Age at Arrival:
Lodja, Sankuru Province
Esake is gentle and loves sugar cane.
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, our partner in the field, Héritier Mpo, swooped in to save the day. Héritier 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.
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.
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.