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Des Moines ape facility raising cash for education overhaul


The home of Des Moines’ bonobo colony — the south-side Ape Cognition and Conservation Initiative research center — has launched a $7,000 Go Fund Me campaign to remodel areas used by students and the public. As of Thursday, $985 had been raised. Anyone who donates $200 or more will get to attend an open house in the spring. The colony includes Kanzi, one of the world’s most communicative great apes, who uses symbols to communicate with humans. The facility, formerly Great Ape Trust, has operated with a lower profile since founder Ted Townsend pulled his funding for the research center as part of a long-planned move. The organization has struggled to attract the grants originally envisioned for the facility. The other remaining bonobos are Nyota, Elikya, Maisha and Teco. 

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