A teenage female bonobo enjoys the calm siesta in the sun in Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Following a morning of foraging on fruit, many of which were unripe, the bonobo group traveled to a clay lick, where they ate orange soil to neutralize plant poisons and tannins. When they returned, their lips look like painted with lipstick.
Bonobos - our closest relatives on earth, yet the ape species that we know least about - only live in the remote rain forests of the Congo basin, south of the Congo river, in the DRC. Because of this remoteness, and decades of violent political conflict in the region, hardly anything is known about the bonobos life history, or their conservation status. Conservationists are very concerned, because bonobos have vanished from much of their former range, mainly due to hunting for bush meat.