The View from a Drawbridge

The random musings of a bridgetender with entirely too much time on her hands.

I am addicted to the videos from the Cincinnati Zoo. It’s always amazing to see other living things doing their thing. But this video, entitled “Bedtime for Bonobos” has to be my all-time favorite.

In it we see Lana, an adult bonobo, prepping her nest in a tree as bonobos do. But she is dragging a cushy blanket with her, and she’s making a point of arranging everything just so, so she can be all comfy. I find this really sweet, but I also think it could be a slippery slope.

Now that Lana is used to having cushy blankets, could she ever be comfortable sleeping without a cushy blanket? I bet she would love a memory foam mattress and a goosedown pillow too. And nothing but Egyptian cotton for this girl!

Bonobos are our closest living relatives. I’m sure that they could get used to quite a few of our luxuries and comforts. In fact, according to the description below the video, “Adult bonobos sometimes share a nest, which is a unique behavior among the great apes.” So yeah, they are very much like us in many ways.

I just feel hesitant about introducing them to human luxuries unless we are going to guarantee unequivocally that they’ll have access to those luxuries for the rest of their lives. I doubt very strongly that the Cincinnati Zoo is ever going to go belly up, but if we have learned anything recently, it’s that the future is uncertain. Living in captivity is far from ideal, but if we’re going to do that to animals, we bear a certain responsibility.

The thought of Lana in some cold, harsh lab somewhere, or back out in the wild without her cushy blanky makes me really sad. Sweet dreams, sweet Lana! I wish I could tuck you in and read you a bedtime story.

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