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.
Share this post with your friends
You may also like:
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farming? – [3488 Views]
- POLL: Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets? – [2015 Views]
- POLL: Should Nevada’s wild horses be protected from roundups and slaughter? – [1802 Views]
- POLL: Should the export of young elephants to Chinese zoos be banned? – [1491 Views]
- POLL: Should the Grand Canyon Bison be culled? – [1316 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a total ban on trade in rhino horn? – [1263 Views]
- POLL: Should trail (fox) hunting on National Trust land be stopped? – [1169 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on the shark fin trade? – [1012 Views]
- Radioactive Boar Wreak Havoc on Swedish Landscape – [823 Views]
- POLL: Would you support the reintroduction of the wolf in the UK? – [806 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- POLL: Should hunting with hounds be banned? – [7628 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [7187 Views]
- POLL: Should the trophy hunting of bears and wolves be banned? – [3693 Views]
- POLL: Should the slaughter of badgers in the UK be finally stopped? – [3037 Views]
- POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [2873 Views]
- POLL: Should Canada ban the hunting of seals? [2667 Views]
- POLL: Should the Tories be allowed to bring back fox hunting? [2578 Views]
- POLL: Should wild elephants be sold to Chinese zoos? [2322 Views]
- POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for slaughtering Minke whales? [2289 Views]
- POLL: Should all tiger farms in China be closed down? [2081 Views]