Ulu or Unabii? The general public can choose the name of Planckendael’s baby bonobo

At the end of last year a baby bonobo was born at the Planckendael animal park near Mechelen (Antwerp Province). The bonobo is a female. The keepers at the zoo have proposed two names Ulu and Unabii. The general public will be allowed to choose which name the baby bonobo will be given by a vote that is being organised on the zoo’s Facebook page.    

All the animals that were born at Planckendael in 2019 will all be given names starting with the letter U.  The zoo keepers chose two names in Lingala, the language that is spoken in the part of Africa where bonobos live in the wild.

Ulu means “second daughter”, while “Unabii” means "the prediction”.

During the forthcoming spring half term break the general public will be able to tell Planckendael which name they like the most.

There are now a total of 14 bonobos at Planckendael: 8 females and 6 males. Among bonobos it is the woman that takes the lead and male bonobos live with their mothers for their whole life. This is why the zoos move young female bonobos that have been born there to other zoos once they are around 8 years old. This will also be true of the baby bonobo at Planckendael.