Jan 102015
 

Bonobos, our ape cousins, love peace. Unlike chimpanzees, also our close relatives, bonobos are known to resolve conflict through sex instead of aggression. They kiss, they caress, and females display genito-genital rubbing (also called G-G rubbing) to communicate, bond, and reconcile.

But capturing these elusive and endangered apes on camera is not easy.

In the north of the TL2 landscape in the Democratic Republic of Congo, named after the three large rivers it encompasses, Tshuapa – Lomami – Lualaba (from west to east), researchers from the Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation set up several camera traps between April and July 2014, and recovered some rare footage.

In one of the videos, bonobos screech loudly, and run about. One female bonobo even kicks and displays her anger towards another female bonobo.

“We are getting some of the first ever wild footage of bonobos living as they normally do without any interference from humans or presence of humans,” Jo Thompson, bonobo-expert and President of the Lukuru Wildlife Research Foundation, told mongabay.com.

Based on what the video footage shows, Thompson deduced that the bout of aggression could be a tumescent female bonobo (bonobo with a genital swelling that signals receptivity to mating), charging an anestrus female (bonobo with a flaccid genitalia).

“Just given social dynamics, the tumescent female would be considered ‘attractive’ in that phase, while the anestrus female is not,” Thompson said. “But…without knowing the individuals or their hierarchical relationship, I can only respond to what I see.”

The video also features a mother and a child, and ends with a bonobo quickly running across the camera with a tree branch, possibly an excited adolescent male, according to Thompson.

In another part of DR Congo, south of the TL2 landscape, a bonobo was spooked by a camera.

These camera traps are part of an extensive wildlife monitoring survey in the TL2 landscape initiated by Terese Hart and her husband, John Hart, in 2007. Some other camera trap videos featuring African forest elephants, Congo peacocks, and the lesula, a monkey recently discovered by the Lakuru team and known only from the TL2 landscape in DR Congo, can be viewed on their website. In fact, a leopard attempts to click a selfie too.

This article was first published by Mongabay.com on 29 Dec 2014.

 

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

 

 

Share on social media:

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmail
Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

avatar
trackback

[…] I saw a bunch of mammalian videos this week, ranging from the very cute – Bao Bao’s first snow day – through to the rather less cute camera trap footage of Bonobos. […]

Susan Frudd
Guest

We must protect the bonobo and their habitats. Great footage thank you.

Bob Bushell
Guest

Nice one.

Doris Charles
Guest

Brilliant video with trail cams of the Bonobos

Susan Frudd
Guest

We must protect the bonobo and their habitats. Great footage thank you.

Bob Bushell
Guest

Nice one.

Doris Charles
Guest

Brilliant video with trail cams of the Bonobos

Doris Charles
Guest

Brilliant video with trail cams of the Bonobos

whirlwindwoo
Member

Brilliant video of the Bonobos

wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets? [3674 Views]
  2. 10 amazing birds that have gone extinct [1209 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the trade in both raw and antique ivory be banned? [1204 Views]
  4. POLL: Should India’s export of tiger skin, parts and bones be stopped? [1093 Views]
  5. POLL: Is big game hunting important for African economies? [1062 Views]
  6. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [973 Views]
  7. POLL: Should the use of exotic animal skins for fashion be banned? [966 Views]
  8. POLL: Should wildlife crime be enforced by tougher legislation? [786 Views]
  9. POLL: Should the Eurasian Lynx be rewilded? [776 Views]
  10. POLL: Should the grey squirrel be culled to protect red squirrels? [757 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [42031 Views]
  2. POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16755 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the annual Canadian seal hunt be banned? [13871 Views]
  4. POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [13820 Views]
  5. POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11114 Views]
  6. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [11079 Views]
  7. POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8602 Views]
  8. POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8303 Views]
  9. POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8039 Views]
  10. POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7392 Views]