Salonga National Park, Lui Kotale, Democratic Republic of Congo
A young female bonobo rests after a large meal. Her lips are colored orange by mud she has eaten to counteract toxins in unripe fruit she consumed.
Bonobos, along with chimpanzees, are our closest living relatives. They are also among the least-studied of primates. Unlike chimpanzees, who are territorial and combative, bonobos are relatively peaceful creatures, and appear to use sex as a means of social communication. Sex, for bonobos, is not restricted to male-female copulation during the female’s fertile period, but includes various gender combinations, and occurs in a variety of situations, including greeting, relieving tension, and as an expression of reconciliation.
Christian Ziegler is a photojournalist specializing in natural history and science-related topics. He is a regular contributor to National Geographic magazine and has been widely published in other magazines such as Geo, Smithsonian, and BBC Wildlife. A tropical ecologist by training, Ziegler has worked in tropical rainforests on four continents, and for the past ten years has been an associate for communication with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama.
Gaza’s only power station closed in November, after it ran out of diesel. For years, supply from the Israeli grid had been intermittent, and electricity cuts due to fuel shortages had long been a daily occurrence. Torrential rain and severe flooding in Gaza in December led to even longer blackouts than usual. Alternative diesel supplies had previously been smuggled into Gaza from Egypt, through tunnels running under the frontier. But earlier in the year, the Egyptian military—which had overthrown a Muslim Brotherhood government sympathetic to Gaza’s Hamas rule—had closed most of the tunnels. In response to the flooding, Israel temporarily lifted its blockade and permitted an emergency supply of 450,000 liters of fuel, paid for by Qatar, into Gaza. The power station gradually resumed operation, but Gaza’s infrastructure remains inadequate to meet its energy needs.
Gianluca Panella is an independent italian photojournalist focused on social reportage, current affairs, and portraits. He has traveled to the Balkans, Egypt, Haiti, Lebanon, Morocco, Sudan, the United States, Europe, Israel and the Palestinian Territories. His photography has been featured in a variety of Italian and international publications.