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As humans, we share 99% of our DNA with bonobos ©Homo Ambiens Photography

Bonobos

 

Bonobos (Pan paniscus) are one of the closest living relatives of humankind. The bonobo genome was sequenced by scientists in 2012, where it was discovered that humans share 99% of our DNA with bonobos - as we do with chimpanzees.

These incredibly human-like primates have become one of the most extensively researched species of our time.

However, as with many species of which we are in awe - they are now in peril, with a high risk of extinction.

Estimates range from there being between 10,000 - 20,000 bonobos left in the wild - in remote areas of the Congo basin rainforest. Major threats facing their survival are hunting for bushmeat, degradation of their environment from the impact of the Congo war, and continuing slash-and-burn farming practices in the region.