Age at Arrival:
Tshimbulu, Kasaï Central Province
November 11th, 2019
Tshimbulu loves sugarcane and climbing trees!
One day in late 2019, one of our employees was browsing the internet and spotted two little bonobos up for illegal sale on Facebook marketplace. One was Tshimbulu. His captor was trying to use the social media platform to sell Tshimbulu and his companion as pets.
Though illegal, the global pet trade is usually where young bonobo orphans end up. But bonobos and other great apes should never be kept as a pets! Not only do they suffer from isolation from other bonobos, they grow up to be very strong and can become dangerous.
After we found out about Tshimbulu, we immediately sent a team to rescue him and his companion. Soon after, local authorities apprehended his captor and we brought Tshimbulu to safety. Sadly, the little bonobo with him died of an infection shortly after arriving at the sanctuary, despite our best efforts to save him.
Tshimbulu was also in pretty bad shape when he arrived at Lola ya Bonobo. This little guy was struggling with severe
Rescued from Internet Trade
dehydration and malnourishment, and the veterinary team was very concerned about how underweight he was for a three-year-old bonobo. Despite his condition he quickly began to thrive at the sanctuary, and soon took to eating and drinking normally. He immediately bonded with his new mama, C’Arrive, who provided him with love and care similar to what his bonobo mother would have given him in the wild.
Today, Tshimbulu is big and strong! Though he loves sugarcane, he’s all around a great eater - happily munching on his veggies! Tshimbulu’s favorite thing to do is climb trees, and can he can often be found laughing down at us from a branch far above the mamas’ heads. In November 2021, Tshimbulu and four of his friends (Lolabu, Diyoko. Omandja and Mpongo) graduated from the nursery and joined the bonobos in Enclosure 2.