Category Archives: Bonobos

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Bolomba doing well at Lola

Between the various delegations arriving at Nd’jili airport for the Francophone Summit, arrived a young female bonobo all the way from the province of Equateur. A sad story with a happy ending… She was caught in a snare “accidentally” according to the hunters who brought her back to their village and contacted us so we would go and save her. Chacal and Alphonse headed off to get her and bring her back to Basankusu. She was then sent by dug-out canoe down to Mbandaka where she was finally able to get on a plane to Kinshasa.

What a surprise when she arrived here at Lola to see this sub-adult female, so glad to have been rescued and who, seemingly grateful, spends a lot of time gently grooming us! Bonobos will never cease to amaze us! Welcome to Lola ya Bonobo BOLOMBA!

As you can see the wound on her arm is healing well.


Suzy and Bolomba


Bolomba and the CNN

Honour to Lola ya Bonobo!

In the weeks leading up to the Francophone Summit, Lola was solicited several times by the local journalists. Such is the case for the TV channel Kin 24, which was presenting different attractions in the Kinshasa area for the guests of the summit to visit during their stay.

Conclusion: Mrs Kabila and the presidency requested that the ABC welcome the first ladies to Lola ya Bonobo.

And so the First ladies, led by Mrs Olive Kabila honoured the sanctuary with their visit.

Everything was in place for a perfect visit! The Ministers, our beribboned burgomasters, our local traditional chiefs, the staff all dressed up and the bonobos at the top of their game!

It was a wonderful day that followed meticulous planning by Pierrot. Adolphe, the chief gardener pushed himself to the limit to make the surroundings beautiful. Stany polished of his boat and the Mamas learnt and practised new songs for Lola!

A great day that will stay in our memories for a long time to come!

The traditional chiefs at their best to receive the first ladies from the francophone world!


The Mamas sing for the first ladies.


Pierrot welcomes Mrs Kabila (DRC) and Mrs Ali Bongo (Gabon)

The Media

No less than three teams come to film at Lola in just one month!!! The BBC came back to Lola for a new series on primates, “Primate Planet” presented by Dr George McGavin. We also welcomed France 2 for an episode on the sanctuary and its orphans, presented by Olivia Mokiejewski. And finally, one day filming with CNN for their program “Inside Africa”.

Claudine André receives a new award

Claudine André received a “Présence Congo pour l’environnement” award early in October as a reward for her implication in the conservation of Bonobos.

The award allowed allied organisations (Le Club Diplomatique, Le Forum Congo de Politique International, Diplomatica Magazine…) to honour Congolese figures from both the Congos.

Bolomba from Bolomba, she survived the hunt!

The hunters contacted our Basankusu office because they “didn’t want to catch a bonobo in their trap”… they asked if we could go and get her to save her.

Chacal and Alphonse headed off on the 90 mile trip to Bolomba on the motorbikes to go and get the little 7 or 8 year old female. They brought her back to the Basankusu office where she was to stay until her transfer to Lola ya Bonobo.

Bolomba in Bolomba


Chacal come to save her


We had hoped to introduce her to the reintroduction group at Ekolo ya Bonobo, believing that she was only suffering from a skin wound caused by the snare, but after seeing the photos we thought it best to bring her back to Lola as her arm seemed to be dislocated. The orthopaedic doctors who operated on Kole were soon to return and they would be able to relieve her.

Bolomba has since arrived at Lola safe and sound… more news to come soon!

Likasi moves into enclosure 3

Jean-Claude, keeper at enclosure 2 had recently noticed that Likasi’s baby seemed to be losing weight, keeping an extra close eye on Likasi and her baby, Elonga, he soon realized with amazement that someone was stealing the little one’s milk right from her mother’s teat! Who is the culprit you ask? Well, our very own Mbandaka, the dominant male of the group … whenever he gets the chance he suckles Likasi, who not only shows no objection but even offers her breast to him herself!

Elonga’s young life being threatened by this behaviour, a decision was quickly made to move Likasi into enclosure 3. At first she cooperated, but then she suddenly decided to sit comfortably at the top of a tree and refuse to budge. Jean-Claude had the bright idea to involve some of the mamas and babies from the nursery. Indeed, her curiosity got the best of her, and Likasi left her perch in order to follow all these people come to accompany her to her new forest.
Isiro, who had shared and enclosure with Likasi in the past, was the first to greet her, and even stopped the other members of the group from coming too close, as if she was a bodyguard.
On the first evening Likasi headed in direction of the night enclosure without any hesitation, she was even the first to go inside.

The arrival of a new baby in the enclosure has captured the interest of Sanza, Tchilomba’s little female who seems to have one wish… to be able to play with Elonga. Sadly she is going to have to be patient and give Elonga the chance to gain her strength back and grow up a bit…


Mbandaka suckling Likasi ! Caught in the act…


With concern on her face: Where are they taking me?


The healthcare team and the mamas and babies encourage Likasi as she walks towards the new enclosure…


Brave Likasi goes through the doors and into enclosure 3 without any hesitation


The whole group in enclosure 3 heads off to meet Likasi, concealed in the forest, soon to be held back by Isiro, preventing anyone from approaching her friend.


Photos: Emilie Genty


Oo..oo..oo..ooh !

It’s Halloween, and it seems that there is only one little bonobo at Lola who is aware of this fall holiday! Be that as it may, with or without his friends he’s decided to dress up with this fancy ghost mask. Unfortunately, it seems that it isn’t really scaring the rest of the group who seem quite content to carry on with their daily routine!

Happy Halloween!



Ilebo in for a change of scenery

For a while now, young Ilebo has been a real terror within his group, sometimes going as far as blocking his fellow bonobos such as Eleke and Bili, of a shy nature, from accessing their ration of food. Suzy, our ethologist, studied the situation with great care and her final verdict left no other choice than to than to transfer Ilebo into another group.

The transfer was carried out with the help of Mama Yvonne, Ilebo’s substitute mother back in his nursery days in who he still has a great deal of trust. Papa Stany, waiting in ambush, operated the tunnel doors to allow Ilebo’s passage from one enclosure to another. It all went smoothly.

Following the usual noisy and slightly stressful welcome into the new group, Ilebo is now happily settled in and is no longer wreaking havoc… as for Bili and Eleke, they can finally relax.


Mama Yvonne and Suzy encourage Ilebo to go the distance needed to reach his new enclosure.


Despite Suzy’s reassuring words, Ilebo is hesitant to join his new group.


First meeting with Fizi, and adult male of the new group.

Kinzia… What a beauty!