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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Released bonobos back at Lola?

I've had a couple of people write me and ask what the bonobos who were released were doing back at Lola - I'm sorry I didn't explain very well.

Max, beautiful Max with his long flowing locks, was a little more trouble than we thought. We had assumed that the bonobos would be afraid of the forest, so that human presence or post-release monitoring would prove reassuring. In practice, the released bonobos dapted surprisingly easily to their new environment, showing no sign of fear. In
particular, Max immediately started displaying towards intruders in “his” territory, before alming down and coming for a contact with known staff. Max similarly displays towards bonobos, but they seem to largely ignore his shows and simply get out of his way. The new trackers were notably more impressed and this delayed initial post-release monitoring

When an intruding villager was bitten in August while fishing for eel right next to the isolation enclosure, it was decided to remove the three bonobos who were showing more potential aggressiveness and return them to LOLA, so that
the trackers could start effectively monitoring the group before the seasonal rise in river water risked dispersing the bonobos further away into the forest. On October 19-20, Max, Lisala and Lomami were transported back to LOLA YA BONOBO and reintegrated their former groups without any trouble – like they just went on a short holidays.

Max wasted no time running around having sex with all the females as soon as he was home. I thought a romance between he and Lomela was developing at the release site, but they don't seem to miss each other too much:)

Now with the remaining 6 bonobos at the release site - everything is fine. The trackers can follow them into the forest, and we can finally start gathering important data on their post release habits!