Over the last twenty years, more than 90% of the wild chimpanzee population in Côte d'Ivoire has disappeared. Most chimpanzees are killed either for the bushmeat trade or due to habitat loss. For every orphaned chimpanzee captured for the pet market, around 10 chimpanzees have been killed and sold as bushmeat. There are perhaps only 1,000 chimpanzees left in Côte d'Ivoire, which means they are on the brink of extinction in this country.
AKATIA has set up a chimpanzee rescue center 1h30 from Abidjan in Côte d'Ivoire to care for babies, toddlers and adult chimpanzees and offer them a natural home in the forest. We believe that every chimpanzee deserves to be wild and return to the forest. AKATIA will also launch a release program to introduce a number of chimpanzees who have demonstrated their ability to feed and function effectively as a group in the wild. Raising local awareness of the importance of protecting endangered species is essential to improving the protection of wild chimpanzees in 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 chimpanzee who was confiscated by Interpol. Nemly died from a lack of proper facilities to care for a one-year-old orphaned chimpanzee. The illegal pet trade is rife in Abidjan, but without somewhere to look after them, it's impossible to crack down on those who illegally possess chimpanzees. As more and more endangered species are trafficked across Côte d'Ivoire, it is imperative that protection measures are improved and that a proper rehabilitation center is established for chimpanzees falling victim to the illegal pet and bushmeat trade. Please join us in our fight to save the remaining chimpanzees in Côte d'Ivoire.