Meet Diyoko




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Age at Arrival:

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Lodja, Sankuru Province

February 3rd,  2020

4 Years


Diyoko's favorite food is sweet potato leaves!

Before we found him, this handsome guy was being kept as a pet in Lodja. Thanks to ABC’s growing awareness and bonobo education programs in DR Congo, when several community members realized that their neighbor was illegally keeping a bonobo, they became concerned about Diyoko and alerted us to his plight. 


Soon after, Diyoko was located and rescued by Héritier Mpo, a Lola partner in the field, who explained to Diyoko’s captor the necessity of safe and healthy environments for young bonobos and the legal and endangered status of the species. The man surrendered Diyoko.


Traumatized by his ordeal, Diyoko was becoming increasingly stressed and was in danger of dying of emotional neglect. Despite some comfort from another rescued bonobo, Diyoko remained in extreme distress and began lashing out and attempting to injure himself and others. 


Héritier was concerned Diyoko would not survive the 10-day wait for transport to the sanctuary. Knowing time was of the essence, lead surrogate mom Yvonne headed quickly to Lodja to begin working with Diyoko. Mama Yvonne spent the week getting to know him, gently and slowly building an emotional bond. 


With Yvonne’s care, Diyoko’s behavior was quickly transformed - reinforcing what all our substitute mamas know: a little love goes a long way! After he finally arrived at Lola, Diyoko was paired with Mama Niclette. 


Today, he is thriving in the nursery with all his new friends. He loves to play games and run around the bonobo playground with his newfound family.

Diyoko (left) and Tshumbulu on trampoline - cropped by Lisa Murray.jpg

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