Amazing story about the lesser known relative of the chimpanzee, the bonobos. BEYOND fascinating and extremely informative! Thanks to Vanessa Woods wonderful book I now know about these fantastic creatures and their struggle to survive in the wild. They only live in one country, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and their numbers are declining due to human threats such as hunting and poaching. The adults are killed and then sold on the black markets for bush meat and the orphaned young are sold as pets. The bonobo is highly endangered and facing possible extinction.
Vanessa Woods accompanied her fiance to the Congo to study the differences between chimps and bonobos. Unlike chimps, bonobos are a peaceful great ape and are highly cooperative. Bonobos are sexually active creatures and often sex serves to promote bonding, reduce tensions, and share pleasure. Bonobo Handshake is a story that begins as a scientific study but transforms into a love story, an eye opener, valuable lessons learned and the journey towards healing and understanding.
This book does NOT read like some scientific journal. It is an amazing, gripping true story about an ape that is so much like ourselves, sharing more than 98% of our DNA. It is the true story about a country in complete turmoil. It is the true story about an Africa that is losing it's greatest assets to war and rebel soldiers. Had I not picked up this book I would have never known that by 2009, the death toll could be estimated at 5.9 million. BH has definitely opened my eyes to the wonders of nature and the cruelty of man. I reached the last page with tears in my eyes. I hope the beautiful bonobos will forever have a safe haven at Lola Ya Bonobo.