Moon, the chimpanzee pictured above on right, was orphaned as an infant by a poacher who killed his family for meat and then tried to sell him as a pet. IDA-Africa rescued him in 2002, and for twelve years he lived at our Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center/Sanctuary among friends who cherished him. When he went out of his lushly forested 20-acre enclosure late last June, the sanctuary staff looked and called for him in the vast surrounding forest, feeling sure he would come back anyway if he didn't get lost. But he didn't come back, and we soon learned that after he left his enclosure he was shot and killed by a poacher, who sold his body for meat.
Months of collaborative effort between IDA-Africa, LAGA (Last Great Ape Organization), and the Government of Cameroon finally resulted in the poacher's arrest in the early morning hours of November 30. In the coming weeks, IDA-Africa and our collaborators will be working toward a conviction and long prison sentence.
Moon and Lucy were best friends throughout Moon's time at Sanaga-Yong. As long as we live, sweet, goofy Moon will live in our hearts and inspire us to continue our fight for chimpanzee survival.