In Defense of Animals
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Kimbang: The Baby in the Box

(Photo courtesy of Jacques Gillon)

Please check out Kimbang’s video and Indiegogo campaign to learn more about her story and how you can help!

Two-year-old Kimbang was rescued by police on a crowded urban street when smugglers dropped the wooden box that held her and ran away. Authorities transported her to Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center where our staff was heartbroken by the painfully thin, dehydrated, pale little orphan who was so withdrawn and clearly without any expectation of kindness. 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.

With warm embraces, excellent nutrition and gentle medical care from veterinary technician Nicholas Banadzem and the rest of the Sanaga-Yong staff, Kimbang soon understood she was among friends and began to recover.

Please help us raise at least $10,000 to cover the first two years of her food, medical care and protection! In helping ensure she continues her new life with all she needs to thrive physically and emotionally, your support will mean the world to Kimbang! 

IDA-Africa's 5th Annual Gala!


Sat, Sept 12th 2015
IDA-Africa's 5th Annual Benefit

University Club
Portland, Oregon

Our 5th annual gala will celebrate the past, present and future of Sanaga-Yong Rescue Center and the chimpanzees for whom the sanctuary is home! Recently rescued babies Kimbang and Gnala will help us illustrate from a far the important role we all - children and adults - play in the future of great apes! As part of the festivities for the evening, the English translation of Je Protège les Chimpanzés (our children’s book soon to be released in Cameroon schools) will be available. We look forward to sharing the evening with you!

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Click here to purchase.


Me + You < 2?
Exploring our Similarities to Chimpanzees 
k-12 Essay + Art Contest

Please visit our Sponsor An Orphan page to meet some of the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center residents. Who do you identify with? Express your connection to your favorite chimp and help save our endangered kindred! 

Submissions due by June 1st. Selected work will be showcased at our benefit on Sept 12th, 2015.  

Click Here for more information and to submit your essay. Thank you!


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.

(Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center Personnel Manager, Raymond Tchimisso purchasing fruit from a local village. Photo courtesy of Jacques Gillon) 

Our relationship with the local community is intrinsically linked to the survival of great apes in the surrounding Mbargue Forest. Our Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center has impacted the economy of the local villages by providing jobs at the sanctuary and school, installing a small grain mill and purchasing all fruits and vegetables to feed the chimpanzees from local farmers who grow the food especially for us. We have created a market economy that didn’t exist before. 

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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