Columbus Zoo celebrates birth of endangered great ape


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The Columbus Zoo says one of two remaining wild-born bonobos (boh-NOH’-bohz) living in the U.S. has given birth.

The zoo says the fact that the mother, Susie, was born in the wild means she has valuable genetic diversity to provide the bonobo population in captivity. The zoo says bonobos, also known as pygmy chimpanzees, are the smallest and rarest great ape species.

Susie gave birth to the female, called Bertie, on Dec. 9.

The first bonobos came to the Columbus Zoo in 1990, including Susie. The new baby is the 16th born at the zoo which houses 18 bonobos.

Bertie is Susie’s fifth baby. Bonobos are native to the Democratic Republic of Congo where they face human-related threats such as habitat destruction through logging and being hunted for meat.