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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

Friday, October 30, 2009

the frog..

Fizzi, the big brave male of enclosure 2, found a dead frog the other day. Upon seeing it, he squealed like a little girl until his buddy Makali, another big male came over to see what all the fuss was about. Upon seeing the frog, Makali also started squealing, and got into such a tizzy that he threw the frog straight at Elikya, a baby girl who caught it on the fly.

Kalina, an adult female came with her baby on her back to calm the guys down. She picked up the frog and left with it, putting it on the ground every now and then to see if there was any life left in the poor thing. Being sure that there was no chance of a sudden resurrection, she threw the frog in the water.

Fizzi decided this was still too close and ran as far away from the floating body as he could. When he got to the forest he promptly pretended to be very interested in the grass and acted like the whole episode never happened...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Sankuru update

For all those waiting for news of Sankuru, here she is! this little one has lately become more independant, she's bee climbing down off her Mama, and now spends most of her time playing with her brothers and sisters. Her favorite of the moment seems to be big brother Eleke, who is big enough to play horse with her! She can be seen in the nursery riding around on him most of the day...

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Salonga's baby still alive!

It's a miracle - after losing every baby she's had until now, Salonga has become an extraordinary mother to Kimia - who is now 3 months old! Salonga, as some of you know, has always been desperate for a baby, mothering frogs, small mammals and even large insects. Now, her own baby is strong, healthy, and we have every hope that she'll keep growing! Thank you for all your good wishes, and Salonga sends her love and these new snaps!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Kinshasa l'acrobat

Kinshasa, the new bonobo we rescued last April, is a tight rope walker! she amuses herself all day long by going to the highest and longest bar on the jungle gym and walking up and down it! Phillipe petite French in the making?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

the lomako and kodoro trap

this is one of the perils/perks of being a long distance blogger - i ask everyone who goes to lola for photos and stories, especially of the ones we love like kata, lomela& boyoma - but as soon as they get there they get all caught up in the absolute CUTENESS of lomako and kodoro and forget all my requests and just send images and news of these two babies, who are, let's admit it, adorable.

hang in there parents! we'll get news of your babies one of these days!! sigh....

Monday, October 19, 2009

zannah - the clothes theives

the bonobos are being very successful clothes theives at the moment. seems to be several times per week at least.This morning, Dilolo and Kisantu carefully selected an appropriate stick to swipe one of the day keepers shirts. they were very content swinging about in the trees with their booty, and then manono spent hours washing and re-washing his part in the lake. Bisengo played blindman's buff with his torn peice, dashing about and toppling over, in fits of giggles

Friday, October 16, 2009

zannah and lomako

(oops - i got it wrong - i thought kodoro and lomako were little girls - but they're actually little boys! sorry you two!)

the 2 new males, Lomako and Sodoro are really making progress. Lomako is pretty shy still, but he is still so small! their quarantine time is nearly up, so soon it will be time to meet the rest of the nursery. they are pretty turbulent at the moment, with so many of them! but yvonne is back from holiday, so having an extra pair of hands about again will be helpful!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

more news from zannah...

zannah is sending us more news, so I asked her if she could tell us a little about herself...

' im in the Psychology dept at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, part of the Scottish Primate Research Group. Im studying vocal communication in bonobos, and of course its relationship to social cognition. Im taking a psychological approach to vocal communication, thus i guess, examining the means that bonobos use vocalisations as behavioural tools to navigate their social worlds. There is very little research on vocal communication in bonobos, which provides an exciting but somewhat scary opportunity for me to explore! Some of my topics include the vocal sequences they produce during feeding ( evidence of kind of proto-language) as well as those during sex. Sex as we know has a very important social significance in bonobos, and so im examining how this translates into the associated vocalisations. Other primates only produce copulation calls during reproductive mating, but of bonobos produce these calls in purley social contexts.... it appears to be rank and audience related.... '

Monday, October 12, 2009


I don't know if I mentioned this but we have a new vet! Fanny has been at Lola for a few months and everyone loves her - including the bonobos!

We usually have female vets, as you've probably noticed, coz it's a little known fact that bonobos prefer women to men, seriously. i don't know what it's all about maybe it's because men killed their mothers, but they retain this preference into adulthood, which is really odd.

So this is fanny with Sankusu, a new, totally huge bonobo - who is sankusu? i have no idea. I should find out though, give me some time.

Friday, October 9, 2009


The other little bonobo who was rescued a few weeks ago, Kodoro, is now firmly latched onto Mama Henriette. She must be one of the tiniest bonobos we have rescued at Lola. She needs to get some meat on those bones...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

bowned eyed girl

has anyone ever seen eyes that big???

Lomako's vet results have come back clear - she is officially healthy. But as you can see, she's terribly thin - she needs to double her weight if she's going to be in the healthy range. but at least she is covered in long beautiful hair.

have a feeling this one's goign to be trouble for the boys in group 3...

Monday, October 5, 2009

Lomako's favourite food

Scallions! just like Kanzi, the talking bonobo at the great ape trust in Iowa.

Apparently Lomako can eat her whole body weight in scallions in an hour. Maybe she will get to heavy for Mama Micheline to carry - let's hope so!

Friday, October 2, 2009


Lomako is at the sanctuary and going strong! Lomako, is of course, the wild reserve for bonobos in the Congo, and let's hope this little one might return to the wild as well.

Her Mama is Micheline, who has been carrying her around all day every day - lucky she is just a slip of a thing and doesn't weigh very much!