Chimpanzee populations are dwindling at an alarming rate. Fewer than 150,000 remain in the wild where as recently as the early 1900's the wild forests of Africa were home to nearly 2 million chimpanzees. The illegal, commercial bushmeat trade and habitat loss are the primary threats to ape populations. As the logging industry continues to cut roads into the forests there is increased access for bushmeat poachers to reach what once was remote wildlands. The impact on great apes (and other wildlife) is devastating. These two powerful, destructive forces feed one another like wind feeds a fire. The trade in bushmeat is illegal but while the demand persists, the pressure on remaining wild chimpanzees will continue and their future is in peril.
At IDA-Africa's Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, 57 chimpanzees whose mothers were killed for the illegal bushmeat trade live in lush, forested enclosures ~ free to climb trees, run, jump, laugh and to form strong, loving bonds within adoptive family groups. Some of the orphans at the Sanaga-Yong Center were rescued as infants, soon after they were taken from the forest by hunters. Others languished in strict, debilitating confinement for decades before getting their second chance for a life of joy and dignity at Sanaga-Yong Center.
IDA-Africa's extensive public education and sensitization campaign helps to raise awareness of the laws against holding, selling or killing any great apes and of the plight of the remaining wild apes. Our efforts are helping to change attitudes and behaviors through school and community education programs, a country-wide radio campaign, general outreach, and participation in community events.
In Defense of Animals-Africa is a non-governmental organization in the Republic of Cameroon. Founded in 1999 by Sheri Speede, DVM, its mission is to save Cameroon's chimpanzees and gorillas from extinction, wage a conservation campaign against the illegal bushmeat trade, and provide sanctuary in a natural environment for chimpanzee orphans of the illegal bushmeat trade.
Efforts to stop the killing of chimpanzees and gorillas through education, sensitization and increased law enforcement include direct collaboration with other non-profit organizations and with the Cameroon government.
to learn more, read about individual chimpanzees, and about IDA-Africa's conservation efforts. And please...join our efforts now! Our chimpanzee sponsorship program is a great opportunity to make a difference and makes a special gift too!