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Meet Diyoko




Arrival Date:

Age at Arrival:

Surrogate Mama:

Fun Facts:


Lodja, Sankuru Province

February 3rd,  2020

4 Years


Diyoko's favorite food is sweet potato leaves!

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Awareness Saved Diyoko

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 staff member in the field. He 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.

Diyoko (left) and Tshumbulu on trampoline - cropped by Lisa Murray.jpg
Dealing with Trauma and Neglect

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. 

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Healed With Love

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. 


He loves to play games and run around the bonobo playground with his newfound family. Diyoko is a thriving young bonobo, and in November 2021, he  and four of his friends (Lolabu, Omandja, Mpongo and Tshimbulu ) graduated from the nursery and joined the bonobos in the forested Enclosure 2. In time, we hope to be able to return him to the wild at our protected preserve.

At Lola ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we have a team of caregivers for rescued bonobos.  Meet our other Bonobos Omandja, Balangala, Diyoko, Tshimbulu, Lutula, Semendwa, Lolabu, Loto, Ikela, Maya, Bola, Owila, Ikoto, Lenda, Lombo. To join our mission to save lives and Rain forest please Donate here.

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