Bonobos, the fun-loving and peaceful great apes from Central Africa and one of the two closest extant relatives to humans, have won Time Magazine’s Primate of the Year award, beating out humans for the first time.
Humans have long held the top spot, losing only once to chimpanzees during the early years of space exploration, until humans realized they too could travel in space if they just made the rockets and space capsules a little bigger.
Some humans viewed the results as a wakeup call, but most attributed their loss to collective poor judgement during the run-up to the U.S. presidential election. “We’re only human. Just like our fellow primates, we can be distracted by shiny objects,” said importer/exporter and Human Fund board member Art Vandelay.
“That’s a classic human-centric view,” said Ook Mook, Vice Chancellor of Bonobos United. “Look at the bigger picture, and you can see we’re on the way up. We have the opposable thumbs. We have the capacity to use tools. We’re capable of altruism, compassion, empathy, kindness and patience.”
Other non-human primates rallied around the bonobos, hopeful they too may someday win top primate honors. The winning species earns a lifetime subscription to Time, an appearance on a GoDaddy TV commercial during the Super Bowl and a visit to the White House.
“Some other species are showing a lot of promise,” said Mook. “I’ve seen some good things already from silverback gorillas, especially considering the size of their remaining habitat. And woolly lemurs are making strides. The only ones we haven’t seen much from are baboons. As far as we can tell, they’re still focused on making their butts bigger and redder. We tell them no one else is really into it, but they won’t listen. I think they might be at the bottom of the list for a while.”