Meet Ikela

Ikela sitting in grass. 2020. (9).jpg



Arrival Date:

Age at Arrival:

Surrogate Mama:

Fun Facts:



September 2020


She loves jumping on the trampoline and exploring the forest

Ikela's Rescue

Ikela was rescued by local police from a wildlife trafficker who was trying to sell her illegally in Mondombe. She was cared for by a member of Congolese NGO UALCN (Union of Indigenous People for Nature Conservation) while awaiting transport to Lola. Ikela traveled over 600km by motorbike from Mondombe to Boende before making the final stretch to Lola ya Bonobo. 

A Tough Beginning

Ikela arrived dangerously weak and malnourished. She was reluctant to eat at first, but once on a balanced and nutritious diet, she began putting on weight and grew stronger and healthier each day. In the early stages of her recovery, Ikela was cared for by nurse Mimie, and the two developed a bond that helped Ikela begin to heal. Soon after, she was transferred to the nursery and assigned to Mama Gladys. 

A Happy Ending

With plenty of love from her substitute mom Gladys, she is now a playful and inquisitive little bonobo who loves jumping on the trampoline and exploring the forest. She trusts Gladys wholeheartedly, and her hard-won smiles can melt anyone’s heart.

Ikela's condition upon rescue. 2020. (2).jpeg
Ikela hugging Mimie. 2020. (3).jpg
Gladys and Ikela April 2021 Photo Lisa Murray 7 (4) (1).jpg

She gets along well with others, especially her best friend Mondombe, and can hold her own among her rougher male bonobo playmates.  Mama Gladys says she is "good with friends, but if you provoke her she's going to make trouble"!