Dear friends, colleagues and sponsors,
On the 3rd of August 2011, a terrible accident occurred at the bonobo reintroduction site of “Ekolo ya Bonobo”. Three of the trackers were bitten by the bonobos, resulting in severe injuries.
We immediately chartered a plane for the medical evacuation of the injured trackers to Kinshasa. The three injured men are currently hospitalised at the Medical Centre of Kinshasa (CMK) where they have already been operated on and are receiving the best immediate care possible.
As a result of being bitten, both Victor and David lost the best part of their nose; Victor also lost an ear; all three have lost several phalanges of various fingers. Despite the seriousness of the injuries, we are all awestruck by their courage in the wake of this accident!
Faced with such urgency, we have managed to cover initial medical expenses in Kinshasa with the association’s reserve funds for running “Lola ya Bonobo”. But how can we respond to this unexpected and exorbitant financial situation?
As a matter of urgency, we need to mobilize solidarity outside of the DRC, including support for reconstructive facial surgery for both Victor and David. A specialised surgeon in France has very generously offered his services; we are working to secure support for the hospital’s expenses; airfares; and all other costs both in Kinshasa and in France.
These men come from the Province of Equateur deep in the Congo Basin, habitat to the Bonobos. They have already suffered much during two decades of civil war. For their courage and their dedication to the cause of bonobo conservation, we ask you to please help us to help them!