Bonobo Apes – Kindness and Empathy in the Animal Kingdom.

This natural documentary gives some clues about the very origins of human behavior. Bonobos do resemble chimpanzees but they are completely different species diverged from each other around two million years ago. Where chimpanzees fight and murder bonobos are peacemakers and unlike chimps it is not the bonobos males but the females who have the power. So, bonobos social life tells us a different story about kindness and empathy and that these characters do not belong to people alone. The bonobos are deeply intelligent apes, relaxed, highly social and develop life-long friendships. These and many other reasons explain why they are so peaceful and from where we get our gentler side of our behavior. Knowledge that is largely unknown to the rest of the world.

Two groups of researchers set up study camps in Lomako and Wamba in the rain forest of the Congo to do forest observation and document the social behavior of bonobos, our nearest relatives. The work of these researchers was interrupted during a decade of political instabilities and civil strive in the Congo with major threats for the life of bonobos as they were hunted for meat of a starved population. After the end of these instabilities the researchers started to return to see if there were still hopes and chances to complete their research and to get more answers from the bonobos.

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