Category Archives: Nursery

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!

Kinzia… What a beauty!


First day of school for Kinzia!

Yes, our little Kinzia can stand proud, she just recently joined the “big guys” in their enclosure… well they are bigger than her but little none-the-less…

For the moment, and as expected she never leaves her Mama’s lap and is wary of who comes to settle down beside her, but despite it all, she shows no signs of fear and seems quite pleased to be the centre of attention within the nursery!

She even takes the liberty, when the opportunity arises, to give out a few slaps to anyone who dares come too close without her authorisation.

All a bit much for such a little being, as soon as she leaves the enclosure she falls asleep in the comfortable arms of her Mama Astrid or Hortense… but sometimes in her fruit box.

What news of the last orphans to arrive in the nursery at Lola ?

A few months ago we introduced you to the two orphan babies who had recently arrived at Lola ya Bonobo, Kinzia, a little female and Singi a little male.

We are pleased to give you the good news that both are doing very well, are in excellent health and full of beans.

And as you can see from the photo below, the bond between these two little bonobos is a strong one… a promising sign for the future!

(Photo Tanguy Dumortier)

Sad, sad news: the loss of four of our babies!

Last year went by with no major health problems at Lola. Now, half way through 2012 it is clear we won’t be spared this year.

One morning in late January, Kindu who was doing really well suddenly showed signs of sever abdominal pain, difficulty in breathing and neurological symptoms. Despite the rapid health care she was administered, she passed away that very afternoon.

Two months later, thinking that her case was isolated, Ombwe started showing the same worrying symptoms, followed rapidly by Kwilu and Kasaï. What a nightmare! The three little ones never made it, their short lives ended in the same abrupt and tragic way in just a few hours!

We have been working with the National Institute for Biomedical Research and the project Predict in order to try to identify the deadly bacteria that struck so fast. But we always run into the same complications: sending samples abroad for analysis for a highly protected species is very complicated. And the panel of exams available in the DRC is limited. The whole situation just reminds us of the epidemics of 2003 and 2006. While we wait to identify the pathogen we have had to put in place some precautionary measures in the nursery, a change of routine for everyone.

It has been a hard time for all and such a sad end for these little orphans who had such a promising start in their new lives at Lola! The news has taken time to get to you, for one, putting this news down in words has not been easy and secondly, we wanted to be able to give as much information as possible about these deaths. Unfortunately, we still have no clear explanation.


To read about their arrivals at Lola, click on the images below!








New Orphan: Singi arrives at Lola

The fourth month of the year, fourth little bonobo to arrive at Lola…

Following, Bombo, Kwilu and Kinsia, here is Singi, a gorgeous little male about 3 and a half years of age.

Just like little Kasai a few months back, he came from Lodja, a town in the province of Eastern Kasai, and that, thanks to Mr André Tusumba, coordinator at ACOPRIK (Community Actions for the Protection of Primates in Kasai), a local NGO. It was he who organised the confiscation and transfer of Singi to Kinshasa.

Mama Hortense has taken him on, and following a period in quarantine he will join his new friends in the nursery for endless games of all kinds!

With his precious little face, you just have to look at him to love him…

Kasai & the apple!

No, no, Eve isn’t the only one who likes to eat apples! Making the most of a student, momentarily distracted, who uses apples for treats to reward the bonobos in the study that she is undertaking, our little Kasaï discreetly snuck over to a piece of apple meant for someone else. She grabbed it and ran off with her precious loot… to quietly eat it safely out of sight!

Kasaï may be the smallest of all our little orphans, but she is by no means the least mischievous…

Kasaï checking out the situation…

No harm, no foul…

Well worth it… there’s a good reason the students use apples as a reward!

Hortense, a new mama in the nursery

Maman Henriette, the first ever substitute mother at Lola, has left the nursery to take on the position of head keeper of enclosure 3 where she was overjoyed and proud to find her past babies grown so big and strong.
But the needs for mamas in the nursery are the same so we have welcomed Hortense who started working with the little ones several months ago now. She received a warm welcome from our happy little babies, excited to be able to play and cuddle a brand new and kind mama. Of course others, such as Shibo and Kodoro, tried and tested the limits, little tearaways that they are…

New orphans : Bombo & Kwilu

One from Basankusu, the other from Mbandaka, they both arrived at Lola on the 9th of January, in the same tiny cage. The transfer was organised by Chacal, one of our men at Ekolo ya Bonobo. The two little males are probably around the same age, Bombo however, weighed nearly twice as much as his frail little companion who, on arrival, was severely emaciated and completely dehydrated… a real sorry sight!

In the weeks that followed, we were to have our share of frights. First off, Bombo stopped eating and drinking and seemed to be suffering from abdominal pains, then Kwilu suffered from severe pain throughout his tiny body along with a very high fever. We soon found out that he was infected with the chikungunya virus (the two mamas looking after them also caught the infection, transmitted by mosquitoes)
Luckily, with the right treatment, lots of love and time dedicated to them, the two little orphans and now in great shape and are currently being introduced into the nursery.

Kwilu, the day he arrived, unbearably thin… and terrified by any sudden sound or movement.

Bombo, on arrival, in much better physical condition than Kwilu, at least from the outside… the little guy is full of tenderness!

Kwilu, six weeks later, gaining weight and getting stronger day by day… Behind him is Tess, his bodyguard, no more harm will come to him… she is watching!!!

Shibo: a visit from the vet under the palm trees

The Mama’s at the sanctuary, very attentive to their little ones, noticed that Shibo was avoiding the use of his right arm as he played with the others. A rapid warning and Fanny the vet was on her way. She brought him out of the nursery enclosure to examine him, under the watchful eye of Espérance and Micheline.

Luckily, the exam showed nothing serious and after a big hug, little Shibo joined his friends again in their endless roly-polys!