At the Cincinnati Zoo.

Also called the pygmy chimp, the bonobo (Pan paniscus) is slightly smaller than the common chimpanzee. Sharing more than 98% of its DNA with humans, the bonobo is our closest living relative. Like humans, bonobos live in family groups and are highly intelligent. They often stand upright on two feet as we do. Bonobos are capable of making and using tools, a characteristic that once distinguished humans from other animals.

Like other non-human apes, bonobos have longer arms than legs to make traveling in the trees easier.Bonobos create and maintain social bonds through sexual behavior. Breaking and folding branches, bonobos make nests in the trees to sleep in at night. Bonobos suffer from the bushmeat trade, the poaching and selling of wildlife as meat.


  • Pronunciation: buh-NOH-boh
  • Where to see them: Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Height: 2.3 to 2.8 ft
  • Weight: 68 to 86 lbs
  • Lifespan: Up to 40 yrs
  • Habitat: Tropical rainforest
  • Diet: Fruit, seeds, leaves, flowers, fungi, eggs, and small animals
  • Risk Status: Species at Risk (IUCN—Endangered)
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