Endangered bonobo born at Twycross Zoo

Twycross Zoo
Credit: Twycross Zoo

Twycross Zoo has announced the birth of a bonobo, thought to be the first in the UK since 2019.

Upendi - which means love in Swahili - was born at the site in Leicestershire to mum, Cheka who is 25 years old.

Staff have welcomed the new arrival and said the baby was a "significant boost" for the European population of this endangered species.

Dr Rebecca Biddle, head of Life sciences at Twycross, said: "The arrival of our new baby bonobo is an amazing achievement for the zoo. 

"Twycross Zoo is home to 10% of the entire European population of bonobos so it's vital that we work closely with other European Association of Zoos and Aquaria zoos to ensure that this population is sustainable for the long term."

Credit: Twycross Zoo

The zoo works with partner organisations across the globe such as Friends of Bonobos in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fanny Minesi, General Director of Friends of Bonobos of the Congo, added: “Bonobos are under increasing threat due to habitat loss and the illegal bushmeat trade, with as few as 10,000 left in the wild. 

"They are our closest living relatives in the animal world, and much about them is still unknown. It’s imperative that we work together to protect them and their rainforest habitat. We’re grateful to Twycross Zoo for their long-standing support of this urgent mission.”

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