Make Play not War – The Bonobo Connection

I love the Great Apes. For me, it’s more than just the shared genetic make up. It’s that ‘we are family’ feeling, a recognition of sameness. Over the years, the only place I’ve seen them is in zoos – London, San Diego, Toronto, Edinburgh, Saarbrücken – or on film. I’d like to have a greater understanding of their lives, their cultures because I’m sure there is plenty that we could be learning from them. Primatologists think so too.

Isabel Behncke’s Ted Talk is full of passion, humour and hope. The richness of the bonobo world that she is able to pack into this seven minute presentation is striking. When Behncke says, “play is the glue that holds us together,” I really sit up and take notice. More about Behncke here.

It’s a cruel fate that bonobo society, defined in large measure by play and playfulness, is struggling to survive in one of the world’s most war ravaged countries, the Democratic Republic of Congo. The map below shows the bonobo’s current range. More on the bonobos here.

This Ted Talk should have a much broader audience. Please pass it on to those who care about play, about endangered species, about family.

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