Habitat: Tropical rainforest
Range: Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly Zaire), Africa
This September, Zoo staff were thrilled to welcome the arrival of the newest bonobo baby, Asali. Born to parents Mchumba and Andy, Asali is the fourth bonobo born at the Fort Worth Zoo, as well as the fourth bonobo born in the state of Texas. The name Asali was chosen by staff as a tribute to the bonobo’s mother. In Swahili, Asali means “honey,” which is a sweet reference to her mother’s name, Mchumba, which translates to “sweetheart.” If you don’t see her at first, look closely. Baby bonobos depend on their mothers for nourishment and locomotion for the first two years of their life. While you’re sneaking a peek at the new baby, be sure to look for the other little apes, Kabili, Makolo and Layla, jumping and swinging around their exhibit.
This birth is another big conservation success for the Zoo as the bonobo is an endangered species. The Zoo participates in a breeding program with other zoos in the country to ensure a healthy, genetically diverse population of bonobos as a hedge against extinction. On your next visit, stop by the World of Primates and say hello to our newest tiny bonobo. The bonobos have both indoor and outdoor habitats and close by is our other baby primate, Gus, the Zoo’s 1-year-old western lowland gorilla.