Dr. Sheri Speede is Founder and Director of a sanctuary for chimpanzees in Cameroon. But when the country closed its borders because of the global pandemic, Speede was stuck in her second home in Oregon.
Each day at the Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue in Cameroon begins at 5:30 a.m., when volunteers and staff wake and start washing fruits and vegetables. Soon, gates and latches clang as the primates are released from their protective night cages, and eight troops of chimps begin pant-hooting for their breakfast.
Capturing onboard footage from a chimpanzee was the first thing we attempted for the series, so when I arrived in Cameroon in West Africa armed with eight Go Pros and a briefcase full of screws, Velcro and Gorilla Glue I didn’t really comprehend the full scale of what we were trying to achieve yet.
In September 2008, Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue lost one of its matriarchs, beloved Dorothy. She was adopted mother to Bouboule, who has grown from a scared, lost orphan into a large, confident adult. Dorothy left behind her adopted son, her best friend Nama, her loving adopted family, and her devoted human caregivers. To this day, she is deeply missed!