In the past twenty years, more than 90% of the wild chimpanzee population in Cote d'Ivoire has disappeared. Most chimpanzees are killed either for the bushmeat trade or from loss of habitat. For every orphan chimpanzee captured for the pet market, an estimated 10 chimpanzees have been killed and sold as bushmeat. There may be as few as 1,000 chimpanzees left in Cote d'Ivoire, meaning that they are on the brink of extinction in this country.
AKATIA will create a sanctuary in Cote d'Ivoire to care for baby, toddler, and adult chimpanzees and to provide them a natural home in the forest. We believe that every chimp deserves to be wild and return to the forest. AKATIA will also launch a release program to introduce a select number of chimpanzees that have demonstrated the ability to feed themselves and function effectively as a group into the wild. The sensitization of the local population on the importance of protecting endangered species is critical to improving the protection for wild chimps within the park, and will be a key element of Akatia's work in the park.
AKATIA was founded in 2017 by Sarah Crawford and Estelle Raballand. Sarah and Estelle were motivated to act after the death of Nemley Junior, a baby chimp who was confiscated by Interpol. Nemly died from the lack of a suitable facility to care for a 1 year old orphaned chimpanzee.The illegal pet trade is prevalent in Abidjan, but without a place to care for them it is impossible to crack down on those who illegally possess chimps. As more and more endangered species are trafficked through Cote d'Ivoire, it is imperative that protective measures are improved and that an appropriate rehabilitation center is established for chimps vitctimized by the illegal pet and bushmeat trades. Please join us in our fight to save the remaining chimpanzees of Cote d'Ivoire.