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Please go to my new Psychology Today blog to see what I'm up to. To buy the book, Bonobo Handshake, please visit my website. To follow the adventures of the Lola ya Bonobo orphans, please visit Friends of Bonobos

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Everyone who was asking for pictures of Lomela – here she is! She has so much hair, I didn’t even recognise her. That thin little fuzz she had before I left is now shiny and luxurious, thanks to the mamas coating her with coconut oil. She even smells good!

She is also the sweetest bonobo ever. Today I was sitting in the nursery and she came to touch my knee very gently with her mouth. It was a stark contrast to Eleke, who was leaping from my head, and Sake, who demanded I tickle her or she would bite me. Lovingly of course.

I had to wait until Tory was testing Vanga out of the nursery before I could go inside. It took a while for Lomela to come over. She is so big now, I think she must be 4 or 5 years old. When I saw her last year she looked 2 because she was so malnourished. Eventually she came over and instead of jumping on my lap and pulling my hair like everyone else, she just stood very calmly with her hand on my leg and looked into my eyes.

I think she was trying to recognise me. It’s been a long time, for a young bonobo anyway, since I was here last October, but I spent so much time with her and Kata, I think at least she recognised my hair which is different to the mamas’.

I’ll take more photos for all you lolo fans later. But I want to catch some of the other babies in the nursery.