In Defense of Animals
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 Please Visit Our New Website At Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue!

We Have Exciting News To Share!

We Are Changing Our Name & Charitable Status From Our Beloved IDA-Africa To Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue!

(Daniel - Photo courtesy of Jacques Gillon)

As of the beginning of this year we have had an exciting announcement! We are joyfully embarking on a new phase in our evolution as an organization! Please visit our new website at to learn more. 

In 1999, Dr. Sheri Speede established IDA-Africa as a program of In Defense of Animals (IDA) to be the fund-raising arm for our lifesaving work in Africa. That same year, Sheri and her staff brought the first rescued chimpanzees to the new sanctuary, which would soon be named Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, based on its location near the confluence of the Sanaga and Yong Rivers in Cameroon’s Mbargue Forest.

Today, after 18 years of rescuing orphaned, illegally trafficked chimpanzees, we are separating from IDA to operate as a new U.S.-based non-profit organization, aptly named Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue, after the beautiful sanctuary in Cameroon. We have been working toward this goal for several years and have built an active, enthusiastic Board of Directors dedicated specifically to our critical mission.

All of our successes – saving lives; providing a safe, healthy and nurturing environment; collaborating with locals and law enforcement; educating people around the world; developing and sustaining local economies; and conserving large tracks of land for our sanctuary as well as lands for free-living populations – have been made possible because friends like you have been by our side. As we look to the future with excitement, we are confident we are in a better position than ever to help ensure the survival of our closest cousins.

As we have transitioned from our beloved IDA-Africa to Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue,
an independent charitable organization, your participation has been vital! Together, we will continue to save chimpanzee lives and help rescue their magnificent species from extinction!

Enjoy an audio postcard of dinnertime at the sanctuary, which aired across the U.S. on the acclaimed public radio show, The World.

Diane Toomey, co-author of the children's book written for the school curriculum of Cameroon, shares her experience at Sanaga-Yong Rescue and the excitement of the chimpanzees as they are called for dinner.

Laughing Planet Cafe Contribution

Thank you to Laughing Planet Café for being our biggest corporate sponsor and one of our leading contributors overall!

Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue is the beneficiary of the Kid’s Smoothie Promotion, a program which makes a huge difference in the lives of the 72 chimpanzee resident of our sanctuary! Laughing Planet Café is known for offering nutritious, affordable and delicious fare in a unique and fun atmosphere! But that’s not all! Their commitment to conservation, sustainability, and the community is well-known and very much appreciated! We thank you Laughing Planet Café for your compassion toward great apes and your overall dedication to our beautiful planet! 

Enter a world of tender friendships, staunch loyalties, violent jealousies ~ and enduring love!

"All who read this book will be deeply moved! How fortunate for Dorothy and the other orphaned, captive chimpanzees - and for those of us who care about them, passionately - that there are people like Sheri Speede who risk their health, and work for a pittance, to rescue them. Sheri's words will bring a tear to all but the hardest of hearts. And a lot of smiles as well!" - Jane Goodall, Ph.D., DBE founder - Jane Goodall Institute & UN Messenger of Peace

KINDRED BEINGS: What Seventy-Three Chimpanzees Taught Me About Life, Love and Connection written by IDA-Africa's founder and director Dr. Sheri Speede




Welcome to IDA-Africa!





IDA-Africa is a member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

Thank you LACSY (Friends of Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzees) a French non-profit organization raising funds for our work in Cameroon! Special thanks to Perrine Odier!

Speak Out!

Join Dorothy's Circle

Our Promise

Cameroon's national celebrities speak up about chimpanzee conservation

Chimpanzee Dorothy's Funeral

Dr. Sheri Speede at Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center

In a powerful PSA, Cameroon's national celebrities lend their voices to chimpanzee conservation and speak against the illegal ape meat trade. Watch Help spread the word!

Published in the November 2009 edition of National Geographic, this photo of Dorothy's funeral awakened the world to the emotional lives of chimpanzees. Learn more

Experience Sanaga-Yong Rescue, as our Founder, Dr. Sheri Speede shares our vision and promise for the future. Watch


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