Meet Tshimbulu




Arrival Date:

Age at Arrival:

Surrogate Mama:

Fun Facts:


Tshimbulu, Kasaï Central Province

November 11th, 2019

3 years


Tshimbulu loves sugarcane and climbing trees!

One day in late 2019, one of our employees was browsing the internet and spotted two little bonobos up for sale on facebook marketplace, one of which was Tshimbulu. His captor was trying to use the website to sell Tshimbulu and his companion as pets. Though highly illegal, the pet trade is often where we find young orphaned bonobos. However, bonobos are not suitable for life with humans and it is against the law to possess or sell a bonobo in the Congo (and many other countries)! 

After we found out about Tshimbulu, we immediately sent a team to rescue him and his companion. Soon after, local authorities apprehended his captor and we brought Tshimbulu to safety. Sadly, the little bonobo he was with died of an infection shortly after arriving at the sanctuary, despite our best efforts to save him.

Tshimbulu was also in pretty bad shape when he arrived at Lola ya Bonobo. This little guy was struggling with severe dehydration and malnourishment, and the veterinary team was very concerned about how underweight he was for a three year old bonobo. Despite his condition he quickly began to thrive at the sanctuary, and soon took to eating and drinking normally. He immediately bonded with his new mama, C’Arrive, who continues to provide him with the love and care that his bonobos mother would in the wild. 

Today, Tshimbulu is big and strong! Though he loves sugarcane, he’s all around a great eater - even happily munches on his veggies! Tshimbulu’s favorite thing to do is climb the trees in the nursery, and can usually be found laughing down at us from a branch far above the mamas’ heads.


C'arrive giving Tshimbulu a bottle. 2019..jpeg
tshimbulu and s'arrive 2.jpg

Find out more about Tshimbulu on our social media!


​Learn more about the fascinating lives of bonobos!

Sign up for our email list: