London: Bonobo apes, which live in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in central Africa and often have sex every few minutes, are now staring extinction in the face.
As they have quite low fertility, are hunted for their meat and their babies are stolen as pets, their numbers are today perilously low.
“We know that the number of animals is diminishing in dramatic proportions,” Sky News quoted Evelyne Peteolot, from Lola Ya Bonobos Sanctuary near Kinshasa, as saying.
“However we don’t have accurate data, so we’re unable to give exact numbers. It is so difficult with all the political problems here to be able to carry out a proper census,” she said.
Bonobos are the closes species to humans, and before the years of brutal civil war in the DRC it was estimated they were around 100,000 in number. Now it is feared there are around 5,000.
“It’s a species that will disappear unfortunately because this animal only exists (in the wild) here in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said Peteolot.
“If there are no longer any left here, they will no longer be found anywhere. So they will become extinct, which is a real shame,” she added.