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Night of the Bonobo

Bonobos, humankind’s closest living great ape relatives, are only found in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, within the world’s second largest rainforest. Bonobos are distinguished by their peaceful, cooperative, matriarchal society, their sexual nature, and their remarkable intelligence. They serve as a powerful flagship both for conservation and for peace. Sadly, these magnificent great apes face extinction due to hunting and habitat destruction. The Congo War left the country devastated, lacking infrastructure, and left many Congolese people without livelihood options. Immediate conservation efforts are necessary for the survival of the bonobos and their rainforest.

In his new book, Empty Hands, Open Arms, critically acclaimed, Commonwealth Prize winning author Deni Bechard, weaves together environmental, political, historical and anthropological narratives to capture the challenging context in which Bonobo Conservation Initiative (BCI) leaders, Sally Coxe and Michael Hurley, have worked for many years. BCI has worked with local leaders to develop the Bonobo Peace Forest, an integrated network of nature reserves that are managed by local communities and supported by sustainable development. Béchard chronicles how, despite overwhelming obstacles and limited funding, BCI’s inclusive and participatory approach to conservation has achieved remarkable success. Hurley and Bechard will present stories and images of their many years of explorations, surveys and conservation work in the Congo, as well as information about the remarkable bonobos, and will be available for questions and answers.

For more info on the book, please click here:

For more info on bonobo conservation:

Time: 6:00pm Reception, 7:00pm Presentation

Location: The Explorers Club NYC Headquarters, 46 East 70th Street, New York, NY 10021

Member Ticket Price: FREE

Guest Ticket Price: $20

Student Ticket Price:

$5 with a valid academic student ID

Reservation Notes:

Reservations are secured on a first-come, first-served basis.

To make a reservation, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call us at 212.628.8383

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Background image photography courtesy of members Christoph Baumer, Neil Laughton, Matt Harris and Don Walsh's image of the Bathyscape Trieste