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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Keep your distance

Sometimes I feel stupid because I get so emotionally caught up in what's going on here. When they brought the last baby in, looking like a skeleton, lonely, and terrified. I dropped all the testing and wanted to look after him. Brian said no, it could have all sorts of diseases, you'll give them to the other bonobos, let the sanctuary people deal with it, they know what they're doing. It still breaks my heart. The baby died. There was water around his heart from stress. I came to give him some juice in the morning and he was lying on his side, stiff and dead with his eyes open. I cried all day.

I know I'm supposed to be concentrating on the research, but sometimes I just want to drop everything and spend the rest of my life fighting for bonobos.

That's why Claudine and people like her are so amazing. They don't want to. They do it. And as for the rest of us, we just help in any way we can and hope it's enough.

This is the latest arrival, as well as Pierrot, the education officer's note from the field.

'As promised, I attach the photo of the bonobo in her cage, her prison for the last five years. Lomela, as we have called her, is in deteriorating health. The two other bonobos we came to confiscate are dead. We caught the person who brought them, he is a diamond smuggler and thought he would traffic in bonobos as well. Unfortunately for him, on his first try, the two bonobos have died, one by dehydration and the other by acid in his house.

He didn't seem to understand bonobos are an endangered and protected species and he had neither the right to catch or sell them. The two bonobos were eaten by their captors. There is a lot of educating to be done here at Lodja.

It seems that there are bonobos within 100kms from here. We should go and see. At the moment we don't have the time or money. We must do it next time.'