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BONOBOS, TOO RUDE FOR ZOOS.

Discussion in 'United Kingdom' started by Animal Friendly, 28 Jan 2015.

  1. Animal Friendly

    Animal Friendly Well-Known Member

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    In the latest edition of Radio Times is an article relating to Animals in Love, to be broadcast on BBC1 on Sunday February 1st. In this article Liz Bonnin states" So frisky is this pygmy chimpanzee that it is only found in one zoo in the UK (Twycross Warwickshire), its amorous antics thought to be a little too risqué for visiting children. Oh, they love having sex says the biochemist and TV presenter, it's an absolutely essential part of their life. Which, given they are one of our closest relatives, shouldn't come as any particular surprise. Except, the bonobo does it an average of 17 times a day, much in same sex couplings". Well the article is correct, Twycross is the only zoo in the UK with bonobos, since the early nineties, and the zoo have gained a little bit of free publicity here, but I do question the statement that other zoos don't have them as their over amorous antics may be of embarrassment to certain visitors, don't visitors observe almost all zoo animals involving themselves in sexual activity from time to time?,
     
  2. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    Over the last 12 months, I've been Twycross dozens of times and only observed such behaviour once, maybe twice.
     
  3. stubeanz

    stubeanz Well-Known Member

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    If bonking bonobos are the reason why many zoos don't have them then we wouldn't see tortoises anywhere!
    They always seem to be going at it!
     
  4. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    Bonobos are too similar to humans, so many people feel uncomfortable watching them mate....
     
  5. littleRedPanda

    littleRedPanda Well-Known Member

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    I must be quite odd then, as I took a photo of it ... you got me worried now, as one of the little ones squeezed himself in between them!
     
  6. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure the reason Twycross is the only UK Zoo with them is because they try to block other UK zoos having them so they can still be the only one to exhibit them. Nothing to do with their sexual behaviour. As RedPanda commented above, despite the frequency you still don't see them doing it very often anyway. I have certainly never heard/read of anyone complaining in that vein and wonder how genuine their sources are or if this is just made up.
     
  7. OrangePerson

    OrangePerson Well-Known Member

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    I've seen them a few times at Twycross but they don't make such a racket that people come from around the zoo to see what on earth is going on like their neighbours the aforementioned tortoises
     
  8. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    Indeed; I know for a fact that Molly Badham herself, for all her good qualities, was very much against anywhere else getting the species. Not entirely sure if her successors have done the same, but it is likely.
     
  9. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    I don't quite see how they achieve this as Afaik their Bonobos are owned/managed by the EEP, unlike most of their other previous 'own' Apes. Presumably EEP could remove/redistribute some elsewhere if the need arose. Or supply another would-be holder with others from other EEP collections- I can't see how(much as they might like too) Twycross could prevent that happening though they could hinder any transfers from their own collection.

    I think its the case that nowhere else in the UK has seriously grasped the nettle so to speak(yet). Talk- yes. Action- No.
     
  10. SHAVINGTONZOO

    SHAVINGTONZOO Well-Known Member

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    I rather think that the rarity of Bonobo in British collections is because .....





    ....... they are rare!

    ;)
     
  11. LaughingDove

    LaughingDove Well-Known Member

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    I have reconsidered what I wrote earlier and whilst the above may be true for some people, I don't think this is true for all or even most. The largest group of people that I have seen around the hamadrayas baboon enclosure at my local zoo (Warsaw) was when a pair was mating, and this was largely children. I have seen this on other occasions as well, whenever an animal is mating it seems to draw a much larger crowd. So I would have thought that bonobos that are mating many times a day (if this is in fact true) would be a major draw.
     
  12. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Not really so anymore. Some large groups in Europe nowadays (Zootierlist lists nine others, and Stuttgart alone have 15) plus a few in the USA too. I think its possible one or two new holders might eventually arise in the UK, with animals obtained from those sources, but not to the extent they ever become a commonly held species.
     
    Last edited: 29 Jan 2015
  13. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    From my experience of watching Bonobos 'mating'(its often only 'pseudo- mating' anyway between either same or different sex individuals), they tend to throw themselves at each other with some excitement and thrusting but its all over very quickly anyway, probably too quick for some people to notice what's happening- unlike the more prolonged mating of some other species.
     
  14. Shorts

    Shorts Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, I think this is probably somewhat related to cost too. Building an enclosure for (any) great apes is a considerable financial outlay that is probably outside the reach of most UK zoos.

    Amongst those collections that could afford the outlay building a new enclosure for Bonobos is probably hard to justify for those collections that already hold one or two greater ape species and I'd imagine impossible to "get through committee" when a zoo already holds Chimpanzees.

    There's always the possibility that an existing enclosure for another great ape species could be amended to be used by Bonobos but I'd imagine going out of a great ape species has it's own problems (not least potential public outcry about losing the outgoing species).
     
  15. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I suspect the matter of which collection would make a good second holder for the taxon within the UK is a lengthy and interesting discussion topic in itself! Were something apocalyptic to happen to their chimpanzee group - as I cannot envision their going out of the species otherwise - I think Chester would do a pretty good job replacing them with bonobo.

    Another possible candidate would be Whipsnade - such an addition would suit the collection very well indeed, I feel.

    Quite - this being the issue with both of the collections I cited.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 29 Jan 2015
  16. Nanook

    Nanook Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely right.
    Another stupid press story.
     
  17. karenZOO

    karenZOO Well-Known Member

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    It wouldn't bother me for my children or now grandchildren to witness natural behaviour for any species. If it really that much of an issue surely a sign outside would mean some parents could avoid what would be their embarrassment i assume!

    Reminds me of the time 2 parents came charging over at Colchester zoo eager to show their 2 children the chimps only to see a male chimp have some alone fun time with an empty juice bottle! Never seen anyone drag their children off so quickly with no explanation given to their confused children!


    My grandson (4) is fascinated by animals and them going to the toilet and all the different ways they do it and types. Spends ages waiting for it to possibly happen. Could not get him away from the gorilla enclosure at London Zoo last week after seeing his first ever gorillas and the baby, as of course he had also never seen a gorilla poo :)
     
  18. bongorob

    bongorob Well-Known Member

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    Yes he does, and so do I as a matter of fact.
     
  19. meriones

    meriones Member

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    this is where tortoises of the giant variety score as well. They do enormous poos!
     
  20. Pertinax

    Pertinax Well-Known Member

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    Correct on both counts. Great Apes are amongst the most expensive species to build enclosures for and house properly, and expensive and time-consuming to care for longterm too. Its a fact that very few UK zoos in the last few decades have built new enclosures or taken on new Ape Species;- Paignton's Ape House is one- funded almost entirely by a private 'windfall' donor (Mary Le Fevre) I believe. London's Gorilla Kingdom of course- an expensive ZSL flagship exhibit. Colchester's apology of an Orangutan exhibit,to replace an existing poor enclosure. And the Twycross Bonobos- using an existing/converted Elephant house. Wingham soon to be taking on Chimpanzees will be the first new development of this nature for some time.

    And yes, for a Zoo to go out of an Ape species could cause public complaint too, especially if it included moving popular/favourite individuals. Which is why somewhere like YWP, with no Apes to start with, would IMO be a good choice for Bonobos - and they build good enclosures too.
     
    Last edited: 28 Jan 2015