Bonobo confiscated in Lubumbashi
Bonobo confiscated in Lubumbashi

Bonobo confiscated in Lubumbashi

Aren’t bonobos meant to be found in the central basin of the DRC? somewhere not far from the Congo River?

Well, yes, this is theory. But actually, bonobos unlike so many other Great Apes (chimpanzees, gorillas) are now on sale on several local markets throughout the country because of bushmeat and because of pet trade demand…

'bobo' is he was called
bonobo found on a farm near Lubumbashi

End of May, our friend and J.A.C.K. volunteer, Sue, contacted us saying there was a bonobo in Lubumbashi. The bonobo had been bought recently and was kept by a high ranking authority starting its own wildlife and ecotouristic centre/farm about 1 hour driving from the city of Lubumbashi.

bonobo in Lubumbashi
what was the future of this little one?

Franck decided to visit the place and why not try to  meet this very important DRC person? A bonobo in Lubumbashi, Katanga, this was complete nonsense!

Franck & Carole feeding the young bonobo
something had to be done to rescue the bonobo whose life was in danger

While being on the farm, the bonobo was running around. Thin, with hardly no hair and a big belly, the young animal seemed fine but missing so much warmth and appropriate care.

thin with big belly and hardly no fur
thin with big belly and hardly no fur

 Franck talked to the manager saying that the bonobo was going to die if it wasn’t in good hands and sent to Lola ya Bonobo in Kinshasa…

'bobo' in Sue's arms
Sue and the bonobo

Talks lasted quite long. At the end of the day, Franck drove back to Lubumbashi with the bonobo in the car. Sue and her friend Sherryl working on that farm  had managed to talk to this authority and it seemed fine to put the bonobo in a place where it would have all the love and care.

Carole and her friend 'Chibo'
Carole had become a new mum to the newcomer

Unfortunately, we couldn’t put the bonobo in our chimpanzee quarantine area. Because the little male needed a lot of attention, it was decided to keep him at home with Carole, member of our French J.A.C.K. team and coming to help at J.A.C.K. for a few weeks. Carole created  an impressive bound between her and the young bonobo. In a few hours time, she had become his new mum and they got on extremely well together.

at jack
separated from the chimps, the bonobo was taken at J.A.C.K. to make him hear, smell and see his 'cousins'
a new future
J.A.C.K. is organising a new future for you!

Meanwhile, although Franck never met the authority, he was told this latter had agreed to hand over the bonobo to  the DRC Environment authorities  and that confiscation papers have been delivered by the Ministry of Environment. Thank you, Sir, for having handed over the bonobo and for trusting J.A.C.K. Merci pour votre geste, Monsieur, et pour avoir fait confiance à J.A.C.K.

in good hands
getting strong and ready to fly to Kinshasa

Also, something had to be done as it was clear this little « Bobo » or « Chibo » couldn’t stay with us  in Lubumbashi. Franck contacted Claudine and her team of Lola and now a plan is being set up to fly the young bonobo to Lola ya Bonobo (Kinshasa)  where he will be among others of his own kind.

Carole has gone back to France and it is now Papa Augustin who is taking good care of the baby.

Papa Augustin & 'Chibo' the bonobo
Papa Augustin & 'Chibo' the bonobo


Once called ‘Bobo’ (on the farm), then ‘Chibo’ (at J.A.C.K.), this little one will have a new name upon arrival at Lola. Our little friend is ready to fly, has gained in weight and  strength. The flight will be in the coming days. I am very excited and extremely fortunate as I am the one who will fly with the little boy   in order to  introduce him to his new life.

bonobo ready to leave
bonobo ready to leave

I’ll come back soon with the end of this long story and with lots of pictures,

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8 commentaires

  1. charity

    This story warms my heart! I just did a painting of Chibo and found out how Chibo was found! I appreciate all that people do to protect the wildlife that remains!! Merci beaucoup Carole!! Chibo et magnifique!!

  2. Theresa

    Wonderful news! I am so happy this little one will be at Lola with his own kind but sad that a baby bonobo was with a high ranking person who should know better. He looks so much better after the care he received at JACK. You all are the best!

  3. Amy

    What a lucky little bonobo! He has obviously flourished in your care.

    Coincidentally, I’m reading Bonobo Handshake right now (by Vanessa Woods). She’s quite an engaging writer and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about bonobos and Lola ya Bonobo.

  4. Hakim

    Tu auras marqué ma vie à jamais Chibo … j’espère que la tienne durera encore très longtemps et que tu seras l’un des male qui repeuplera les forêts congolaises …

    Portes toi du mieux possible mon petit bonobo de combat, tu me manques chaque jour.


    Ton grand frère de France petit chibo

  5. Chibo… qu’elle histoire que cette histoire là!
    De celle qui marque l’existence à jamais!
    J’espère du fond du coeur, que tout ira bien pour lui au « Paradis des Bonobos » et qu’il aura un jour la chance de retrouver sa forêt… libre!
    Je ne peux m’empêcher d’éprouver un peu de peine de le voir « partir » mais la joie qu’il retrouve les siens est encore bien plus grande! Bonne chance à toi « mon » p’tit Chibo. Prends soin de toi mon ami!
    Sache qu’ici nous pensons très fort à toi et t’aimons profondément!
    Ta « maman de coeur »

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