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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

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Eye candy - Kata& Sandoa

No need for a description - just look at that face!

Monday, September 28, 2009

news from Zannah - Kimia

Today Dilolo found a plastic bottle. Dilolo being Dilolo put the bottle on his head and walked about looked a cross between an alien and hanibal lector!

Salonga and baby Kimia are doing realy well! Salongo is such a calm and quiet mother. it's really exciting b/c Salonga has had about 4 babies and they've all died. and she's been wanting to be a mother for so long, she occasionally takes frogs from the pond and pretends they're babies!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

a retired physicist

Just wanted to give a million bonobo hugs to Jim Holtz, who has just funded the building of the enclosure for the juveniles - this includes rascally boyoma, the little punk dilolo, and mwanda and all the little babies who are now growing up.

As you all know, after the infants arrive they spend several months/ years in the nursery until they have fully recovered from the trauma of losing their mothers. Then they go into Enclosure 3, which is the juvenile enclosure and learn to live in their first stable group. There is a 20 acre forest for them to play in, as well as a few gentle adult bonobos who look after them, until they can finally live in the grown up enclosures.

I don't know anything about Jim, except he is a retired physicist, which means he must be smart b/c I almost failed physics three years in a row...

thank you, jim, from us and all the rascally bonobos in group 3!

Friday, September 25, 2009

news from Zannah - elikia


Elikia is such a big girl now, and spending much more time away from Semendwa. She’s great pals with Keza in particular, they spend lots of time rolling about and playing. Keza may be a terror with humans but he’s pretty sweet with the young bonobos. Keza and Ilebo were playing a kissing game today, pretty cute

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

news from Zannah - dilolo2

Naughty Dilolo was causing trouble during the vegetable feed today, he kept hanging about Likasi and throwing vegetables at her. He’d pick up a bundle of vegetables, wave thrm around like a lasoo and then chuck them at her. Needless to say Likasi wasn’t impressed!

Monday, September 21, 2009

news from Zannah - Sankuru and the new babies


The two new babies that arrived a few days ago are doing very well. They are 2 little males named Lomako and Sodoro. Michelline and Henriette are being their mothers. But it means busy times for Esperence, who has to look after the rest of the nursery until Lomako and Sodoro have finished quarantine. 9 energetic little terrors charging about. And to top it all off, the whole nursery has come down with a cold. So everyone is very busy treating them and keeping an eye out. Sankuru had a bad fever, but she seems to be doing better now. Shes such an amazingly gentle female, cheeky Eleke and Sake love to dash about and jump on you, but Sankuru is just happy to sit in your lap and quietly groom

Friday, September 18, 2009

news from Zannah - dilolo

A real play party took place today in the swamp. Manono, chief fun-maker was dashing about at top speed in hysterics as he played with the Kisantu and pthers. In fact, Dilolo felt a bit put out. Kisantu and Manono were so engrossed in rolling about wrestling, that when Dilolo patted them and tried to push his way in to join, they just rolled over and carried on their game. He kept trying to join in but they didn’t notice. Chief punk Dilolo ousted from a game!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

news from Zannah - Vanga and Manono

Vanga is learning how to live in the big wide world of Group 1. Once king of the nursery, he’s now very much on the bottom rung of group 1. Even Kasongo can cut it a bit more than Vanga. He does have tantrums quite a lot, but seems to get comfort from Bandundu. He stays close to her and gives her a hug once in a while. And he’s quite good pals with Manono. Manono loves playing with the boys, so Vanga makes the most of the good times with the big guy

Monday, September 14, 2009

news from Zannah - poor keza...

Tchilomba really has issues with Keza. Whatvere he tries to do, she tries to stop it. Keza wanted to walk past her to get through the gate at the enclosure to feed on the vegetables. But she started screaming at him and blocked his path. Each time he tried to pass, she screamed, threw her arms at him and set off to chase him away. Then she ended up manning the door, closing it shut each time he tried to pass. She opened it now and then and Moyi and the others slipped through, but each time Keza approached, she creaked it shut. Keza just had to sit it out, she did get a bit bored ofthis military discipline regime after a while… well until the next day at least

Friday, September 11, 2009

baby Elikia growing up

Baby Elikia has really become an independent little lady, and she loves hanging out with the big boys. Yesterday Mystique was sitting by the fence and Elikia was being really sweet, gently caressing her and giving her some gentle pats. Mystique seemed very content

news from Zannah - manono

Manono is finding enjoying the new found freedom of reign ( even if only by default!) now Tatango is now longer with us. And the girls in group 1 really are battling it out for access toManono. Kisantu rushed up for some action with Manono, but Nioki saw and rushed up to to present to him. Manono at this point was ‘otherwise engaged’ so tried to bat Nioki away. She screamed but pulled his hand and presented anyway, so of course, he had to relent and satisfy his other lady. Even if she is already preganant! But Manono also seems to really love Likasi, they spend hours and hours grooming

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


hey everyone, just took down the civet post. sorry if it upset people. I guess as a scientist, I was so fascinated by the report of 'mothering' the civets by the bonobos that I forgot to think about if the deaths would distress people. I used to have bunnies that I 'loved' to death, and me, the cuddling behaviour of the bonobos, the washing of the civets was a similar. were the bonobos trying take care of them, like children played with dolls? was there imagination? pretend play? scientifically, even if it's in the ball park, it's incredible, because pretend play and imagination are what some people think makes us human.

but i agree, not so fun for the civets. no more torture stories, promise.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Monday, September 7, 2009

James and Desmond Tutu

Check out what James has been doing over the summer - Archbishop Desi Tutu, no less!

Way to go, James!