Bonobos: Back to the Wild

The new film, Bonobos: Back to the Wild opens today in the US.  It is called an “untraditional portrait of the bonobos”, where a rescued bonobo is given a human voice.  The film is for all ages and is based on the real life story of Claudine Andre’s rescue of a baby bonobo in Democratic Republic of Congo, his rehabiliation and later release. Andre is the founder of the Lola Ya Bonobo sanctuary in Congo. We have not seen it yet, so we can’t provide a review but hope it will be in Edinburgh cinemas sometime soon, Do give us your opinion on the film if you are able to see it via comments below.  Please read the Wall Street Journal article about the film and also watch the trailer:

Bonobos and other animals – the importance of play

Primatologist Isabel Behncke Izquierdo studies bonobos and the importance of play as a social glue that binds individuals together in cooperative groups.  Listen to her short TED talk to find out more:


Behncke Izquierdo has also published research recently in Current Biology:  ‘Play in the Peter Pan Ape’ (2015).

You can also look at Animal Play:  Evolutionary, Comparative and Ecological Perspectivesedited by Marc Bekoff and John Alexander Byers.

Diploma de Postgrado en Primatología: Investigación y Práctica

If you are comfortable with Spanish, some excellent postgraduate courses, like this one, available through the Mona Foundation and University of Girona…

Máster en Primatología

dp primatologia

Información básica

Edición: Tercera
Horas: 900.00
Idioma: Español
Fecha inicio: 22/10/2015
Fecha finalización: 25/07/2016
Créditos: 36.00 ECTS
Código: 15PPF1012
Horario: Módulos 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 del Máster
Jueves y viernes, de 9.30 a 18.30h
Clases teóricas: del 22 de octubre de 2015 al 13 de junio de 2016
Entrega de trabajo: hasta el 25 de julio de 2016

Lugar de realización: Parc Científic i Tecnològic de la UdG- Edifici Giroemprèn y Fundación MONA. Ctra. De Cassà s/n, 17457 Riudellots de la Selva (Girona)

OBJETIVOS

– Integrar los conocimientos y comprensión de los fundamentos biológicos de la conducta animal y humana, y de sus funciones psicológicas, tanto desde un punto de vista comparado como filogenético.
– Interpretar y reflexionar sobre los mecanismos cognitivos (físicos y sociales) comunes de chimpancés y humanos en su contexto evolutivo y desde una perspectiva interdisciplinar.
– Conocer e integrar los principales conceptos relativos a la…

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New Content

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Thanks to our lovely volunteer staff of two (filling in while I’m still dealing with hip injury), we have new content on several pages of the website.  Please check out our Conservation, Sociality and Exploitation pages.  We have also moved Primate Facts to a new section with new content under Primate Taxonomy.  If you would like any of your research highlighted on our website, do get in touch, as we have a steady stream of visitors (a good way to share your work).

Security Protocols at Zoos or Wildlife Parks

The escape of two chimpanzees from their enclosures in a Mallorca zoo, highlighted in a previous blog post, has been followed by another escape, of three chimpanzees in the Canary Islands (Oasis Park in Fuerteventura).  The Born Free Foundation rightly questions the security of these facilities and this is something we want to consider here, over a series of posts.

As a start, let’s look at the UK context.  The Health and Safety Executive provides the following guidance for zoos (Managing Health and Safety in Zoos):

“Animal escape

The escape or release of even a small Category 3 (least risk) animal can introduce hazards resulting from stress in the animal or from the reaction of the public. It is vital that you have a plan to deal with these situations. The measures included in the plan will depend on the risks that you have assessed. Depending on the risks associated with the animal, you should strike a balance between ensuring the immediate and continued safety of people in the zoo and the capture or euthanasia of the escaped animal.

Emergency procedures in the event of an animal escape, whether classified as dangerous or non-dangerous, should cover:

■ nominating a person and deputy to take charge of the situation and make any important decisions;

■ raising the alarm and reporting incidents to appropriate personnel as quickly as possible;

■ communications with entrances/exits and allocating responsibilities for closure where necessary;

■ arrangements for the evacuation or safe confinement of people in the zoo, ensuring that those situated away from buildings receive appropriate assistance as quickly as possible;

■ managing crowds safely in an emergency situation62 and the giving of directions;

■ a strategy for recapture appropriate to the various types of animal kept;

■ liaison arrangements with senior zoo personnel, vets etc for the recapture plan, which should include the use of radios, equipment, vehicles, firearms, identifying essential employees etc;

■ briefing staff as to their roles and responsibilities during a recapture operation, including the recapture of animals escaped beyond the perimeter of the zoo;

■ arrangements to locate the escaped animal;

■ arrangements to keep the animal under observation while recapture plans are being formulated, and the movement of key personnel to the area once the escaped animal has been located;

■ the provision and location of the necessary capture equipment, eg nets and firearms/darting equipment. Torches will be invaluable for night escapes and should be located in a designated area;

■ alerting external emergency services, eg police, where necessary;

■ stand-down arrangements on the completion of the recapture operation, including notifying all relevant personnel and external organisations involved.

Where an animal has to be killed in sight of the public or other employees, the firearms team should not be expected to assist in the clean up operations.

See the Secretary of State’s Standards of Modern Zoo Practice1 for further information, ie the requirement to notify certain authorities in the event of an escape.”

Subsequent posts will delve into security standards and procedures further, looking at Spain’s guidelines, and will also consider enclosure security (not just how the event of an escape is handled).