In Defense of Animals
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Sponsor a Chimpanzee Today ... And Help
Secure Their Tomorrows



Moabi, healthy and thriving today

Estimated Birth March 1999

An injured Moabi was brought to the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center by employees of a logging company in March 2000. As the hunter who killed Moabi's mother was finishing her off with a machete, he accidentally hit her clinging baby on the head with the weapon. Afterward, he thought the baby would die from the wound. Believing that he could not profit by selling Moabi, he gave him to the logging company employees.

When Moabi arrived at the Center, he had an infected wound that oozed pus and a skull fracture above his left eye and was, indeed, in danger of dying. His extensive injury required three surgeries during the first month after his arrival at the Center. That Moabi survived his terrible emotional and physical trauma is evidence that he has a very strong spirit. He is named after the Moabi tree, which is one of the strongest trees in Cameroon, and is itself an endangered species.

Please visit our Sponsor A Chimpanzee page to learn about all of the chimpanzees in our adoption program and the adoption process.

 Thank You

There are many individuals whose financial support has been essential to the work of IDA-Africa. On behalf of our friends at Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center in whose lives you have made such a difference, we thank you. Also, we are very grateful to our supporting organizations, which include: 

Ahimsa Foundation
Arcus Foundation
Foundation in Memory of Louise H. Foley
Great Ape Project
Primates On-line

Amerada Hess Triton Equatorial Guinea
Robert Cooper
Mimi Cristall
Ron and Andrea Dumas
Helga Handel
Carla Key
Lux Lighting
Meg Miller and Jon Ratner
Iain Moffat and Mohamed Jantan
Philip Montamidi
Richard Satnick/Laughing Planet Café
Mirjam Schot
Stan and Cindy Umberger-Jones
Muriel Van Housen

A few words from our supporters …

Thank you for giving them a safe home. Those faces tell so many stories but you can only give them love; they are so adorable. I'm glad for people like you who protect them … 

Denielle Lategan
Cape Town, South Africa

Excellent work! Many western citizens have forgotten the importance of populations off the North American continent, but efforts like this keep putting the global significance of conservation into perspective - I wish you all the luck and persistance possible!

Michael Kundu, Director
Project SeaWolf Coastal Protection, USA

We are here in Ireland and support your vital work to save the great rainforests and those magnificant gorillas, chimps and monkeys. We encourage everyone who is reading this to do whatever they can to help save the rainforests.

Animal Rights Action Network

… I'm from Houston, Texas but work out of West Africa and volunteered at the camp … Not only does [Dr. Speede] help the chimpanzees but also the local villages in the area … It's not a four star hotel but it is a place which is educating Cameroon to try and stop the brutal killings of chimpanzees, gorillas, and monkeys. Nothing is wasted there and a little goes a long way.

Philip Montamidi
Equatorial Guinea

I visited Cameroon in February 1997 … I stayed at the Atlantic Beach Hotel, which was a lovely place except that it had three adult chimpanzees incarcerated in three separate, small, utterly depressing, row cages. Dr. Sheri Speede visited the hotel and decided to leave lovely Portland, Oregon for Cameroon … she succeeded in providing a home for the hotel chimpanzees and many other abused animals. It would have been so much easier to stay in Portland. Sheri is a saint by my definition and you can't go wrong supporting this project!

Shirley McGreal, President
International Primate Protection League, USA

Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center: Operating Realities

What does it take to run a chimpanzee sanctuary in Cameroon, Africa? The following realities illustrate practical functionality of day to day life at the Rescue Center: 

  • The Rescue Center employs 19 full-time Cameroonians as chimpanzee caregivers, security and education staff, and general support
  • 24-hour intensive care in the nursery involves costly medicines, infant formula,
    and extra staff
  • Most medicines and supplies are purchased in the U.S. and carried into Cameroon
    and Sanaga-Yong
  • Food items are purchased locally from villages or grown in our own garden at the site
  • Dr. Speede personally manages all construction, which includes handmade bricks
  • Electricity for Rescue Center fences and buildings is generated by solar power

    In addition to around-the-clock commitment at the Rescue Center, success is inevitably contingent on the raising of funds. It costs approximately $150,000 per year to manage IDA-Africa and its international chimpanzee conservation campaign. We make a dollar go a long way. 

 Where does the support come from?


Volunteers at the Rescue Center

The Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center employs 19 full-time Cameroonians.
Each year, in February and August, three volunteers join the staff to live and work at the forest site.  In addition to their six month commitment, all volunteers speak conversational French, and most have experience working with Great Apes and living in a developing country.

Dutch Treat
by Mirjam Schot (12-24-02)

With volunteers and visitors coming from everywhere (U.S., Canada, France, etc), the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center spreads its wings around the world. When you have looked into the eyes of one of the residents of the sanctuary, there is no way that you can ever get them out of your mind again. For me it has become quite an obsession.

Mirjam with Simon, Cindy and Hope

My name is Mirjam Schot; I was a volunteer for the SYCRC from October 2001 until April 2002. After my return to the Netherlands I had a hard time stopping what I had been doing in Cameroon: to make people aware of the problems that chimpanzees (and other animals) face every day.

 I'm fortunate to be able to return to the sanctuary in January 2003. I did not want to arrive empty-handed - money is needed badly since 15 chimpanzees have arrived since my departure. I started a small campaign in Holland last September to raise money and to promote the adoption program. So far, thirteen chimpanzees have been adopted by Dutch and Belgium people, raising over $2,000. More will follow in the coming weeks. The project has been featured in Dutch newspapers and on television. I held three information evenings in the town where I live, attended by people from all over Holland and Belgium, generating an additional $1,200.

Most people I speak with don't know about the bushmeat trade and habitat destruction. We can all contribute to making people aware of the mission of the SYCRC. Speaking with friends and family is a way to start and maybe the message will travel the world before the chimpanzees become extinct. We can all make the difference!

[Mirjam Schot advocates for animals in her native Holland. She is currently enjoying her second volunteer commitment with the Rescue Center chimpanzees.]

Life in the African Bush is a Challenge
by Al Hainisch (12-30-02)

In August, 2003 I spent six weeks at Sanaga-Yong as a special projects volunteer. I saw chimpanzees living life as they were meant to live it. Adult chimpanzees went into the forest each morning to climb trees, groom each other and bask in the sun. Each

Al at Sanaga-Yong

day infant chimpanzees spent hours playing in their own special part of the forest.

My initiation to Cameroon's challenges occurred on the ten-hour train ride from the capital Yaounde to Belabo, the town nearest the sanctuary. Our train suddenly lost power and silently coasted to a halt. Just as we stopped moving my body was slammed against the compartment wall as our passenger car was rammed from behind by the baggage car, which had apparently lost its brakes and did not stop with the rest of the train. We spent a tense half hour watching flashlights move through the dark as engineers inspected the tracks to see if we had derailed.

The road from Belabo to Sanaga-Yong is in many places a twisting steep dirt track that after a heavy rain resembles a slalom ski course. During the rainy season the road develops mud holes deep enough to swallow a car.

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