https://www.thedodo.com/in-the-wild/baby-bonobo-smiles-at-rescuer
Rescue

Baby bonobo can't stop smiling at man who rescued her

September 11th, 2019

Even though animals can’t speak, there is always that special look in their eyes that shows gratitude towards humans that will melt everyone’s hearts.

Meet Esake, a small baby bonobo who has been through a lot in her life, but is now finally smiling again thanks to the valiant efforts of animal rescuers and police.

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BCI Source: BCI

Poor Esake was separated from her mother shortly after birth.

Some concerned people spotted her hanging on the back of a bicycle as if she was treated like an ordinary object. The poor bonobo was reportedly headed to a shady market in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where she would have been sold illegally. This poor ape was just a couple of months old and she should’ve been with her mother, especially at this age, but she was about to lead a very unhappy life.

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BCI Source: BCI

Luckily, someone who saw Esake on the bike decided to intervene.

The unknown individual then contacted the local police and authorities who were more than willing to help. They then discovered that the bicycle belonged to a ‘professional’ hunter. He was carrying a shipment of bushmeat with him, headed for the market.

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BCI Source: BCI

They also found out that the hunter actually mercilessly killed Esake’s mom with a poisoned arrow.

The pain she must’ve felt caused by the poison was likely excruciating, not to mention the injury caused by the impact of the arrow itself.

It’s common practice that the infants of killed apes aren’t put down, instead, the hunters take them with them to sell or trade them on the illegal pet market.

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BCI Source: BCI

Luckily, the police managed to rescue Esake from the claws of this criminal.

Esake later found a new friend at the Bonobo Conservation Initiative who always manages to lift her spirits.

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BCI Source: BCI

Héritier Mpo is a known partner of the Bonobo Conservation Initiative and the lovely animal just always smiles whenever she’s near him. That incredible smile truly says more than a thousand words. The two had a strong bond right away, and Esake didn’t want to leave Héritier out of her sight.

The man and the animal rescue organization then coördinated with another non-profit organization for bonobo’s in particular, Lola Ya Bonobo. The goal was to find this adorable animal a spot at a nice sanctuary – but she still needed transportation from the jungle to the sanctuary in Kinshasa, and that proved to be a bigger challenge than one might think.

“Transportation is difficult and expensive in the DRC, and we must get Esake to sanctuary as soon as possible to ensure her health and safety,” the Bonobo Conservation Initiative wrote. “Bonobo rescues can also be dangerous to the humans involved.”

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BCI Source: BCI

Héritier wanted to make sure that Esake got there safe and volunteered to transport her there.

Unfortunately, the kind man had a scary motorbike accident while transporting Esake. It wasn’t life-threatening or very serious, but Héritier did hurt his leg. As for the bonobo, she came out of the accident completely unscathed.

“Esake has had a harrowing couple of weeks. Although traumatized and weak, Esake began to regain some strength [and] flourished under Héritier’s care. She readily took to drinking from a bottle and eating fruit.”

It was clear that Héritier was the main reason why Esake finally started smiling again.

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BCI Source: BCI

“We are pleased to report that she arrived in Kinshasa on Tuesday and is now getting adjusted to her new home!”

When the two finally arrived at the sanctuary in Kinshasa, they both had to go their separate ways. Esake is now safe and sound in the bonobo sanctuary where she’ll lead a happy and stressfree life, surrounded by others.

A smile can truly say more than a thousand words.

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Source: The Dodo, Bonobo Conservation Initiative

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