Following the birth of a baby bonobo at the end of July, we are giving the public the chance to vote on the baby’s name to help raise more awareness about this endangered species and the dangers they face in their natural habitat. Twycross Zoo is the only zoo in the UK to keep and successfully breed bonobos who are only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo in the wild, and whose numbers have been decreasing for the past 30 years due to hunting and habitat loss.
Having been born without any complications to experienced mum Cheka, staff at the zoo allowed the group of bonobos to become acquainted with the new arrival before formally sexing the youngster who we can reveal is male. Since the identification, keepers have researched names in Congolese to draw up a shortlist for a public vote.
Ndeko – meaning “brother”
The baby has his own brother at Twycross Zoo, Winton, who is five years old.
Ekolo – meaning “land”
The Ekolo forest reserve is a release site in Congo used by Lola ya Bonobo, a bonobo sanctuary that cares for orphaned and injured wild bonobos, and which Twycross Zoo supports with funding.
Ya zamba – meaning “wild, untamed”
Zamba, alone, means “forest” in Congolese, where bonobos would naturally live and forage for food.
Mbuma – meaning “fruit”
Bonobos diets are predominantly fruit-based, in the wild they forage in small groups for fruit in the trees and on the forest floor.
Voting will be open for one week from Monday 28 September to Sunday 4 October and you can VOTE HERE.
After voting closes the name with the most votes will be announced on Monday 5 October, and from the winning votes, we will select at random one person to win a VIP experience plus free membership to the zoo.