When Deni Béchard learned of the last living bonobos—the matriarchal great apes who are, alongside chimpanzees, our closest relatives—he began exploring ways to reverse their alarming decline. Upon arriving in war-ravaged Congo, Béchard connected with the Bonobo Conservation Institute (BCI), a small organization that has done more to save bonobos than any of its larger counterparts. Witnessing BCI’s activities first-hand, Béchard realized that its approach offers a unique, inspiring, post-colonial model of conservation that is saving the bonobo by helping rebuild and revitalize Congolese communities devastated by war and chronic unemployment.
Part history, part travelogue, part environmental manifesto, The Last Bonobo forces us to reexamine established modes of conservation—while blazing a path toward new, sustainable solutions to our most urgent environmental issues.
Praise for The Last Bonobo: A Journey into the Congo
“Wonderfully clear and concise… [The Last Bonobo] is the story of conflict, savage murder, occasional appeasement and resolution… Bechard describes a new kind of human effort that is every bit as fascinating as the bonobo social contract.” –Linda Spalding, Literary Review of Canada