On September 22, 2008 our sweet, sweet Dorothy died. Read Dr. Speede's tribute to her friend.
After being orphaned by a hunter who killed her mother, Dorothy was sold as a “mascot” and tethered to the ground by a heavy neck chain at an amusement park/hotel. For over 25 years, Dorothy was taunted and teased by visitors to the park, taught to drink beer and smoke cigarettes for human amusement. People laughed at Dorothy, but no one came close enough to touch her. The hotel staff claimed she was vicious.
Nama endured at least 15 yrs chained to
the ground, becoming emaciated and weak.
Within a month of her first meeting with the staff of IDA-Africa in March 1999 Dorothy was welcoming her new friends with big smiles and warm hugs whenever they visited her.
After nine years, Nama, a young chimpanzee who had also had her mother stolen from her for bushmeat, was tethered on a chain within sight but out of reach of Dorothy. Dorothy and Nama were not close enough to touch and comfort one another. For 16 lonely years Nama lived on this chain. Because she was chained behind Dorothy, and farther from passing visitors who would throw down morsels of food, Nama received little food.
Nama was a small adult, her growth stunted and teeth decayed by years of malnutrition. She also suffered from a severe intestinal parasite infection and resulting anemia. The staff worried that she might die before they could arrange to take her to IDA-Africa's Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center.
In May 2000, IDA-Africa organized a forced confiscation of Dorothy, Nama and nine other primates who were also being held at the hotel/park. The Cameroon Ministry of the Environment and Forestry was the legal entity that carried out the rescue, and Cameroon’s military police provided protection for Dr. Speede and the other technicians who removed and relocated the primates.
Dorothy with adopted son Bouboule at Sanaga-Yong Center.
Read the beautiful story of Dorothy and Bouboule, her adopted son.
Nama in a tree looking at the forest canopy. Far from her days of life chained to the ground.
Nama (l) with alpha male Jacky (center) and Gabby.
Nama (l) and Dorothy at Sanaga-Yong Center.