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Monday, July 27, 2009

More news on Etumbe's baby!

The group is so thrilled about the new birth - Look at little Lomela on the far left - can you all believe she's so big?? And that's Mbano, Etumbe's son, on her right.

Here is a letter from Suzy, our Congolese student in the field:

Everything is going well in the forest with the bonobos. On the 18th of July, it was a historic day for the world of conservation. the stars rose for the first time, as Ekolo ya Bonobo (land of the bonobos) was graced with the handsome baby of Etumbe.

At 4:30pm, the keepers at the enclosure signaled that Etumbe was having contractions! At 5pm, Etumbe didn't want to eat. Her son, Mbano, was in the trees, behaving very excitedly. The other bonobos were strangely calm. We all suspected the baby was coming when Mbano turned around in circles without stopping and crying out in excitement.

On the morning of July 19, the females were all gathered around Etumbe and we suspected the happy moment had arrived. Moments later, Etumbe arrive, with her newborn in her arms. What a joy to discover this baby delivered only a month after the release!

It's a beautiful baby. He is covered in thick, black hair, brilliant shining eyes and is plainly in good health. OUr best and warmest congratualtions to Etumbe, who has given birth to the first released baby bonobo from Lola!!

- Suzy

Friday, July 24, 2009

First baby bonobo from the release group born in the wild!!

Dear all,
We have the pleasure to tell you that the first baby is born at Ekolo ya bonobo!!!!
A little female.
Etumbe give us this double present: Mbano, first baby born at Lola ya bonobo and now this little female that we momed "NSOMI YA EKOLO" (the first born at Ekolo)
Remember the story of Etumbe....coming from INRB.
Thank's to her for this happiness !
And by the way, ... thank's again to Hans Wasmoeth ...(for the transfert of Etumbe at Lola in 2003)
Love to all.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

More from our friends at

Our sponsors at have just launched a new campaign for Lola! It's called Save the Bonobos and they are donating $5 from shorts (Nanners), pants (Congos) and shirt (the green one!).

We love bonobo pants!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Monday, July 20, 2009


i have some more videos but as you can see i' ironing out the glitches. the video with nick isn't exactly centered or anything but i think you guys can play it, right?

I did it! Interview with Nick de Souza

Friday, July 17, 2009

The release - the movie.. still working on it...

Being technologically challenged, i am still trying ot wor out how to upload a video to wordpress -anyoen got any ideas? Florent, Lola's videographer worked very hard on a movie that i want to show you all but i can't upload the )(*&* thing!! Will work on it some more - but int he meantime, here he is interviewing Claudine for the movie...

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Marie Laure has a moment

Marie Laure is our head vet now, and here she is having a quiet moment under our brand new sign! It reads 'Ekolo ya Bonobo' which is Lingala for 'place of the bonobos'. Marie Laure's dad was a doctor in Congo 20 years ago, and Claudine was always calling him to help with the bonobos. Now his daughter is the head vet at Lola - nice cosmic energy about that, isn't there?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Etumbe is pregnant!

Etumbe is pregnant ! isn’t that wonderful news – hopefully this baby will be the first release birth ever!!! I don’t want to get my hopes up but it would just be too wonderful. The measure of success for any release program is if the released individuals reproduce... i know this is cheating a bit coz etumbe was already pregnant when she was release but i hope all the other bonobos get the same idea that having a baby in the forest is such an awesome idea. I hope it catches on like wildfire.

Etumbe is taking her pregnant role seriously. Every night the bonobos sleep in the forest and they make nests, like beds from branches of the trees. Well etumbe has kicked out her 4 year old boy, Mbano from her nest and told him to go make his own nest since mom’s nest will soon have a newborn

Mbano’s first attempts at nest building were hilarious – he only pulled 5 sticks togheter. But after a few nights, he’s now a pro, building lovely fluffy nests out of the trees.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


In all the release excitement, I forgot to say, our friends at have made a new pair of men's swimmers (that's what we call them in Australia - do Americans call them trunks or bathers or what?). they were designed specially for Lomela well actually for all the bonobos at Lola but I bet Lomela would like them most - they are the 'Nanners, after Lomela's favorite food! I bet she is sad they are for boys. But maybe Max could wear them and Lomela could stare at them all day

Check it out!

It's part of their Save Sex Save Bonobos campaign (go to their homepage and you'll see Sake clinging to Brian's pants on the bottom right).

Anyway, $5 from every pair of 'Nanners goes to the bonobos! I bought one for Brian and he LOVES them. Go buy, people...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Lomela's playtime in the forest

well for a bunch of captive bonobos, these guys are really taking to the forest like ducks to water! They love the space, the way there are endless tress to play in, and even the princesses among them (read lomela) don’t seem to mind staying outside at night.

You’ll be pleased to know Lomela is an excellent nest builder – already very professional. But we all know lolo likes her creature comforts, and wouldn’t dream of sleeping on anything that wasn’t soft and squishy.

Here she is!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Max being really really really ridiculously goodlooking

well, life at the release site is progressing nicely - Max, the bonobo with the beautiful hair, has taken to the wild like he never left it. just look at the way the light hits his fur... almost as if he planned it that way... hmmm...

And another one with Max and what I call his Zoolander look. Do we not think Max looks like Derek Zoolander?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

here's to a world first...

and a job well done!!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Wow - the forest is just like Lola's only bigger!! I'm just going to let the beauty of these next photos capture what a wonderful moment it must have been.....

Friday, July 3, 2009

moving in

finally! it's time for the bonobos to have a look at their new home! did i mention that lisala was so excited to be in her new forest that she jumped the fence and started wandering around the forest! there is an isolation enclosure so if the bonobos get sick or hungry the vets and keepers can look after them. of course marie laure and nick wanted to hold them in observation to make sure everythign was ok, but lisala was having none of it - she wanted to explore!

isiro went with her but isiro came back shortly after - lisala was just too excited and didn't want to come back at all!

the rest were quite happy to hang out with Claudine...

and Yvonne

Thursday, July 2, 2009

new arrivals

the Po were very curious about their new adoptees - since they are now the bonobo guardians they spent some time getting to know their new charges... most of these people have never seen a bonobo before.

Marie Laure makes sure everyone has enough water and something to eat - can't have Lomela running out of bananas!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

and the bonobos arrive!

first they are loaded onto canoes for their journey from basankusu to the release site

up the lopori river (i call it the coca cola river coz the waters are so dark)

to the waiting crowd
unloaded off the boats
and carried to their new home!