Ikoto is the youngest bonobo Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary has ever rescues. When he came to us, he only had 6 teeth!
The youngest rescue ever - Ikoto!
Ikoto was rescued from the illegal wildlife trade in March of 2023.
He made it to Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary after being rescued by one of our partners in the field, Héritier Mpo. Loto stayed with Mama Elando (a trained caretaker) in Lodja briefly while awaiting cross-country transport.
Ikoto's Big Trip
We were lucky to receive a call about an available flight for Ikoto within days of his rescue. The team in Lodja said goodbye to Ikoto and brought him to the aiport to make his journey to Kinshasa. He was met by Dr. Jonas who evaluated traumatised Ikoto and helped make him feel safe after a long and lonely trip.
Ikoto's First Teeth!
After evaluating Ikoto's health, Dr. Jonas determined that Ikoto was only about 3 months old - and had only 6 teeth!
He is the youngest bonobo that Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary has ever rescued, and it was clear he needed round-the-clock care. Overall, Ikoto was in good health and was adapting well.
The team had high hopes for his recovery.
All Eyes on Ikoto
Ikoto spent his first night at the sanctuary cuddled up with Dr. Jonas. Because he was so young, he needed a lot of attention. He was paired with surrogate mama, Huguette, who spent most days and nights with him while he was really small. His care was shared by Director of Bonobo Wellness Suzy Kwetuenda, as well as Dr. Jonas and Dr. Raphael.
Ikoto quickly gained confidence and trust in his caretakers. He drinks baby formula and eats fruit. His mama Huguette is teaching him about different foods, and helping to build his courage!
Adjusting to his New Life
So far, Ikoto is doing well adjusting to his new life at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary with Mama Huguette and Mama Yvonne. But, he has a long road ahead of him! Ikoto is just at the start of his journey to rehabilitation and has many hurdles to overcome before he can make it back to the wild one day.
Ikoto has grown a lot since his rescue at 3 months old - including his hair!