A bonobo from the Great Ape Trust in Des Moines will be featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show Monday as part of a program on amazing animals. Great Ape Trust spokesman, Al Setka, says Oprah correspondent Lisa Ling visited the facility in August to tape a segment on the research into the great ape’s language program
Setka says Ling had interaction with Kanzi Panbanisha and baby Teco at the facility. Setka says a Time Magazine story on animal intelligence that featured Kanzi led to the appearance on the Oprah show. He says that’s where producers learned about the Great Ape Trust, and he says the appearance is one of several opportunities they’ve had to show off their research — including Time Magazine, U-S-A Today, a feature on C-N-N and the Charlie Rose show on P-B-S.
Setka says the recognition does not usually lead to more donations for the facility, but does lead to more understanding. Setka says they create an awareness of what they are doing, and in the case of Oprah, delivers the message to an audience that may not know a lot about the research or what a bonobo is. Ling also interviewed Great Ape Trust scientist Sue Savage-Rumbaugh — the first researcher to conduct language research with bonobos.
The Great Ape Trust is home to a colony of seven bonobos and began operating in 2004. Find out more on-line at:www.GreatApeTrust.org.