Animal Division: Individual Conservation and Research Projects
The bonobo, or pygmy chimpanzee, is an endangered great ape species on the brink of extinction in the wild. Our Zoo maintains one of the largest groups of bonobos in captivity, and they're thriving. For many years, zookeepers have patiently worked with the bonobos using positive reinforcement. Now the bonobos will voluntarily (and excitedly) allow medical professionals to routinely examine their hearts with ultrasound. This allows us to study their hearts, learn what is normal for a bonobo heart and improve our ability to monitor and care for bonobos that may develop heart disease.The pregnant bonobos also volunteer for ultrasound examinations. We're learning about the normal development of the fetus during pregnancy. This will allow us to monitor and care for bonobos having problems during pregnancy.