Belgium welcomes baby bonobo ape for 2021


Ringing in the new year, a baby bonobo was born on January 1 in Planckendael zoo, Belgium.

According to tradition all newborns will be given a name beginning with 'W' in 2021, but the new ape is yet to receive its.

The animals are native to the Democratic Republic of Congo and to reflect this, the name will be either Lingala or Swahili – two of the languages spoken there.



The Belgian zoo has been running a bonobo breeding program for 30 years and now has 19 of the animals.

But like many great apes, the bonobo is an endangered species – with current estimates ranging from 10,000 to 20,000 left in the wild. The risk of extinction in the future is due to several reasons, but poaching and deforestation pose the greatest threats, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).

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