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  • Writer's pictureFriends of Bonobos

Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate World Bonobo Day on Valentines Day

Are you ready to change it up in February? Maybe you’re tired of familiar February holidays like Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, and George Washington’s Birthday (yawn). And little-known holidays such as Pluto Day are too far out for you.

Two bonobo apes hug at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary

Here’s the alternative you’ve been looking for: World Bonobo Day! It’s a strong contender for “Most Unknown Holiday" and falls on February 14th just like Valentine’s Day.

Check out the Top 10 Reasons to Celebrate World Bonobo Day.

Two bonobos kiss at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary in the DR Congo.

10.  A break-up. Ouch. You need something inspiring to distract you from Valentines Day hearts, chocolate kisses, and your disappointing ex. Mend your broken heart by sending your love in a totally new direction! Bonobos are the endangered species most like humans -- with so much to teach us -- but they are the least known. Focus on bonobos on Feb. 14 and you can help change that.

9. Originality. You're not one to follow the crowd. You were the kid who didn’t love giving every classmate a valentine with a grinning honeybee holding a red heart, saying “Will U Bee Mine?” So - “bee” different. Celebrate World Bonobo Day!

A bonobo ape wears leaves from a tree as a headdress. Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary in the DR Congo.

8. You’re an animal lover. You rooted for the apes in all the “Planet of the Apes” movies. When you root for bonobos, you can be on the animals’ side without having pangs of conscience. That’s because, unlike chimps, bonobos don’t rape their women or kill their own kind.

2 Adult bonobos and a baby bonobo ape huddle in the forest of the DR Congo.

7. Keeping the peace is your super-power. You’re the person who can get everyone laughing when just a minute ago, their fists were coming up. That’s so bonobo. Celebrate the animal who is most like you.

6. Your social meter is high. Bonobos love their friends and spend a lot of their time socializing. They rely on each other for emotional support, raising the kids, and so much more! Plan a World Bonobo Day “Pal-entines” or “Galentine’s” party to celebrate the joy of community and strong bonds!

5. Proud tree-hugger! In the Congo Basin, bonobos are known as gardeners of the forest because of their major role in seed dispersal (they eat LOTS of fruit). Protecting the health of the Congo Basin forests ensures they will continue to store tons of carbon and keep it out of the atmosphere where it would add to climate change.

4. You like to play the field. If this is you, the bonobo is your spirit animal. Bonobos are 98.7% like humans, genetically speaking, but their societal structure is built on love. Pansexual, consensual sex is a big part of their social lives.

A baby bonobo breastfeeds from their mother at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary in the DR Congo.

3. Women rule. The embodiment of female empowerment, bonobo troops are matriarchal - led by a dominant female. Although bonobo females are smaller than males, the females form coalitions to maintain order and derail violence in the group before it gets out of hand. Celebrate the strength of female alliances!

A bonobo at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary in the Dr Congo reaches out their hand.

2. You have a thing for “underdogs.” You cheer for the team that’s facing long odds. Although individual bonobos are powerful (they can “easily outperform even highly trained human athletes”) as a species they’re facing a tough road. They are rare (found only in the Democratic Republic of Congo), susceptible to respiratory infection, endangered mainly due to hunting, threatened by deforestation, and reproduce slowly (one baby every 4-5 years). They are one of the endangered species that MOST needs our help.

A bonobo ape mother kisses their baby at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary in the DR Congo.

1. The world needs love. Because bonobos like to keep things relaxed and conflict-free, they’re known as the “make love not war ape.” When you elect to join Team Bonobo, you’re casting your vote for wildlife conservation, habitat protection, climate action, caring and compassion.

Now that you’re convinced, here are some ideas how to celebrate World Bonobo Day. We’d love to hear your ideas too!

5 Ways to Observe World Bonobo Day on Valentines Day

5. Act like a Bonobo! Did you know that being generous and grateful connect you to others and improve your health? Bonobos are known for their generosity, even sharing food with strangers. Check out 6 ways to be like a bonobo !

4. Be pro-bonobo on socials. Use your social media to raise awareness of the least-known great ape, the amazing, fun-loving bonobo! Follow us on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, to comment and share. Craft your own content using messages and artwork from our World Bonobo Day Social Media Toolkit. 

3. Wear a “Hippie Ape” bonobo T-shirt! Our organic cotton, sustainable made T-shirts have cool designs and are fun to wear. They’re also conversation starters. When your friends ask “What’s a Bonobo?” you can let them in on the secret. Plus, every purchase supports bonobo conservation. Triple win!

2. Immerse yourself. Become the “bonobo” category expert for trivia night at your local brew pub. Amaze your friends with your knowledge of the ape that’s our closest genetic cousin, and yet soooooooo different than humans. Get started with our short video: “What’s a Bonobo?” 

1. Start your own World Bonobo Day fundraiser! You can create a Facebook fundraiser to support Friends of Bonobos or use our Bonobo Champs fundraising platform.  Set a goal, drop some coins in the hat, and ask your friends and family to pitch in. We’re here to help.


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