The diversity of rescued primates makes Ape Action Africa unique among sanctuaries in Equatorial Africa — a key factor in GLOBIO’s partnering with the Cameroonian conservation sanctuary. Founded in 1996, Ape Action Africa has since become one of the largest wildlife rescue operations in Africa, caring for 280+ primates, representing a dozen species, including endangered Chimpanzees and Western Lowland Gorillas, and numerous monkey species. Currently, numerous threats to primates remain a very present issue in Cameroon, driven by issues of bushmeat poaching, intense logging, and now industrial palm oil, increasing the need for greater support for Ape Action Africa’s work both regionally and abroad.
Through our film project Apes Like Us, the GLOBIO team has made regular visits to Mefou Primate Sanctuary since 2015 to capture footage of Ape Action Africa’s conservation work and the charismatic resident primates. Our new partnership will encompass the following activities to support their conservation work:
– Creating original video content
– Assisting with media production and other logistics for awareness, advocacy, outreach, and education initiatives
– Creating children’s education books and materials
– Supporting funding and outreach opportunities
– Providing capacity-building around film and media content
“Ape Action Africa is delighted to be working with GLOBIO on raising awareness of the conservation of great apes and monkeys in Cameroon. With the Apes Like Us team having previously shared stories from our sanctuary and introduced audiences to some of our orphaned primates, we now look forward to future projects that will support our conservation work, education programmes and fundraising activities.”
~ Rachel Hogan, Executive Director Ape Action Africa
Conservation through Collaboration
Film has the power to entertain, educate, and inspire — and that’s precisely what GLOBIO’s film project Apes Like Us intends to do on behalf of our program partners.
As of 2020, Apes Like Us has produced numerous videos both about Ape Action Africa to help highlight and share stories of their work at the sanctuary and around Cameroon. In addition to these sanctuary-focused movies, footage of their varied primates have been used in other Apes Like Us pieces, including several species of which have been featured in our Primate of the Month series (below).
Ape Action Africa: a Rich History
Ape Action Action (previously known as Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund) began as a refuge for primates residing at the Mvog Betsi Zoo in Yaounde, Cameroon. Their mission later expanded to include rescues of injured and orphaned primates around Cameroon, while engaging with the public to protect and conserve Cameroon’s incredible biodiversity.
“Mefou primate sanctuary is at the heart of everything we do to protect Cameroon’s endangered primates. Set in 1000 hectares of rainforest, our sanctuary is home to 8 groups of chimpanzees comprising more than 120 individuals, 4 groups of western lowland gorillas comprising 25 individuals, and 10 groups of monkeys, including a variety of guenons and mangabeys, mandrills and olive baboons.
Many of the species we care for are critically endangered in the wild, so the work we do is vital both from the perspective of caring for individuals impacted by human activities, but also from the perspective of preserving Cameroon’s natural heritage for future generations.
Our sanctuary has grown significantly from very small beginnings in 1996 and is now a significant source of employment and income for the communities living around its borders. We now employ approximately 50 people, a large majority of whom come from local villages, and through our community outreach programs, we work to improve the lives of the people living closest to us. Our policy of buying the produce they grow to feed the primates in our care has proven very popular in recent years and contributes a significant amount of money to the local economy every year.”
– Ape Action Africa website “Mefou Primate Sanctuary”
Ape Action Africa Partnership Updates
Around the world, animal sanctuaries have suspended their visitor and volunteer programs, and locked their doors to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and protect their animals. Many primate care organizations are facing significant financial setbacks, as well as...
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