Last week In Defense of Animals-Africa was asked by its Cameroon government partner, the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife (MINFOF), for help capturing a juvenile gorilla who was frequently eating from village farms. Farmers had been frightened by the gorilla, who did not seem to be afraid of them, and a young boy had broken his arm running away. IDA-Africa was not eager to take a free-living gorilla captive, but a team from its Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue drove four hours to meet the MINFOF representative for a collaborative investigation. The team feared that the gorilla’s mother and others in his group had been killed by poachers.
They soon realized that the sweet six-year-old gorilla was not only unafraid of humans, he was actually seeking their company. He must have been captured as a baby by poachers, raised among humans who bought him as a pet, and dumped or “set free” near the forest when he became unmanageable. But this little lonely boy couldn’t fend for himself in the forest and would have been killed had his visits to the farms continued. The team had no choice but to capture and transport him back to Sanaga-Yong for temporary care. Since Sanaga-Yong only provides long-term care for chimpanzees, the gorilla was transferred a few days later to Ape Action Africa’s Mefou Sanctuary.
Tragically, each year thousands of baby chimpanzees, gorillas and monkeys are stolen from Africa’s forests by bushmeat poachers seeking extra profit in the pet and zoo trades, and rarely can these orphans be returned to a free life in the forest. Forest sites that meet criteria for reintroduction are nonexistent in many countries, and while there are a few success stories, released great apes endure stress and suffer high mortality. In well run sanctuaries, like Sanaga-Yong and Mefou, these surviving victims of poaching can usually find friendship and some happiness among other rescued orphans, but what they’ve lost is irreplaceable. Along with their mothers’ love and carefree childhoods, their freedom to self-determine and eventually have families of their own is gone forever.
TICKETS ON SALE NOW!
IDA-Africa Annual Gala
Saturday, September 10th 2016 from 6-10pm
The University Club in Downtown Portland Oregon
Please join us for our Sixth Annual Gala to benefit the chimpanzees of Sanaga-Yong Rescue Center. The evening’s festivities will feature Dr. Sheri Speede with an update on our rescue and conservation efforts in Africa including forest protection, sustainable agriculture, our education program and of course, a heartwarming update on the chimpanzees of Sanaga-Yong Rescue! And… get a sneak peek at a BBC pilot featuring our adorable and adventurous chimpanzees!
Purchase Your Tickets Today!: https://app.etapestry.com/cart/InDefenseofAnimals-Africa/default/category.php?ref=1165.0.75650093