Founded as a private, non-profit (501 c3) conservation and education organization in 1910, the Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) in Wisconsin (U.S.) is dedicated to conserving wildlife and endangered species, educating people about the importance of wildlife and the environment, and supporting the municipal Milwaukee County Zoo.
The ZSM began work in bonobo conservation in 1988, two years after the arrival of the first bonobos at the Milwaukee County Zoo. Inspired by its rarity and unique character, the ZSM began to champion this species by sponsoring conservation programs for both captive and wild bonobos. A decade later, the ZSM created the Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative (BCBI) to protect and ensure the survival of wild bonobo populations in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
BCBI’s project team in DRC is led by two principal investigators and a team of Congolese nationals. The DRC team is supported by U.S.-based staff who provide accounting, fundraising and public relations expertise as well as mapping and related technical skills.