Category Archives: Nursery

Kole makes his nest!

Kole, one of our more recent arrivals, has no reason to be jealous of the experience of the bigger bonobos… especially when it comes to nest making skills! As soon as his hand was healed enough following his operation he began climbing up into the trees and crossing branches over one another to make a bouncy nest… just great for a little nap!

It’s really encouraging to see how well he has kept this instinctive behaviour so important to these forest dwellers!

Kole’s surgery

Who said our lucky start doesn’t exist? Certainly not our little Kole! This time round it was shining over him…

When he arrived at Lola he had a very severe wound to the first three fingers of his right hand, a wound most likely suffered when his mother was being slaughtered.

Doctor Paypay, renowned in Kinshasa for his talent in orthopaedic surgery came to visit Lola with several friends and French colleagues on mission in the Congo; an opportunity not to be missed! Fanny, the Lola vet hurried to show them Kole’s wounds and to plead his cause. Without hesitation one of the surgeons, Dr Marc Anzalone offered to carry out an operation that would at least improve Kole’s handicap and give him partial use of his fingers back.

The operation took place the very next day with the help of the great veterinary team we have at Lola. Everything went really well and Kole was quite happy to accept the post-surgery care needed.

We’ll let you know how he progresses!

Kasai’s maintaining her beautiful smile !

At Lola, dental hygiene is no joke: Kasai, one of our more recent arrivals, was very curious on arrival at Lola and enjoyed imitating her substitution mother. During her quarantine period she got into practising the use of a toothbrush, not a bad effort!! No mention of her favourite brand of toothpaste though…

Dinner time!

Milk time… the only time of day when all our happy little rascals come together…without having to chase them down first! They always manage to spot the bucket containing the “white treasure” even when it is nowhere near them! That’s when the cacophony starts, they seem to have understood that thanks to this delicious beverage they will soon grow big and strong like their elders that they observe everyday in the nearby enclosures .

New Orphan : Kole arrives at Lola

His rescue was a total fluke; a team of researchers from the INRB (Congolese National Institute for Biomedical Research) including an American researcher, Annie, had gone on a business trip to Kole, a small town in the Province of Eastern Kasaï.

It was there, whilst visiting a nurse’s home, that Annie discovered a little bonobo, kept in a cupboard. He was terrified and had a severe wound to his hand.

Annie immediately contacted us here at the sanctuary that she knew well, and put everything in place to bring the little guy back to us on the flight that they had chartered. Fanny, the Lola vet, met the team at the airport and took him on.

He is about 3 years old, a very handsome little bonobo with long black hairs and he is very sweet tempered. His quarantine is going well and he will soon be undergoing surgery on his injured hand.

Welcome to Lola ya Bonobo little Kole!!!

Kole in Annie’s arms – his hero!


Kole surrounded by the medical team during his quarantine period.

A Katako story from her more mischievous days


She refused to come down even when Mama Esperance was singing beautiful songs to her…

…and when she was telling her horror stories…

…that made her flee!

Well, because in Katako’s intelligent mind, she knew there was something incredible hidden behind the little green door...

…but she could only access it when the Mamas weren’t looking!

So what was in there? Of course… MILK!!!

But… There isn’t milk behind every door, Kata…

Kindu and her tightrope act!

Kindu has discovered a new passion:

Tightrope walking! She walks along the ropes that surround the nursery enclosure, sometimes skilfully, sometimes not (here she is helped by a visitor). But it’s an occupation that has its risks… sometimes the end result is a rather brutal collision with the ground.

But it’ll take more than that to put this little lady off, a quick reassuring hug and she’s off again!

Oshwe multitasking

“Who said I couldn’t two things at once? Me??? No problem! ….  Check it out, I can have my dinner and relieve myself at the same time!! Impressive don’t you think???”

Sandoa: quite the character!

Life for Sandoa is quite simple, her motto in life is “I Love Everything!”: She loves her meal-times, her friends that she plays with in her quick-witted way. She is more daring than ever now that she spends less time in the arms of her “big sister” Katako, soon to leave the nursery and who has recently formed a closer bond with Kananga. It’s no bother for Sandoa, she can get along fine on her own and she has become much more sociable within the nursery group. She loves to give really tight cuddles, squeezing as hard as she can with her arms… there’s a mighty bit of strength in these little ones!

She still has her little gentle streak, and when she wants something she “asks” for it nice and calmly with so much subtlety. When asked so nicely how can one refuse?…

“Here!… have my cap!”

Playing in the Nursery

Every visitor who comes to Lola will tell you their experience is unique, Magalie, a French woman who recently visited Lola for two weeks will certainly vouch for that. What can be more wonderful than playing with the babies in the nursery, who are so tender and who we care so much for, especially once we know them? Here she is playing with two of our youngest, Ombwe and Oshwe.

But we must not forget that among all that tenderness, the sweet moments of gentle cuddles… playing is of the highest importance to our little bonobos, they may look like cuddly toys but they can be the best of torturers… and that is the simple truth!!