SAN DIEGO, Sept. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bonobo Project, a nonprofit organization created to elevate the status and awareness of the endangered bonobo and coordinate activities to aid in the conservation of this great ape, hosted today its inaugural Bonobo Communication Workshop at the San Diego Zoo.
Bonobos are only found in the Democratic Republic of Congo and with approximately only 20,000 left in the wild, are classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List. Currently, there are seven zoos in the United States that have bonobo exhibits, including the San Diego Zoo.
"It is critical that we try and raise the awareness of these peaceful, uniquely matriarchal great apes," said Ashley Stone, President and Founder of the Bonobo Project. "The goal of this workshop was to bring together key stakeholders to develop effective, creative, and collaborative initiatives aimed at building bonobo awareness throughout the U.S."
This all-day workshop was moderated by Dr. Annette Lanjouw, Strategic Initiatives & Great Apes Program Vice President at the Arcus Foundation and included discussions on what is currently happening on the ground in the Congo, the current status of education and public awareness of bonobos in the U.S., and strategies for raising the profile of the bonobos in the U.S.
"I am so pleased to have been able to moderate and be part of today's discussions," said Lanjouw. "It takes dedicated people and organizations, along with a collaborative effort, to begin addressing how we can save the bonobos and it starts with awareness. That is why we need to really focus on educating the public so that they too can help us in our fight to save this incredible species."
Founded by Ashley Stone, the Bonobo Project started in early 2015 and has recruited a diverse Board of Directors that includes Kim Livingstone, Lead Keeper for the Primate Division at the San Diego Zoo; Jingzhi Tan, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate at the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology & Center for Advanced Hindsight, Duke University; Karl Morrison, Co-founder and Cities Program Officer, New Course; and California State Senator Isadore Hall III.
The Bonobo Project has also received the support from many public figures that have chosen to use their talents or voices to raise awareness for the beloved bonobo among the public in a variety of formats. These "Bonobo Friends Forever" (BFF) include retired NBA player Dikembe Mutombo, American Mixed Martial Artist Urijah Faber, actress Amy Smart, and CEO of Bonobos (clothing) Andy Dunn, among many others. Read more…
The Bonobo Project is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that seeks to elevate the status and awareness of the endangered bonobo and coordinate activities to aid in the conservation of this uniquely matriarchal and peaceful great ape indigenous only to the Democratic Republic of Congo.
For more information, please visit www.bonoboproject.org.
SOURCE The Bonobo Project