American actress, author and humanitarian Ashley Judd has started a Care2 petition in partnership with the Bonobo Conservation Initiative.

Its goal is to rally global support to protect the highly endangered bonobo ape before the species is driven to extinction. In early summer, Judd, accompanied by Bonobo Conservation Initiative President and co-Founder Sally Jewell Cox, plans to visit the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to see bonobos in the wild and meet with conservation leaders and government representatives. The petition has gathered over 33,000 signatures.

VIEW THE CARE2 PETITION HERE: www.care2.com/bonobos.

It is unacceptable that the bonobo population is fragile and dwindling," said Ashley Judd. “Those who have signed my Care2 petition understand it’s urgently important that we protect these complex, empathetic, peaceful animals by saving their home. That means rejecting logging and oil drilling, expanding protected habitat and supporting community-led conservation efforts.”

The documentary, “The Bonobo Connection,” narrated by Judd, explores how poaching and habitat loss are pushing bonobos to the brink of extinction. Her Care2 petition aims to send a signal of overwhelming public opinionto urge the DRC—the only habitat of bonobos—to protect the species by maintaining its current logging moratorium, rejecting oil drilling, expanding their protected habitat and supporting community-led conservation efforts.

Bonobos are currently classified by the IUCN Red List as endangered. Only an estimated 10,000 to 20,000 bonobos are left in the wild.

“We are thrilled to partner with Ashley Judd and Care2 to create a global movement to call for the protection of bonobos and their habitat,” said Sally Jewell Coxe, President and Co-Founder of The Bonobo Conservation Initiative. “We are working closely in partnership with the DRC government and hope that Ashley Judd’s Care2 petition will fuel quick action to implement innovative solutions to address the complex and urgent challenge of bonobo conservation.”

For more information on the bonobo, visit the Bonobo Conservation Initiative website.

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