© 2022 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

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

Cincinnati Zoo bonobos were treated to Valentine's Day goodies.
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.

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."

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.

Copyright 2021 91.7 WVXU. To see more, visit 91.7 WVXU.

With more than 30 years of journalism experience in the Greater Cincinnati market, Ann Thompson brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to her reporting. She has reported for WKRC, WCKY, WHIO-TV, Metro Networks and CBS/ABC Radio. Her work has been recognized by the Associated Press and the Society of Professional Journalists. In 2019 and 2011 A-P named her “Best Reporter” for large market radio in Ohio. She has won awards from the Association of Women in Communications and the Alliance for Women in Media. Ann reports regularly on science and technology in Focus on Technology.