Lola ya Bonobo

Lola ya Bonobo

Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo

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Description Founded by Claudine Andre in 1994, Lola ya Bonobo is the world's only sanctuary for orphaned bonobos. Since 2002, the sanctuary has been located just south of the suburb of Kimwenza at the Petites Chutes de la Lukaya, Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.Lola ya Bonobo means 'paradise for bonobos' in Lingala, the main language of Kinshasa. In 2012, Lola ya Bonobo was home to 60 bonobos who live in 30 hectares of primary forest.Lola ya Bonobo is a member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance.Typically, bonobos arrive as young infants. The bushmeat trade in Congo sees hundreds of bonobos killed each year for meat and the infants are sold as pets. When confiscated, these infant bonobos are taken to Lola ya Bonobo. They begin life at the sanctuary with close care from a substitute human mother, but are usually quickly ready to be integrated into a peer group, and shortly afterwards into one of the large mixed-age social groups.Although the bonobos are captive, they live in an environment similar to the wild. They can forage among dozens of edible plants and fruiting trees, compete for mating opportunities, and learn to avoid dangers such as stepping on venomous snakes just as they would in the wild. As a result, the bonobos at Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary, living in their forested microcosm, show all the naturally occurring behaviors observed in wild bonobos (in fact, they actually display some behaviors such as tool use that have not been observed in the wild).