Student raising money for peaceful primates

| 14/06/2010

(CNS): Montessori By The Sea student Jared Harrison, 12, has launched a campaign to raise money and awareness on behalf of the bonobos of Africa. “These apes are amazing, beautiful creatures,” said Jared. “I’m trying to do everything I can to get people in the Cayman Islands to learn about them and make donations to try and save them from extinction.” Bonobos are a species distinct from the common chimpanzee that most people are aware of. Unlike chimps, Bonobos walk upright and show remarkably high levels of cooperation and peacemaking in the wild. Scientists estimate there currently are only some 10,000 left alive in central Africa. (Photo by Guy P. Harrison)

Wild populations have been ravaged by war, habitat loss and poaching. Without increased efforts, conservationists warn, the bonobos could be gone forever within a few decades.

Last week Jared wrote a research paper about the bonobos and delivered a passionate presentation to his class. “My dad has always been very interested in bonobos and he made me aware of how special they are,” Jared explained. “I was touched by how peaceful and kind they are. Other primates, including us, have wars, kill each other, and have a hard time sharing. Bonobos are so different. When they get upset about something they just hug it out. We can actually learn from them. They cooperate and take care of each other so well. They’re extraordinary.”

Jared hopes to spread the word and stir interest in these unique primates that most people have never heard of. Once people are aware of them, he believes, they are likely to want to help prevent their demise from habitat loss and poaching.

“I can’t let this [extinction] happen to them. I feel like Ihave to try and help them. I’m going to give all the money I have saved and my friends at school are going to give money too. I hope adults in Cayman will visit the Web site,, and donate money. You can even adopt a bonobo on the site. You don’t get to keep it but you help keep it safe in the wild. I’m begging Caymanians to please help save these majestic creatures.”

Jared encourages people who are interested in bonobos to email him at so he can send them more information. He also says he hopes to connect with others and form a kids’ conservation club.

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Category: Science and Nature

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  1. Tammie says:

    It is great to see that our children can and do launch awareness campaigns!  Thank you Jared for the information and thank you Guy for supporting him!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Great to know that even our children can bring a campaign for a good cause to the forefront!  Thank you Jared for your efforts and thank you Guy for supporting him!

  3. Kevin says:

     An encouraging thing to see these days are kids with a mission. I congratulate you, Jared for caring about your environment and putting your heart out in the open for the good of the world. Nice work in spreading the word?

  4. Anne Tourjee says:

     It’s always a delight when a young person focuses on something larger than themselves. It’s even more special when they choose so wisely. Well done Jerad, keep ringing the bell for those in need– the world will respond.

  5. J. L. Ebanks says:

    Best wishes with your endeavor Jared.

    Jared’s actions are a fine example for all of us… we can each make a difference!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Jared is following in the footsteps of his father; proof that parenting and positive example does have a good effect on the minds of children.

  7. wisp says:

    Too many of our closest relatives have died.
    Seriously, we can’t let this happen to them…
    We have lots to learn from each other!

  8. Jefferson Fish says:

    I hope Puritans don’t think the bonobos are too sexy to be worth saving.

    Keep up the good work!