Age at Arrival:
May 6, 2020
He has a rare chestnut brown color, is very playful and loves to jump on the trampoline!
COVID Baby Rescue
Although many jobs took a pause at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, rescuing bonobos was not one of them. In fact, it got more intense! Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary had more rescues in 2020 than in the previous 6 years combined. Orphaned babies desperately needed our help. Baby Omandja was the second bonobo rescued during the pandemic, and we’re so happy to have him in our Lola family.
Fighting to Get to Lola Ya Bonobo
In May of 2020, Omandja was found in Sankuru in very poor shape. He had swollen eyes, swollen cheeks, and sores all over his body. Despite his condition, resilient little Omandja survived weeks waiting for a flight and then the arduous journey to the airport, on the plane, and to the sanctuary. Dr. Jonas, our head veterinarian, left the sanctuary in full protective gear to wait for him at the airport. When Omandja arrived, the two quickly returned to Lola ya Bonobo, where strict quarantine protocols were in place.
Although he was dehydrated and malnourished, we could tell Omandja was a fighter from the day he arrived. He immediately regained a healthy appetite, which is always a good sign that a baby bonobo will survive. At Lola, Omandja was paired with Mama Micheline, and the two bonded right away. Before long, Omandja was cleared from his quarantine period, and was able to meet all his new friends in the nursery.
Happy Mama's Boy
Since his arrival, Omandja has evolved a lot in the nursery group. He’s very social, and loves jumping on the trampoline with his bonobo buddies. He’s still very close with his substitute mama, and gets very jealous when the other bonobos try to play with her!
He loves games, and has easily charmed all of the mamas in the nursery with his smiley disposition. Omandja is easy to pick out of the group because his fur is a remarkable chestnut brown color, much lighter than the darker coloring of the other bonobos.
In November 2021, Omandja and four of his friends (Lolabu, Diyoko, Tshimbulu and Mpongo) graduated from the nursery and joined the bonobos in Enclosure 2. Now that Omandja is one of the older juveniles, we are excited to see how he will develop!