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Thank you for your support of Friends of Bonobos
Friends of Bonobos

Update on Ekolo Trackers


Dear friends,

The good news we've been hoping for has now been confirmed: David Mokamoa and Victor Lokofata, the two trackers most severely wounded in the accident that occurred at EKOLO YA BONOBO release site last August, will soon be receiving reconstructive facial surgery from renowned French surgeon Professor Laurent Lantieri in Paris. David and Victor will have to undergo five rounds of surgery over a 6 to 7 month period. The first round is scheduled in early February. Claudine will travel to Paris with the trackers in a few days.
 


David Victor

We would like to sincerely thank all of you who so generously responded to the crisis with offers of support and sympathy in the past six months.  In France, preparations for receiving the trackers are in full swing: coordinating with the hospital and the specialized guest house where the men will stay between operations, collecting warm clothes for the winter, collecting donated miles to secure free airfares, general planning to keep the trackers company during these long months, and much more.
              
Some background: on August 3, 2011, three of the trackers were bitten by the bonobos at the release site, EKOLO YA BONOBO, resulting in serious injuries.  The wounded men were immediately flown to Kinshasa, where they were hospitalized at the Medical Center of Kinshasa.  Jim Bofey left the clinic in early September; after a few months recovering at LOLA YA BONOBO, he has returned home.  Victor and David were more severely wounded: they lost the best part of their nose and phalanges of several fingers; Victor also lost an ear. They have been recovering at LOLA YA BONOBO for the past four months, anxiously awaiting this day... 

At EKOLO YA BONOBO, the released bonobos are doing fine.  Food provisioning has been resumed so that the bonobos can be observed daily without having to track them in the forest.  After a two month suspension due to the presidential elections, consultations with relevant stakeholders from the Ministry of Environment and other environmental actors in the Maringa-Lopori-Wamba Landscape resumed this January to decide on the next steps in the release process.
 
Please continue to support the Lola sanctuary and Ekolo release!
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