Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local News
91.7 WVXU Connecting you to a world of ideas with NPR news, local news from our award-winning team & music/entertainment programs heard only on public radio.

Bonobos Celebrate Love On Valentine's Day (And Every Day)

a bonobo eating fruit
Ann Thompson
Cincinnati Zoo bonobos were treated to Valentine's Day goodies.

Nicknamed the "hippie ape," bonobos have plenty of love to go around. So it was only fitting the Cincinnati Zoo is celebrating them on Valentine's Day, which is also World Bonobo Day.

Inside the zoo's "Jungle Trails," the highly intelligent apes ripped open Valentine themed bags and boxes of special snacks. Vim, Zanga, Clara and Bolingo raced around their habitat, even coming to the glass to check out the TV cameras there to see them.

a bonobo on World Bonobo Day
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

Curator Ron Evans says unlike chimps, bonobos solve problems through love. "That is through close embracing, grooming and other activities that are pleasurable to bonobos."

a bonobo on World Bonobo Day
Credit Ann Thompson / WVXU

"They make love, not war," according to Evans who has to frequently mix up their groups" because of their promiscuous behavior.

"They go off and visit friends." A lot, he says.

Other fun facts about bonobos:

  • They share over 98 percent of the same DNA as humans.
  • They are native to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  • They are led by strong female coalitions.