Great apes safe and thriving in their natural habitats.
To provide sanctuary for chimpanzee orphans in Cameroon while spearheading and supporting habitat protection, law enforcement and conservation education programs.
Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue
Located in Cameroon's remote Mbargue Forest, Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue (SYCR) provides sanctuary in natural habitat for chimpanzee orphans of the illegal bushmeat trade. When a poacher kills a mother chimpanzee, her nursing infant can be worth more alive than dead, especially when smuggled out of Central Africa and sold as a pet or tourist attraction in North Africa or Asia. Some of the seventy-two resident chimpanzees at SYCR have been confiscated as infants from poachers or dealers, and others have suffered on chains or in small cages for decades before their rescue. At our sanctuary, which is committed to lifelong care, the emotionally damaged chimpanzees eventually find friendship and joy in adoptive social groups. They enjoy large enclosure complexes that include tracts of natural habitat forest protected with solar-powered fencing.
In addition to our seven chimpanzee enclosure complexes, which together include over forty acres of enclosed forest, the grounds of Sanaga-Yong Rescue include a vet clinic, education center, staff and volunteer housing, kitchen, office, fruit storage room and shelter for staff meetings and meals.
IDA-Africa and our Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue play a vital role in conservation through promotion and support of law enforcement, habitat protection and education/sensitization.
1. By providing a permanent home for illegally trafficked and held chimpanzees, as well as information and necessary technical assistance to authorities, we enable law enforcement.
2. We are working with the Government of Cameroon and our local community to bring formal protection and eco-guards to the Mbargue Forest, which is home to a population of free-living chimpanzees and gorillas, as well as our Sanaga-Yong Rescue. We sponsor a sustainable agriculture/agro-forestry project aimed at replenishing depleted farmland and decreasing slash and burn for subsistence agriculture by village farmers.
3. Our visitor and outreach programs focus on increasing awareness about chimpanzees' intelligence and emotional capacity, their similarity to humans, their endangered status and the laws against exploiting them. The staff of SYCR are uniquely qualified and positioned to promote compassionate attitudes in our local community.
4. Educating the children of Cameroon is critical to creating change for future generations of chimpanzees and other endangered animals. We published a children’s book, Je Protégé les Chimpanzés (I Protect the Chimpanzees), and are using it in Cameroon schools as part of a five-day classroom program that aims to instill an appreciation of chimpanzees as kindred beings who deserve respect and protection.
IDA-Africa's relationship with the local community is intrinsically linked to the survival of great apes, and we foster goodwill by engaging with the community in a variety of ways. We employ local residents at the sanctuary and school, support a village market economy with our purchases of fruit and vegetables and have launched a new sustainable agricultural project to improve the diet of the chimpanzees and local children, preserve the forest and engage the community. This goodwill is the foundation necessary to establish the social and cultural conditions required to ensure endangered great apes survive.
Help us in our efforts for chimpanzee conservation and Sponsor a Chimpanzee today!