© Ian Redmond


Bonobos are sometimes known as pygmy chimpanzees, or gracile chimpanzees.

Only recognised as a distinct species in 1929, they are, along with chimpanzees, our closest living relatives. Unfortunately, their distribution in the wild is limited to war torn Democratic Republic of Congo, south of the River Congo. Little news has emerged in recent months, but indications are that bonobos are being killed for bushmeat, and their orphaned infants sold into the pet trade.



Species Info

  • 1929
    Recognised as a distinct species
  • 1954
    Name 'Bonobo' appears to describe pygmy chimpanzees
  • 1992
    Lukuru Wildlife Research Project founded by Dr. Jo Thompson
  • 1994
    Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary founded by Claudine André
  • 1995
    Action Plan published with proposals for their conservation


Bonobo Distribution Map

Learn more about the Bonobo's habitat by watching Earth's Green Heart - Africa.



Illegal Pet Trade

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