Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative to Begin Breeding Program

May 7, 2018

The only research facility in North America to house and study bonobos, the Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative (ACCI), plans to begin breeding bonobos at its facility in Des Moines. 

Teco on one of the climbing towers at ACCI.
Credit Charity Nebbe

On this edition of Talk of Iowa, Charity Nebbe talks with ACCI's director of research, Jared Taglialatela. He says that working with the bonobo Species Survival Plan will be in the best interest to the apes in Des Moines and the captive population as a whole.

"There's about 80 of them [in the U.S.], and all the other facilities that house and care for bonobos in the United States are basically at or even exceeding capacity," says Taglialatela. "Our mission is science, conservation, and civic engagement... By getting certified by the AZA, and ultimately breeding our bonobos, we feel like we're positively contributing to all those aspects of our mission."

Also joining the conversation is Mark Vukovich, president and CEO of Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, and Val Hautekeete, zookeeper at Blank Park Zoo.