Animal Cognition Volume 15, Number 4, 731–735

Responses toward a trapped animal by wild bonobos at Wamba

Misato Hayashi, Gaku Ohashi, Heung Jin Ryu


Chimpanzees and bonobos are the closest living relatives of humans and diverged relatively recently in their phylogenetic history. However, a number of reports have suggested behavioral discrepancies between the two Pan species, such as more cooperative and tolerant social interaction and poorer tool-using repertoires in bonobos. Concerning hunting behavior and meat consumption, recent studies from the field have confirmed both behaviors not only in chimpanzees but also in bonobos. The present study reports an encounter by wild bonobos at Wamba with a duiker trapped in a snare. Bonobos interacted with the live duiker for about 10 min but did not eventually kill the animal. They showed fear responses when the duiker moved and exhibited behaviors related to anxiety and stress such as branch-drag displays and self-scratching. Although bonobos manipulated nearby saplings and parts of the snare, they did not use detached objects to make indirect contact with the duiker. Juveniles and adults of both sexes engaged in active interactions with the trapped duiker. Overall, bonobos’ behavioral responses indicated species-specific cognitive characteristics largely different from those of chimpanzees.

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Hayashi M, Ohashi G, Ryu HJin (2012) Responses toward a trapped animal by wild bonobos at Wamba Animal Cognition Volume 15, Number 4, 731–735 , doi: 10.1007/s10071-012-0478-x