Sanaga Yong Chimpanzee Rescue, formerly IDA Africa, was founded by In Defense of Animals in 1999 under the direction of veterinarian Dr. Sheri Speede. The Rescue center became fully independent in 2019 and today continues to provide sanctuary for chimpanzee orphans in Cameroon, while promoting social and cultural conditions that ensure that endangered great apes survive and thrive in their natural habitats.
Chimpanzee mothers are easier to kill than males or non-parenting females. When a mother chimpanzee is killed for meat, her baby will be illegally sold into captivity as a pet or tourist attraction.
To help ensure the survival of chimpanzees orphaned by the illegal ape meat trade, the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue cares for orphaned chimpanzees in a forested habitat, and works in partnership with the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife to bring dignity and hope to Cameroon's great apes.
During its first 20 years, IDA-Africa rescued and placed into sanctuary over 100 great ape orphans. Once rescued and in sanctuary, chimpanzee orphans are given the opportunity to live out their natural lifespan of up to 60 years. Today, the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue remains committed to the lifelong care of its residents.