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We are home to two more chimpanzees

Monday, November 3, 2014


We are now home to two more little chimpanzees, both victims of the illegal trade in great apes.


We received a call that there was a small chimpanzee in a cage in a hotel about an hour's drive away from Mefou. We contacted LAGA and the ministry and last weekend, she was confiscated and our vet Babs was able to bring her safely to Mefou. She is about 2 years old and Rachel has named her Twinkle because she saw a shooting star in the forest! Twinkle is doing well and is starting to come out of her shell, shouting for food! She's getting lots of love and attention and Babs and our volunteer vet, Stephanie, are doing a health check today. In addition to Twinkle, the hotel also kept two African Grey parrots in a tiny cage. They are also now at Mefou receiving care from our vets.....they are very chatty with Babs!









Our second arrival is a tiny baby chimp who was confiscated from ape traffickers this week by LAGA and the ministry. The traffickers are in jail awaiting charges. She is about 4 months old and was extremely dehydrated on arrival. Our deputy director, Larry Taylor, took charge of her when she arrived and Stephanie did preliminary health checks. She is too small to be with other chimps - she should be with her mother 24 hours a day at this age, so she needs 24/7 care from our team.


This lovely litte chimp is now named Daphne after the daughter of one of our supporters in Cameroon. She is doing well and we will bring you news of her progress in the coming weeks and months.


We really need your help to look after these little ones. It costs £3 a day to feed them and if you are in the UK, you can feed them today by texting MILK08 £3 to 70070. If you are outside of the UK or prefer not to text, you can help our little ones by donating on our website.







Sad news - Nona loses her baby

Sunday, October 19, 2014


We have heavy hearts today with very sad news from the forest.....Nona's baby, Dr Sandra, affectionately known as Baby Bird, died in the early hours of yesterday morning.


Baby Bird collapsed last week and whilst we don't normally take infants away from their mothers, we clearly had to intervene to help her. She started having fits and was unconscious whilst our vet Babs and volunteer vet Stephanie O'Brien worked round the clock to stabilise her and try to diagnose what was wrong with her. They also took advise from wildlife vet, Sharon Redrobe.


She has been receiving care 24/7 from staff on rotation; Rachel was on night duty with her on Friday night when Baby Bird stopped breathing. The team resuscitated her but when she stopped breathing a second time, they couldn't bring her back. Her little body had been through so much in the last few days and she just couldn't fight any more.


She has been buried next to Pikin, near to the enclosure where her mother Nona and her father, Nkan Daniel live.


We are so sad, she was doing so well and Nona was a fantastic mother. The group loved her and took turns to gently play with her, always giving her back to Nona. Nona is distressed without her and we will continue to keep a close eye on her.





Emergency appeal

Saturday, August 23, 2014


Emergency appeal: can you help us buy medication for Bertie and carry out urgent repairs to storm damage to his enclosure? If you are in the UK, you can text BERT18 £10 or BERT18 £10 to 70070 or you can donate here on our website.

A huge tree crashed through Bertie's enclosure, Jack's enclosure and their adjoining satellite cages yesterday, causing significant damage. All the chimps escaped except three who remained behind. 12 out of more than 40 chimps are still to return home.

We found Bertie lying in the road with serious injuries - he has a major wound on his back, broken ribs and serious injuries to his foot. Our team are keeping him comfortable with painkillers and antibiotics.

Our staff have responded brilliantly in finding the chimps and they are out in the forest now searching for the remaining 12 chimps. Our vet Babs, controlloer Appolinaire and newly appointed deputy director Larry have been leading their teams for two days, searching from dawn until dusk for our lost chimps.

As you can see from the photos, we urgently need to repair the satellite cages and the enclosures - we are running out of space to put the chimps as we get them back because we can't use their enclosures at the moment.

These photos of the damage came in early this morning from our Director, Rachel Hogan. We have lost contact with her at the moment but will bring more news as soon as we have it, including an estimate of the costs of repair and medication for Bertie.

If you are able to help us, we can keep our chimps safe and give Bertie the best possible chance of a full recovery.
You can donate on our website or from the UK, you can text BERT18 £5 or BERT18 £10 to 70070.

Thank you so much, we really appreciate everything you do for our gorillas, chimps and monkeys.



Shufai stars in Operation Wild

Thursday, July 31, 2014



Shufai's Story continues and he features in Operation Wild next week with Clare Balding!


Tune in to BBC 1 at 9pm on Wednesday 6 August to find out how Sharon Redbrobe and Sandra Corr carried out major surgery in the forest to try to help Shufai return to the happy, carefree gorilla we once knew. Clare follows his story - watch BBC 1 to follow his story with her.


BBC1, Wednesday 6 August, 9pm.


Photo of Clare meeting some of our gorillas  © Caroline McLaney





A few days in the life of.....

Sunday, July 13, 2014



A few days in the life of Ape Action Africa.....our gorgeous gorilla Nona has a baby, Hollywood star Kellan Lutz, the voice of Tarzan in the new film, shows his love of gorillas and Rachel Hogan and her sister Jessica run 70 miles!


Find out more in our latest newsletter and watch a wonderful video of Nona, her baby and Rachel.


Nona's baby is called Sandra after one of our vet consultants, Dr Sandra Corr. Sandra is the orthopaedic vet who opertaed twice on Shufai and she flew out at very short notice with Sharon Redrobe to help Pikin. She was a key part of the team that gave us back our happy Shufai so we thought it was appropriate to honour her by naming the first birth in Nkan Daniel's group after her! 


Here's a great photo of baby Sandra, taken by Ian Bickerstaff ©.


And don't forget you can sign up for our newsletter and have it delivered to your inbox - we never share our email database with third parties and we won't flood you with emails!



Pikin loses her fight

Saturday, March 15, 2014


We are absolutely heartbroken to tell you that Pikin has lost her fight for life. As you can imagine, Rachel and her team are devastated.


Rachel said: "It has been a privilege to watch her grow from a temperamental little sprout into a young adult, a much loved member of her family. It was a hard decision to let her go but I promise all the little ones that come to us that there will be no more pain and no one will hurt them again. I held Pikin yesterday and told her that I was keeping my promise and that she didn't need to fight anymore. I am devastated to have lost my friend but I know that she is high in the trees, playing with Afangui, and they are both free from pain."


The infection in her badly broken leg was severe and was spreading but yesterday, she collapsed with tetanus. Rachel and Babs consulted with wildlife vet Sharon Redrobe and they all agreed that there was nothing more anyone could do to help her so they had to make the very sad decision to let her go. Rachel and Appolinaire were with her when she died. Nkan Daniel's family all came to say goodbye to her; they lined up in silence at the edge of the enclosure and Yeba gently threw some leaves to her. She will be buried in a lovely spot under a plum tree just outside the enclosure so that she will always be with her family.


Rachel is very proud of her team in Cameroon who work so hard for everyone in our care. She wants to say a huge thank in particular this week to Babs, Appolinaire, Pikin's carer Abdoulay and our vet technician Joe, all of whom have worked so hard to care for Pikin and make her comfortable. She also wants to thank the vets Sharon Redrobe and Sandra Corr who rearranged their work in the UK to fly to Cameroon at very short notice.


We are acutely aware that many of you have generously donated this week to help Pikin and obviously we now cannot use your money for the purpose for which it was intended. Rachel is running the Paris marathon on 6 April which she will now run in memory of Pikin. She has suggested that your donations for Pikin will be her sponsor money, which will help her get round the course in April!


Sharon Redrobe and orthopaedic vet Sandra Corr have still flown to Cameroon today - we could not get a refund on the plane tickets and they both felt that they can help our team in the next couple of days. They will help Babs with the post mortem and we have other patients who need their expertise. We will use your money wisely to take care of Pikin's family but we understand if you are not happy with this so please do email our CEO, Caroline McLaney at and she will be very happy to discuss it with you.


Thank you so much for your support last week during a hugely difficult time for everyone at Ape Action Africa. We have been truly overwhelmed by the love and support that you shown for Pikin and for our team. We have lost another gentle soul who will always be loved and never forgotten.


Photo of Pikin with Rachel in 2007 ©Frederic Courbet




Pikin needs your help

Tuesday, March 11, 2014


On Sunday morning, Pikin, one of our young gorillas, didn’t come out of the forest for breakfast as she usually does. This, along with unusual behaviour from Shai and Shufai worried Appolinaire, our very experienced gorilla carer. After making sure that silverback Nkan Daniel and second in command Yeba were safely in the satellite cage, he decided to go in the enclosure to look for Pikin.


As soon as he entered the enclosure, Shufai and Shai went to him and led him to Pikin who had fallen out of a tree and landed in the fork of two branches. The team had to cut the tree to release her. She has a severe infection and x-rays have revealed that she has a badly broken leg with fractures to both her tibia and fibula so we need to fly specialist vets to Cameroon as soon as possible.



Sharon Redrobe, one of our trustees and CEO of Twycross Zoo, is a wildlife vet who has treated many of our animals, and Sandra Corr is an orthopaedic vet who operated on Shufai last year. Having  concluded that Pikin needs surgery as soon as possible, they have reorganised their work here in the UK so that they can fly to Cameroon this weekend.


The vet experts are generously giving us their time at very short notice, and you can help too. We need donations to pay for their flights, and for medication for Pikin. Please help us to raise £2,000 which will ensure that Pikin receives the treatment that she needs and that we are unable to give her without your support.


Rachel and her team are desperately worried about Pikin - every penny counts so anything you are able to donate to help her will be hugely appreciated.


You can donate to help Pikin here and you can write a note in PayPal to let us know that your donation is intended for Pikin's treatment.


Thank you so much for your support; as always, it is hugely appreciated.


Photos of Pikin © Ian Bickerstaff

Helping Endangered Primates in Cameroon