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Happy ending for bonobo ape in German zoo

February 28, 2019

Bili the bonobo ape was aggressively bullied when he first arrived at the Green Zoo in Wuppertal, Germany to find a mate. After being separated from the fierce group, he seems to have found the love he was looking for.

Bili the Bonobo ape
Image: picture-alliance/dpa/C. Seidel

A German zoo in Wuppertal said Thursday that an ape name Bili, who was the subject of a petition after being bullied by other apes, now has a girlfriend.

Bili, a 10-year-old male bonobo ape, grabbed headlines earlier this month after pictures surfaced showing him bleeding with bite wounds and a piece of his ear missing from frequent attacks by fellow apes. Two petitions demanding that the Green Zoo in Wuppertal move him to an ape sanctuary in the United Kingdom gathered more than 400,000 signatures.

Bili, who was born in the UK, was moved from Frankfurt to Wuppertal in November in order to for him to find a mate, but he had trouble integrating with the group of apes.

The Wuppertal zoo said they have since moved him to another area and has integrated with another group of apes. The group includes a 55-year-old male named Mato, an 18-year-old female named Muhdeblu and her five-year-old daughter Akeema. The zoo said Bili and Muhdeblu have since become an item, engaging in sexual activities as wells grooming each other and sleeping together.

"Bili has been significantly more relaxed in the meantime and we have not observed any aggression towards him," the zoo said in a statement.

The zoo said the goal remains to integrate him with the established bonobo group. 

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