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Meet Esake

A young bonobo holds a bottle of milk and drinks from it.



Arrival Date:

Age at Arrival:

Surrogate Mama:

Fun Facts:


Lodja, Sankuru Province

April 2019

2.5 years


Esake is gentle and loves sugar cane.

Esake's Rescue

Little Esake was orphaned in early 2019 when a hunter killed her mother for bushmeat. After spending nearly two months in captivity, Esake was on her way to an illegal wildlife market in Lodja when local authorities apprehended her captor and confiscated the scared and malnourished baby bonobo.

After getting a call from the authorities, one of our partners in the field,  swooped in to save the day. He was able to care for Esake until she could be transported to Lola ya Bonobo in April, where we were waiting to welcome her with open arms. 

Baby bonobo held by caregiver
Road to Recovery

When she first arrived at the sanctuary, we weren’t sure Esake would survive the trauma she had been through. She was severely underweight, and suffering from an intense fever. Her small body was riddled with parasites, and she was very shy and skittish. 

In an attempt to save this sweet little bonobo, we paired her with our oldest and most experienced surrogate mother, Mama Yvonne, and the two quickly became inseparable. With the love and devotion of her newly adopted mother, Esake grew accustomed to sanctuary life and slowly came out of her shell.

In July 2019, Esake was introduced to all of her new friends in the nursery. Since then, she can always be counted on to include the other bonobos in her games. She has adapted well to life at Lola.

Baby bonobo being held by caretaker.

Esake is one of the gentlest, calmest baby bonobos we’ve seen at Lola. We hope someday she will make a wonderful role model for all of our bonobos in the adult enclosure as well, and become a great candidate for reintroduction to the wild.


At Lola ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), we have a team of caregivers for rescued bonobos. Meet other Bonobos Omandja, Balangala, Diyoko, Tshimbulu, Lutula, Semendwa, Lolabu, Loto, Ikela, Maya, Bola, Owila, Ikoto, Lenda, Lombo.

 To join our mission to save more lives and Rain forest please Donate here. 

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