IDA-Africa Baby Gorilla Rescue!

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.


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!:


3 thoughts on “IDA-Africa Baby Gorilla Rescue!

  1. At last some good news. In his book on Dian Fossey, Farley Mowat tells of 10 gorillas being killed to get just one baby for a zoo in Germany. The mountain gorillas do not do well in captivity and usually do not live long. Harambe, a lowland gorilla obviously did not live as long as he should have, but at least he is free.

    • “In his book on Dian Fossey, Farley Mowat tells of 10 gorillas being killed to get just one baby for a zoo in Germany.”

      If anything is the definition of sinful, that is it. Although we might just call it one of our (many) ‘mistakes’. At least in this case we took an extra thought process step to find out the cause, instead of just killing.

      It saddens me greatly that in America, at the Cincinnat Zoo, more thought and effort went into stashing rifles in strategic locations around the zoo, instead of ensuring the barriers to protect the animals, and the people, were much better. After 38 years, the zoo had become complacent – and the few inches they’ve increased the barrier isn’t much of an improvement.

  2. I agree. That fence could be breached by a kid, so it certainly wouldn’t have stopped a stupid teenager, a drunk, or a psychotic. I supposed Haramebe would have died no matter who had gotten in, unfortunately.

    I understand that people don’t like to have wild animals prisons in zoos. But life in the wild is not always good either and often for the same reason–the presence of Homo sapiens. Both Fossey and Mowat describe the gorillas and other animals who died of gangrene from poachers’ snares. Some of the animals got free, but the wires so embedded in their skin that they got terrible infections. Digit, Fossey’s favorite gorilla was speared to death, and his head and hands were cut off. He and Fossey are buried next to each other.

    Anyway, humanity has much to answer for.

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