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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

new orphan at Lola

In the middle of all the heart ache with Amazone, there has been a new orphan arrived at Lola.

Her name is Sandow and she's only two years old. On Sunday afternon, Claudine's husband Victor, was at their house when a military soldier dropped in with a baby bonobo he found in Bolobo ( a village near Bandundu) during his service. He was told by a fellow officer who lived in the same neighborhood as Claudine to take the bonobo to Claudine's in his jeep.
Once the soldier arrived, he wanted to sell it.
Victor, who is an incredibly debonair half Rwandan, half Italian, stood in the doorway waving his cigar and asked
'And who do I have the honour of greeting?'
'I am an officer and I've come to sell this bonobo for money so I can send my kids to school.'
'Thank you officer, but the bonobo is a protected species by law, because they are in danger of extinction, and they only live in one country - ours. If you want to sell him, fine, but it's forbidden and you could end up in jail.'
The officer was convinced and left the bonobo with Victor, who brought Sandoa to the sanctuary the next day.
So when Claudine and Pierrot came back from taking Amazone to see the doctors, Sandoa was waiting for them.

She's in good condition, except for lacerations around her groin where a rope had tethered her.
Clemence, the vet is taking good care of her.

As for what Amazone has to do with Lola, nothing, except she was found in Basankusu, where the bonobos will be released next year. I get a lot of questions about the callousness of the Congolese, how can they shoot and kill animals so like ourselves.

To me, Amazone is an answer. While children are suffering like this, the bonobo doesn't have much hope.

But for Sandoa, there is hope enough. It's a testament to the effectiveness of Lola's education programs that the friend of the officer who turned Sandoa in knew about Claudine, and that bonobos should be in a forest, not kept as a pet.

Thank you all so much for your continued support. It's because of you that Lola can keep going. Thank you from Amazone too. Because of your donations to the sanctuary, Claudine isn't spending every penny of her own money on pineapples and bananas for the bonobos, and can pay for Amazone's medical expenses.

Bonobo handshakes to everyone.

All your adopted infants are going well, I haven't heard of any one being sick or in trouble.

Kisantu's baby is also good, here she is with her.