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Thursday, June 18, 2009

bonobo release - report from the field 2

Ok…day 2…I didn’t go to see the bonobos until the evening…but oh my, the adventures!!! Lisala a young female and Lukaya, jumped the fence… Lomami tried to follow but unfortunately the branch they had used wouldn’t allow him to!!!
So the first ever bonobo to de reintroduced into the wild was Lisala…and she went of her own accord…so then Claudine and Suzy and some others went for a walk in the forest with them… since then Lukaya came back to the enclosure but Lisala stayed out and built her nest in the trees just near the enclosure!!! How amazing for them…I wasn’t there but from what I heard they were listening to every sound, sniffing every scent, looking everywhere…so much to see, discover and learn!!!

Meanwhile I was in the camp with various people staying out of the rain and drinking tea! Hmmmm!!!

This morning though at 6 am we went over to see them, this time I got to go into the enclosure as soon enough they will be out and they need to get used to people being accessible to them as opposed to on the other side of the wire fence. I spent ages in there and it was amazing, the first to climb all over me where Kubulu and Mbano of course, and then they almost each came to say hello. As I was in Max’s territory I had to go and say hello… I went over to him and started to groom him, at that point he started grooming me and he must have groomed me for over 15 minutes, if I count unzipping every zip on my trousers several times, but he was so gentle and it was my first real contact in an enclosure with a big male…amazing…think Diane Fossey and Digit!!! Ok well it’s not quite the same thing…but it is my version and the one I am getting to experience!!! I can’t even find the words… to know that these animals are now in the forest…and tomorrow they should all be out of the enclosure…seeing where they come from and where they are now going!!! It is amazing! When I get the chance I will give you details on each of them to see what they are coming from and now they are returning home…and I have to say, they seem happy about it! Indeed Lisala was very happy to be out and about and walking through the forest!

I have just rushed back to Basankusu, time to check mails, maybe post a blog… and I must rush back to Elonda now (Where my puppies are waiting for me)!

I havn’t been able to unload the pictures so they will come soon and I hope to be back in Basankusu in a few days to tell you all how tomorrow goes!!!

Big smiley face all around!!!