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February means #BonoboLove

February 14th is World Bonobo Day! What can bonobos teach us about love?

PLUS- How you can celebrate

Two bonobos hugging World Bonobo Day Feb. 14 logo

Could bonobos show us how to have a caring Valentine’s Day?


Bonobos are often known as the ‘make love not war’ apes, so St. Valentine’s Day, February 14th, is the perfect date for World Bonobo Day.


But is this just because they are somewhat…promiscuous? Bonobos certainly make love a lot because they use this ‘bonobo handshake’ to settle arguments or competition before fighting breaks out. They are biologically conditioned to look for a peaceful solution, unlike their more rambunctious cousins, the chimpanzees.


But there’s more to bonobos than the activities that come after (or more likely before) dinner.


They like to have fun


Bonobos are playful apes. Like humans they can smile, laugh and put on a ‘play face’ when they’re having a fun rough and tumble rather than a real fight. 

bonobos lying on the ground laughing having fun

Bonobos don’t just play with members of their own group. When meeting up with another group, instead of fighting, they will play and engage in sexual contact.


And, like humans, they like to kiss and hug, and make love for fun, sometimes face-to-face.