Lalia Williams

Since the beginning of man’s history as we know it, we have never been able to avoid conflict. Whether in mythology or modern day, humankind has always had a fascination and preoccupation with the inevitable bloodshed that we apparently cannot go without. From the Trojan war to WWII to modern day riots over politics, we cannot seem to avoid killing one another.

We used to think that all animals engage in the same constant and vicious personal conflict as us, which is for the most part true. But there is one species of animal that manages to live their lives together with one another instead of divided: the bobono.

Bobonos are a species of primate that live in central Africa, over an area of about 192,000 square miles. It is thought that the formation of the Congo river caused this species to separate from chimpanzees, as they are not the best at swimming. When in captivity (which is rare because there are so few alive today), they tend to live for about 40 years. The thing that makes them remarkable is that they have no conflict within their tribes, which severely contrasts from the savage chimpanzees that they look so similar to.

We share 99% of our DNA with these calm creatures, which makes them our closest living relatives today. Scientists are still researching today what makes us so inexplicably different, both in appearance and demeanor.

Unfortunately, we may not have enough time to find out if we continue in our current global direction. The bobonos’ kind disposition makes them the perfect target for an (illegal) hunter’s easy kill. This combined with vast habitat destruction has caused them to become critically endangered as of today. We must become more conscious of our actions if we want to keep these unique and intriguing animals around long enough to learn from their accomplishments.