The news is coming a little late but here it is nonetheless.
On the 30th of October 2013, Muanda, a pregnant female from enclosure 2, didn’t return with the group in the evening to enter the night building. And so it was in the forest, under very heavy rain that she brought her first baby into the world.
In order to protect her new-born, she jumped the enclosure fence and found shelter in the building adjacent to the night cages, right next to the night keeper’s lodge. When the rain finally stopped she hopped back into the enclosure to join her group and remained under the protection of Mbandaka, the largest male of the group. Mayele, son to the dominant female was particularly curious of this new little being in the group. Indeed, these little wonders attract a lot of attention.
Presenting the second of our three new orphans, Mongata, a 2-year-old female. She was brought to Lola along with another young orphan thanks to your donations during the Christmas period.
She arrived at Lola with a severe cold but was very brave and rather active. As soon as she arrived she spent time grooming the Mamas and the Vet. She has a wonderful appetite and is a keen drinker, drinking up to a liter of water in less than an hour. Better than juice!
However, after a few days doing well her condition declined. Visibly she was suffering from stomach pain and had difficulty breathing. For several days she had to be on oxygen and didn’t have the strength to eat, taking in only fluids. This treatment is complicated for us here in Kinshasa where the electricity is unstable and cut-off several times a day. As a result we have had to keep the generator going continuously in order use the oxygen machine on her. This intensive care continued for several days and finally she began to show signs of improvement.
Her voracious appetite has returned and we hope that she is really on the mend now.
Welcome to bonobo paradise Mongata!
In December we announced the arrival of the first of three young orphans to arrive at Lola ya Bonobo. With your help and support all three are now safely in the care of the staff at the sanctuary. Here is a little information on the first of the three to arrive.
Garamba is a young male aged about 2 ½ to 3 years old. He is a little shy but is rapidly getting accustomed to the environment at Lola.
He is already very attached to his Mama Hortense and feels safe and calm in her arms even during the routine blood tests given to our new arrivals.
With his results confirming his good health he has now joined the Singi, Minova, Kinzia and N’djili in the nursery.
More news on how the other two are getting on very soon!
For the 26th annual symposium for the Francophone Society of Primatology (SFDP), which was held in Kinshasa, we had the opportunity to inaugurate our new nursery.
During an Education workshop, Pierrot presented Lola’s implication in the “Environmental education applied in Primatology” as well as our preliminary results since we started using the “Great Apes and their habitat” teaching aid pack.
Christelle, our vet, presented the case of Kipolo with his double cataracts that where treated last year.
Next, was an applied ethology workshop on “Study methods in both the wild and captivity”. This was facilitated with the collaboration of our bonobos.
Well done to all our keepers and bonobos.
As you know, the young orphans at Lola now have a brand new infrastructure to benefit from.
A final cat of paint allowed us to declare the job done!
But what a coat of paint!!! It was the painter, Jean-Claude, along with his assistant who brought to life this fabulous, brightly coloured mural. It is he who did the job on the Lola bus a while back. This time, we entrusted him with the little ones’ play room and his talent completely transformed the place.
In just four days the master piece was finished… to the great joy of all who spend their time in there.
Here are a few photos of Minzoto ya Lola, Tshilomba’s most recent baby!
He is doing really well and gets a lot of attention from his older sister, Sanza.
More news very soon!
Every year, the management at Lola tries to do something special to celebrate Christmas with the staff’s children. This year we organised an afternoon snack followed by a guided visit of the sanctuary with Blaise from our education team.
Later on, none other than Father Christmas was present to give out the gifts he had brought with him. The children ended the day playing on the bouncy castle and making the most of the face paints!
What a nice day to remember for the children who also had the opportunity to discover the world their parents work in!
Last Sunday, during the night, we received a new, orphaned bonobo, a small male who we estimate to be around 4 years of age. He had been living with a family in the town of Nioki for a while. As is often the case, when the family had first taken him in he was in a dire state. He had open wounds around his waist from the rope used to keep him in place and he was severely undernourished.
The family mother, a nurse, took good care of him and he was in good health by the time he reached us this week.
He is now adapting to his new life with Mama Hortense who is already managing to make him laugh when she plays with him and shows him all the affection that he deserves.
Just a day or two later, we received a call from the environmental coordinator in Nioki informing us that there where two more orphaned bonobos in the area. Two males, one of which is suffering from a severe cold. As I’m sure you know, the common cold is far more dangerous for bonobos than it is for humans. The associated complications have already caused numerous victims among our bonobos. Our top priority now is to bring these two little bonobos to Lola as soon as possible.
Three new orphans in the space of a week! Sad news for bonobos … as well as for our finances as the year draws to a close.
Dear friends of bonobos, we come to you, seeking some support so that we may get these two orphans back to Lola ya Bonobo as fast as possible.
Thank you to all and Merry Christmas!
After two years of hard work, the new nursery facility at LOLA YA BONOBO was completed in 2013. The results were worth it! The new installations provide the (currently 13) bonobo orphans being cared for at the sanctuary’s Nursery an ideal environment for their physical and psychological recovery, under the caring supervision of their 5 surrogate mothers.
In order to minimize contagion risks for respiratory infections, which can be fatal for the young orphaned bonobos, we built a separate dormitory for the Nursery and made three complementary improvements that allow visitors to observe the young bonobos’ play without having direct contact with them: we installed a large window on one wall of the interior day play room; we built a tunnel between the new dormitory and the bonobos’ existing outside play area; we fenced-in this play area and built a large Plexiglas wall allowing visitors to watch the bonobos play in their little forest.
- The young orphaned bonobos now have a dormitory separate from the adult and juvenile bonobos, thereby minimizing the risk of contagion of respiratory infections during epidemics;
- They sleep in a quiet, spacious and well-ventilated room, a significant contribution to their ability to manage stress during the psychological recovery process;
- They benefit from two enriched play areas, in the forest and indoors, which is critical for their physical and psychological wellbeing;
- They are not in direct contact with visitors, minimizing the risk of human-animal disease transmission (and greatly easing the work of their surrogate mothers, who had to watch out for playful pranks on the visitors!)
Many thanks to all of you who allowed us to make this dream a reality: Many of you donated online in response to our campaign for the new Nursery in late 2010-early 2011, and we are very grateful for your support. Grants and donations were also received from Jim and Karen Holtz, Brian Hare and the Foundation “30 million friends”, while the Onduline corporation contributed roofing materials in-kind. Thank you !!!
You can find the full report on this project here:
http://www.friendsofbonobos.org/downloads/Final Report Nursery 2011-2013.pdf