This blog has moved!

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

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

new years resolutions...

it's coming up to that time again, and i hope you've all got your new years resolutions ready!Personally, i'm going to try and lose all the (*&^^ weight i put on at thanksgiving and xmas - seirously whose dumb idea was it to have TWO food oriented holidays within a month of each other?

the nursery won't be staying up till midnight this year, they have to be in bed by 8 like every night, but i did get a little whisper of what they wanted to work on...

boyoma: i will not pick my nose in public

Lomela: more hugs!

Lukuru: grow bigger so no one steals my bananas

Masisi : bridge the divide between species - dogs have feelings too!

kata: change what? i'm perfect!

adopt a bonobo!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Brian & Alan Alda

A little while ago Alan Alda did an interview with Brian (hubby) at the NC zoo. The zoo doesn't have any bonobos, so Brian had to make do with chimps, but he shoved them in the interview anyway. The PBS special will air next year, will keep you guys updated for an airtime!

ps. for those of you who don't know who Alan Alda is, give you a clue - Hawkeye - M*A*S*H

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A merry xmas from us...

Thank you to everyone who has donated to us for Christmas. This December we've raised $1500 - our biggest month of the year!

From everyone at Lola, thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Especially in these times of economic turmoil, we know it's an especially tough Christmas. That people can still give to others, even in tough times, restores our faith in humanity, and gives us hope for the future.

To tell you all the truth, it's been tough for us to raise money in the US. Unlike almost any endangered species, not many people even know what a bonobo is, much less that they're our closest living relative and the most endangered ape in the world.

If you're a last minute shopper, like me, it's still not too late! give a donation or adopt one of our bonobos for you or someone else and you'll receive a certificate and our newsletter! All donations are tax deductible!

So once again, thank you. I would especially like to thank the following people, who have giving generously this year. A special squeak for you all from the bonobos at Lola!

Sherri Schroeder
Yukishige Kawasaki
Neil Brooks
Ian & Stacey Donnelly
Gemma Ellis
Paul Gartland
Steven & Dora Gomez
Marie Haroon
Jennifer Jefferson
Lisa Recht
Nelly Schm├╝cking
Edward Wobber
Christine Cichetti
Dorraine Job
Barnaby Ohrstrom
Maite Giraud
Jade Lee
Georgia Harley
John & Bretta Fox
Sara Gruen
Sarah Shimko

Theresa S
brigitta s
Maciej G
Annette R
Theresa S
Kevin C
Baerbel W

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

avoid xmas crowds - donate to charities!

There's nothing that sets my teeth on edge more than xmas shopping. I hate everything about it - the lines, the crowds, and most of all, the pressure of spending too much money on gifts i know people are going to chuck to the back of their cupboards. Of course if I was like my mother and did all my xmas shopping in October, I wouldn't have a problem, but the fact is, it's the 17th and I haven't set foot in a store and I know it's just going to get worse.

I'm all in for showering kids with fairy dresses and toy trucks, but for friends, family, and inlaws, Brian and I are taking a different tack this xmas.

We're donating to charities: the moon bears (all those stories of draining bear bile makes me so sad), the Catholic Relief Service, offsetting our carbon, and of course Lola.

The average US family spends $1000 a year on xmas - although with economic downturn, this year it's more like $700. I think Christmas is about giving to those less fortunate than ourselves, which then gives us a chance to be grateful for what we have.

So if anyone wants to avoid this

by giving this

go to .

Friday, December 12, 2008


just got a photo of little lukuru! Here she is!

it's quite an improvement if you think about what she looked like a few months ago.

Anyway, she's a fiesty little thing. I remember even when she was almost too weak to move she'd bite my finger if i came too close to her mama Henriette - imagine a tiny thing like that having the courage to bite a creature 50 times bigger than her to defend her adopted mother! The mamas say she's only gotten more courageous and that she's goign to be the alpha of the nursery before too long

Watch out Vanga!

Adopt a bonobo for xmas!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

news from the nursery

kata threw a corker of a tantrum yesterday, because Mama Esperance didn't give her milk before Lomela. Lolo tried to make up for it by hugging Kata with one hand and chugging her milk with the other, but Kata wasn't having any of it and screamed so loud the mamas 'thought she would die'.

Masisi is still looking after Sandoa who is getting stronger every day. she laughs and smiles a lot more but the mamas would like her to put on a little more weight.

Lukuru is turning out to be stronger than anyone thought possible - she clocked His Royal Highness Vanga one when he tried to steal her orange.

On the newborns, Kisantu's baby boy is called Nkumu, which is Bakongo for 'prince'. And he is indeed a little prince, his squinty little eyes have a royal air about them already. Grow strong Nkumu, you're our hope for the future!

It's not too late to adopt a bonobo for xmas!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sheryl's worried...

One of our favourite adoptive parents, Sheryl, said about the post 'happy thanksgiving':

This is where my animal rights ethics and wildlife conservation interests do not mesh. I believe every individual is important, and that sacrificing some for the good of the species is wrong. Personally, I’d prefer a well-armed patrol to protect the bonobos who are going to be released. This plan makes me queasy.

I understand how you feel, sheryl, and believe me, it is going to be tough to see any of the bonobos die, and some of them will. But we have to find a way to successfully release bonobos. we can't wait until they are all almost dead before we figure out a way that works.

I also used to think armed protection was best, but how do you protect an area that's 20,000 hectares? You'd need thousands of men and even they couldn't do it. How do you stop them using their guns to shoot other animals? Congo is crawling with armed men, and none of them have any qualms about using guns to extort the local population. And once you bring guns into it, you risk killing people, and this leads to village wars.

The people who know the land are the Po. The people who have the most to win from the bonobos surviving, are the Po. If you bring guns into it, then people will die, and in a country so rife with violence, let's try the peaceful way first.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Claudine in the House of Lords!

Our director and founder, Claudine Andre, has just won the inaugural Badham-Evans Award for Women’s Commitment to Wildlife from the Twycross Zoo in London!

She was presented with the award at the House of Lords in London, and heaps of famous people were there, including Susannah York, Stephanie Powers and Miranda Richardson, each of whom helped draw attention to Andre’s work and the bonobo’s plight. Richardson, who I think we all remember for her performance in Merlin said: “Claudine’s dedication to these animals is remarkable. It is now our responsibility to join her efforts.”

The Badham-Evans Award was named after Twycross Zoo founders Molly Badham and Nathalie Evans, and will “honour other women who have committed their lives to caring for and saving wildlife worldwide.”

Claudine has survived civil wars, economic strife, and personal danger to protect bonobos, one of the rarest great apes in the world. She created the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in 1994 with one bonobo and we now have 63 orphaned bonobos at the 75-acre site near Kinshasa.

We love you Claudine! You are awesome!!