Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS
Search NOVA Teachers

Back to Teachers Home

Last Great Ape, The

Program Overview


Note: This program contains scenes of sex among bonobos. Please preview it to determine its appropriateness for your classroom.

Deep in the Congo lives a little-studied group of apes called the bonobos. Like the more-familiar chimpanzees, bonobos are among humans' closest relatives. But unlike chimps, known for their violent behavior, bonobos are far more peaceful and resolve conflict in an unusual way: by having sex. Much like humans, bonobos have sex not just to procreate, but also for pleasure and politics. The discovery of these gentle apes has fascinated scientists and led them to question our origins and the roots of human nature.

But in 1997, just as research on these elusive apes was underway, civil war broke out in the Congo, and researchers were forced to evacuate immediately. Now NOVA returns to the battleground with scientists who are worried that war and the bush meat industry may have decimated the bonobo population. Instead, what they find gives them hope for the future of the species.

Teacher's Guide
Last Great Ape, The
WATCH A PREVIEW BUY THE VIDEO PROGRAM OVERVIEW RELATED NOVA RESOURCES INTERACTIVE FOR STUDENTS
   

Support provided by