"Bonobos are an icon for peace and love, the world's 'hippie chimps,"' said Sally Coxe of the Washington-based Bonobo Conservation Initiative. "To let them die off would be a catastrophe."
The animals are known for greeting rival groups with genital handshakes and sensual body rubs. Bonobo spats are swiftly settled -- often with a French kiss and a quick round of sex.
Unfortunately, bonobos are prized by Congolese for their tasty meat, and many villagers who are illegally hunting the wiry, wizen-faced apes don't realize how close their prey is to extinction.