg (86 lb)
Female: 31 kg (68 lb)
Both sexes: 700-800 mm (2.3-2.6 ft)
Black body hair; long and fine
|Distribution & Status
||Behavior & Ecology
Central Democratic Republic of the Congo
Other forest types
Endangered (2016 assessment) (Fruth et al. 2016)
Appendix I (UNEP 2019)
U.S. Endangered Species Act
Population in Wild
Largely unknown. Minimum of 15,000-20,000 individuals, up to 50,000.
Walk on knuckles on ground. Also move through trees. Wade in water. Can walk bipedally.
Communicate through hand and foot gestures; also, vocalizations. Sexual behavior has social and reproductive functions.
Omnivorous. Fruit, leaves, seeds, some insects and small vertebrates (snakes, shrews, flying squirrels)
|Reproduction & Development
Thought to be around 9 years of age
231-244 days (sometimes longer)
Age at Weaning
4-5 years of age
Wild: 40-50 years
Managed Care: Up to 60 years
- Similar ecology to chimpanzees- both are terrestrial and arboreal
- Found only in the central portion of Democratic Republic of the Congo (Congo Basin), south of the Congo river
- Build nests in fruit-bearing trees
- Grooming behavior and sexual behavior important in social dynamics
- Extremely playful, even adults
- Adults show high tolerance for young bonodos until puberty around age of 8 or 9 years
- Bonobo society emphasizes female bonds but leaves room for male bonding
- Few remaining in the wild, mainly in protected reserves and sanctuaries
- The first pair of bonobos in the USA were at the San Diego Zoo in 1962. The pair, Kakowet and Linda, produced 3 male and 7 female offspring over 18 years at San Diego
About This Fact Sheet
© 2009-2019 San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance. Minor update 2013. IUCN and CITES update 2019.
How to cite: Bonobo (Pan paniscus) Fact Sheet. c2009-2019. San Diego (CA): San Diego Zoo Wildlife Alliance; [accessed YYYY Mmm dd]. http://ielc.libguides.com/sdzg/factsheets/ bonobo
(Note: replace YYYY Mmm dd with date accessed, e.g., 2015 Sep 10)
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