Dr. Duane Rumbaugh writes:
"The loss of Panbanisha is beyond words to express our anguish and pain. Panbanisha was, yes, someone special. Neither beast nor bonobo by any standard norm, she had stepped well beyond the boundaries of those domains into one that emerged from her long and loving experiences shaped by her interactions with Sue and others who could see the reflections by her psychology and very being in her demeanor. Her presence and competencies declared that she was someone close to our kind. Panbanisha was a great teacher. May the records of her accomplishments be documented and preserved for future-kind. Farewell, Panbanisha! Thank you for teaching us of the basics of how the kind of world in which one lives influences ones competence, will, and thought."
Name means "cleave together for the purpose of contrast" in Swahili
Birthday: November 17, 1985
Death: November 6, 2012
Born Where: Language Research Center at Georgia State University, Atlanta
Lived Where: Language Research Center, 1985-2005; Bonobo Hope Sanctuary of Iowa, 2005-present
Children: Nyota and Nathan (2000-2009)
Favorite Food: Eggs
Favorite Toys: Modeling clay, rubber snakes
Favorite Activities: Watching television, especially videotapes of her family and human friends; sharing secrets (both telling and hearing)
Favorite Games: Hide-and-seek, scaring people with masks
What made Panbanisha unique?
Like her half-brother Kanzi, Panbanisha became linguistically competent without specific training, and her language comprehension and production skills were the most advanced of all the bonobos at Bonobo Hope Sanctuary. She began using the keyboard earlier than Kanzi, and progressed further. Panbanisha was a courteous host, very much a "lady" from the way she conducted to the way she ate: properly, with utensils. Panbanisha sometimes shared her food with caretakers if she felt it was very good, or if she’d like for them to try it first.