Joanna and Rikita’s Rescue

After 12 years of misery, orphaned chimps are freed at last!

Joanna and Rikita were still nursing from their mothers when they were caught by bushmeat poachers and sold into the illegal market for pet chimpanzees in Angola. Once they were too big for their owner to handle, he locked them in separate concrete and steel cages and never let them out again.

Every day for 12 years, Joanna and Rikita stared out from the bars of their cages at the trees they would never climb and the grass they could never touch.

PASA first heard about Joanna and Rikita’s situation from a woman named Lynne, who was able to take photos and videos of their predicament. Because there’s no sanctuary in Angola to send them to and very few people that could help, it took us years to coordinate Joanna and Rikita’s rescue. The decision was made to relocate Joanna and Rikita to Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center, a PASA member in the Congo Republic. PASA and our partners IFAW and Tchimpounga Chimpanzee Rehabilitation Center worked to arrange import and export permits, mandatory blood tests, veterinary exams, and transportation to Tchimpounga.

When the rescue team arrived to open the cages, they found another surprise: a baby chimp. Tina, just a few years old, was alone in the back of a truck and also desperately needed to be saved.

These are the kinds of life-changing rescues that you make possible.

Rescue operations are not easy. They take lots of time, patience, hard work, and funding. PASA is working to rescue more great apes from unthinkable suffering. We can’t do it without you.