Zahlia Bonobo lived at Yerkes with her mate Kidogo and their son Makanza. They lived in two tiny cells (one indoor and one outdoor) at Yerkes’ Main Center. Makanza was just a baby when I knew them; Zahlia was not so fond of humans, but tolerated us. She was very tough but not mean, and called all the shots in their little family; every once in a while she let me touch one of her baby’s toes.

Zahlia and her family had the opportunity to leave the lab (where they were not being used for research) and go live with others of their species in more spacious quarters at a zoo in Wisconsin. After their departure we had word that Zahlia had died of asphyxiation in her travel box (it is not uncommon for nonhuman great apes to die in this manner, if they are not properly monitored while under anesthetic); Makanza was in the box with her.