Animals / Mammal Facts / Bili Ape - Mystery Chimpanzee or Gorilla

Bili Ape - Mystery Chimpanzee or Gorilla



Sometimes referred to as the “bondo mystery ape”, the Bili ape is a species of giant chimpanzee that was long believed to be merely a myth. Inhabiting the Bili forest of the Democratic Republic of Congo, the giant chimp has the appearance, behavior, and diet of a common chimpanzee, but often nests on the ground like a gorilla, and approaches the immense size of a gorilla (not as heavy but much taller than other chimps).



bili ape in the wild


A species full of strange behaviors, the Bili feeds mainly off of fruits and vegetables, but legend has it that they been seen to slay lions. They also aren't known to show any aggression towards humans. While a common gorilla will charge a group of humans and attack, the Bili ape has been observed to come up to humans showing no fear or aggression, just mild recognition of a similar creature. Perhaps they have been lucky or smart enough to stay away from most people as some in the region eat “bush meat”.


bili ape killed


Within the species, there are two different types of behavioral patterns. First, there's the “tree beaters”, who locals have observed to be slightly smaller, nest in the trees, and can be taken down with poison arrows, more like a chimp. Then there's the “lion killers”, who are larger, can't be taken down with poison arrows, and nest on the ground. Although they haven't been observed on too many occasions, the Bili is said to have a very flat face, a hanging brow ridge, gray hair very early in life, and about the same size as a full-grown human. They can stand on their feet and walk some distances upright.

Many scientists have come to believe that the Bili ape is some kind of missing evolutionary link between chimps and humans. Brief but significant observations of the ape only began about 5 years ago so we will eagerly wait for more scientist to go deep into the Congo looking for the mystery ape.


bondo mystery ape perched




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