In Defense of Animals
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Welcome Kimbang!
Est. date of birth June 2013 

(Baby Kimbang upon arrival, and three weeks later playing in the forest.
Photos courtesy of Jacques Gillon)

On the 27th of December Cameroon authorities arrived at Sanaga-Yong Rescue Center with a sad, malnourished, anemic little chimpanzee in a wooden box. A day earlier in the town of Bertoua, two hours away, some men had dropped the box on the street and run away when they saw police. Old scars around the baby’s waist from a rope that had cruelly restrained her, the filthy dark box and her frail physical and mental state left us to guess at the horrors she had endured after surviving the slaughter of her family. The name Kimbang means “white one” in the Northwest Cameroon dialect of our veterinary technician Nicholas Banadzem. The name was sadly descriptive of the little chimpanzee with too pale skin and sparse hair.

But with good nutrition and loving care at Sanaga-Yong Center Kimbang is recovering and growing stronger every day. Three weeks after she arrived (above right) she was climbing small trees with joy and determination! 


Est. date of birth January 2014

(Photo courtesy of Jacques Gillon)

Just before Christmas last year we announced the arrival of a new rescued baby chimpanzee to Sanaga-Yong Rescue Center and requested suggestions for her name. We are excited to share with you that our staff in Cameroon chose the name Gnala, which was suggested to us by future volunteer Amy Hanes. It means “sweetie” or “sweetheart” in Zarma, a local language of Niger, and little Gnala already knows it's hers. Under the vigilant and loving supervision of their human caregivers, Gnala and Kimbang are learning to play, trust and love! 

While IDA-Africa's primary goals are to provide sanctuary for chimpanzee orphans of the illegal ape meat trade and protection for the free-living chimpanzees of the Mbargue Forest, our efforts also focus on a variety of conservation and community concerns.

(Photo courtesy of Jacques Gillon) 

IDA-Africa built a school in the Village of Meyene and contributes to the salaries of three schoolteachers. Our soon to be published children’s book will be used in the curriculum. Our goal is to instill in the next generation of forest stewards an appreciation of chimpanzees as kindred beings who deserve respect and protection.

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 being written for the school curriculum of Cameroon, shares her experience at Sanaga-Yong Rescue Center and the excitement of the chimpanzees as they are called for dinner.

(Friends Moabi, Bikol, Jacky, Mowgli, Simon and Njabeya, orphaned by the illegal ape meat trade, are now safe at Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center - Photo courtesy of Jacques Gillon)

In the forests of Cameroon, habitat destruction and the illegal, commercial ape meat trade are driving chimpanzees rapidly toward extinction. While vulnerable populations dwindle, individual chimpanzees suffer unimaginably. The chimpanzees who die violently in the forest at the hands of poachers are not the only victims of the illegal ape meat trade. Infants who survive the hunt can be sold as pets in Cameroon or smuggled out of the country into North Africa and Asia, ultimately condemned to malnutrition, disease, loneliness and misery.

In Defense of Animals-Africa is giving orphans a second chance to live with dignity and joy in the enclosed tracts of habitat forest at our Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center. We currently care for 72 chimpanzees, ranging in age from two to over fifty years.

Working in collaboration with Cameroon's Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife, we have rescued many of our residents while they were still infants. Others have languished years, sometimes decades, on chains or in tiny cages before we could change their lives.

IDA-Africa is working to solve the root of the problem through national and international awareness and by working with Cameroon's government to support law enforcement. 

Grant funding and corporate donations are a huge part of our success. Thank you to the following foundations and corporations ~
Abraham Foundation
Ahimsa Foundation
Arcus Foundation
Brigitte Bardot Foundation
Cameroon Oil Transportation Company - COTCO
Columbus Zoo and Aquarium Conservation Fund
DePuy Synthes Vet
Disney Wildlife Conservation Fund
Foley/Frischkorn Wildlife and Conservation Fund
International Primate Protection League
Isis Foundation
Laughing Planet Cafe
Les Gourmettes of Yaounde, Cameroon
Lincoln Park Zoo
Meg and Jon Ratner Philanthropic Fund
NW Compounders
Pecten Cameroon Company
Product Services Network
Project Vets
Sound-Eklin Academy of Veterinary Imaging
Superchips New Zealand & Australia Ltd
Veterinary Orthopedic Implants

Welcome to IDA-Africa!




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

Today's Weather
Yaounde, Cameroon




Daily News Update
from Cameroon



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!

All donations to IDA-Africa are tax deductible to the full extent of the law. In Defense of Animals-Africa is a division of In Defense of Animals, a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Laughing Planet Cafe






Our chimpanzees and staff thank you Laughing Planet Cafe for donating all of the proceeds from Kid's Smoothies!

Speak Out!

Join Dorothy's Circle

Our Promise

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 Center, as our Founder, Dr. Sheri Speede shares our vision and promise for the future. Watch

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