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Bonobo walking in green grass at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary

Rescue & Care

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At Lola ya Bonobo, orphaned bonobos are rescued from the illegal trade in wildlife, nursed back to health, and cared for as long as needed, sometimes for the rest of their lives.

The World's Only Bonobo Sanctuary

At Lola ya Bonobo (“Bonobo Paradise”), orphaned baby bonobos are given a safe and healthy home. Here they learn how to live like bonobos again. Many of them may be released back into the wild!

Since 2002, the sanctuary in the DR Congo has rescued and cared for hundreds of bonobos. About 70 bonobos of all ages now live in densely forested enclosures on the 75-acre site.


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Healing Wounds

Specially trained teams work with Congolese wildlife authorities to organize rescues of orphaned bonobos. Without Lola, there would be no place for these innocent victims to go for healing.

​Baby bonobos usually arrive malnourished and in pretty bad shape. They often have intestinal parasites and illnesses and they even come with broken arms and bullet wounds. Our dedicated veterinarians have an amazing record of saving baby bonobos and nursing them back to health!

Veterinarian with baby bonobo at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary
Veterinarian and surrogate mother with baby bonobo at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary
Surrogate mom with baby bonobo at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary
Surrogate mom with baby bonobo at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary
At Lola ya Bonobo, we recognize that psychological care is just as important as physical care. 

Bonobos that arrive at Lola are almost always the victims of poaching. They have been traumatized by the slaughter of their mother and often their entire family group. They endured captivity, often in terrible conditions. They survived a stressful trip by motorbike, airplane, and automobile to reach safety at Lola ya Bonobo.

To help baby bonobos overcome their trauma, each one is paired with a human surrogate mother. In the wild, bonobo moms carry their babies constantly for 4 to 5 years!

Human surrogate mothers are trained to provide the love and care baby bonobos need to live. Every day the "Mamas" feed, bathe, carry, and play with their growing bonobos. They help them create social bonds with the other bonobos. A mother’s love is the key to survival for these rescued bonobos​!

Healing Hearts


Give a Baby Bonobo a Surrogate Mother


Visit the Sanctuary

In addition to providing lifetime care for rescued bonobos, our sanctuary is an exciting educational destination for local schoolchildren, families, and international tourists. 

Overnight stays are available, too, with special behind-the-scenes experiences!

Group of bonobos at Lola ya Bonobo Sanctuary

Want to Visit Bonobo Paradise?

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