Twycross Zoo is the only zoo in the UK to hold bonobos, an endangered species from the Democratic Republic of Congo. There are less than 20,000 individuals left in the wild, due to threats such as deforestation and poaching
As the only Zoo in the UK to house this Great Ape species, the new enclosure gives visitors the chance to get up close to our closest living relatives in the natural world, with humans and bonobos sharing 98% of their DNA.
Twycross Zoo is home to two groups of bonobos, including Lina (female aged 36), Lucuma (male aged 18), Rubani (male aged 5) and toddler Lola (female aged two). Their new habitat is larger than their previous enclosure with improved lighting and heating. It also includes brand-new climbing structures for the bonobos’ ongoing enrichment activities and two outdoor areas for each of the bonobo groups to explore.
Rebecca Biddle, Head of Life Sciences at Twycross Zoo, said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome our bonobos to their new habitat. Bonobos have an inquisitive nature so it’s wonderful to witness them exploring the space for the first time and seeing them interact in a new environment.
“They now have more space to roam around and interact with one another, as well as more advanced climbing structures in the habitat. They have certainly been making the most of their new home.”
Twycross Zoo is working at the forefront of conservation and making a global impact for endangered species around the world, from the very heart of the UK.
Visitors to Twycross Zoo can discover more than 500 animals from around 100 different species in acres of outdoor space. Open every day until 6pm, tickets are available to book online now.
Five Facts: Bonobos
- Twycross Zoo is the only zoo in the UK with a bonobo ape species
- Bonobos are our closest living relatives, sharing 98% of our DNA
- Bonobos are currently endangered in the wild and are victims of the illegal bush meat trade
- The bonobos’ natural habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo is being wiped out by demand for the mineral Coltan – a key mineral used to produce electronics and mobile phones. The mining process results in bonobo habitats being destroyed
- Bonobo groups are led by a dominant female – the only ape species with this hierarchy