The species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and is facing extinction due to habitat loss.
It's always a heartwarming sight to watch how animals treat their young ones, and when it's a mammal close to us humans, the feeling is beyond compare. Staff at an Ohio zoo got to witness a bonobo enjoy playtime with her granddaughter and it was all capture in an adorable video. The clip, taken at The Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden, shows the ape named Lana having fun playing with her granddaughter Amali as visitors look on in wonder. Amali, who is 8 months old, can be seen smiling and laughing as her grandma showers her with tons of love and kisses, Fox 13 News reports.
PURE JOY! Check out this adorable video of a bonobo named Lana playing with her granddaughter Amali at the Cincinnati Zoo. Just look at that sweet smile! ❤— FOX 35 Orlando (@fox35orlando) April 28, 2021
According to the zookeepers, Lana turned 40 in 2020 and became the oldest female in the zoo's bonobo gang. She is the mother of Kesi, one of young Amali's parents. Amali was born last year when much of the world was under lockdown. Issuing a statement at the time, Thane Maynard, Cincinnati Zoo director said: "We usually celebrate Zoo Babies month in May, but we’re seeing a surprisingly large second wave of births this year,” said Cincinnati Zoo director Thane Maynard. “We joke about COVID quarantine being the cause, but the animals didn’t actually spend any more time than usual together during the lockdown. We did our best to keep their routines the same." Meanwhile, people on social media were amazed by the beautiful exchange and came together in droves to share their feelings. One user wrote: "This has got to be the most adorable and beautiful thing I have ever seen. Brought tears to my eyes. Just so precious." Another added: "Look at them the adult is making the baby laugh. So human."
A third commented: "Not a bit different from how any human mama or grandmother plays with a baby." World Wildlife Fund notes that bonobos share over 98.7% of their DNA with humans quite similar to chimpanzees, making the two species our closest living relatives. Compared to chimpanzees, bonobos are a bit inferior in terms of their size. They are smaller, leaner, and have darker hair compared to their ape counterparts. Bonobos are different even in terms of their social structure as well -- and are now to be more peaceful compared to chimps. They are also led by females. For them, relationships form a very important part, and when conflicts arise they choose to settle scores through sex. That doesn't mean bonobos are not entirely violent. For instance, if two groups of bonobos come together, they are likely to indulge in serious fighting.
The zoo notes that bonobos are also called pygmy chimps. "Like humans, bonobos live in family groups and are highly intelligent. They often stand upright on two feet as we do," the zoo notes. "Bonobos are capable of making and using tools, a characteristic that once distinguished humans from other animals." Wild bonobos are found in forests south of the Congo River in the Democratic Republic of Congo. They weren't even recognized as a separate species until 1929. Even though they've been known for nearly a century, a great many things are yet to be known about them, including their geographic locations within their habitat in the DRC. The species is listed as endangered on the IUCN Red List and is facing extinction due to habitat loss caused by human encroachment. Another threat the species is facing is the increased chances of commercial poaching.