State And Regional

Cincinnati zoo mourns loss of 3-year-old bonobo

CINCINNATI — The Cincinnati Zoo is mourning the loss of a young animal.

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A 3-year-old bonobo named Amali passed away due to a respiratory syncytial virus outbreak among the bonobo tribe, according to a social media post from the zoo.

Before she passed away, she was in supportive care for a week.

Bonobos are susceptible to RSV and secondary infections that may occur. Younger bonobos are at an even higher risk of complications, the post said.

RSV causes an infection in the lungs and respiratory tract.

“People say the best things come in small packages, and after working with Amali I’m here to tell you… they’re right. Amali was small but mighty. She had a huge personality,” one zookeeper said.

Zookeepers nicknamed Amali “Lil Bit,” as she was always eager to interact with her keepers and other troop members.

“The entire bonobo troop adored her; from our large adult males to her half-brother Bo, everyone was a playmate but made sure to be gentle and tender with her,” the zookeeper said.

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Bonobos are intelligent animals, and their social group is tight-knit, according to the post.

“The Jungle Trails team allowed every member of the troop to say a final goodbye and start the grieving process after this unexpected loss… we’re confronted by the idea that she is reunited with her father Vernon,” the zookeeper said.

Zoo staff is asking the community to share their favorite memories and stories of Amali as she “inspired countless guests.”

The Cincinnati Zoo will “continue to be a champion for bonobo conversation in her honor,” the zookeeper said.

The Jungle Trails team will be prioritizing the supportive care for the rest of the symptomatic bonobos, the post said.

They had already began seeing signs of recovery and will remain hopeful that the infection has mostly run its course.