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Rest in Peace, Dorothy

Written by PETA | October 15, 2008

Having managed to survive the horrors of an estimated 25 to 40 years of captivity and exploitation as part of a daily amusement-park parade, Dorothy the chimpanzee died peacefully of old age at In Defense of Animals (IDA) Africa‘s Sanaga-Yong Center in Cameroon last month.

Following the first armed confiscation of primates in Cameroon, Dorothy was freed from her confinement at the amusement park and taken to Sanaga-Yong in 2000.

So touched by Dorothy’s life and parting, staff members and chimpanzees held a funeral service to honor and remember her. Dorothy was buried beside the enclosure she had called home, near the tomb of her friend Becky.


Chimps seeing Dorothy’s body for a final time
Dorothy's Funeral

People from the village attending the funeral
Dorothy's Funeral

Dorothy's Funeral

In her memory, we have donated money to help construct a raised platform above Dorothy’s former home. The platform will allow visitors to the center to see into the forested enclosure and reflect on Dorothy’s life, both at the center and before her stay there.

Written by Sean Conner

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  • Bunnylove says:

    What Mike Quinoa said is so true. Rest in peace Dorothy. That first picture says it all.

  • Mary says:

    RIP Dorothy.

  • Annie says:

    The photo in which the other animals are watching her go is heartbreaking but it just shows how animals care about each other. They feel pain just as much as we do.

  • arizona says:

    Wow that is sad.. I am tearing up! I’m also glad she got to live out the rest of her life happily!! that’s awesome! those primates are amazing!


    This touching picture showing the silent honoring of their dead friend is another proof that animals have deep loving feelings above all primates cats dogs cows horses elefants but also guinea pigs and all the others! And every species has their own language the horses for example talk much through their throat and the nostrils and from my cat i learned about 30 words till now in catish! People should develop more fast in order to understand the animal language! They have to tell us sooooooooo much! We have to admit that the creation procedure has not yet ended we are still on the way and humans and animals need to evoluate a lot! But in a future time they shall understand each other and be perfect and know! Then the famous words spoken by universal genious Leonardo da Vinci shall become true There shall come a day when humans shall respect every form of life and treat every animal as they treat their own species! Maybe we shall not live that future day but we can work for it!!!

  • Tania says:

    It’s amazing how animals keep showing us their feelings!! I really love the first picture!

  • lynda downie says:

    Goodbye Dorothy. You’ll be sadly missed. It’s soooo nice to see humans recognize the great dignity of all animals.

  • vegancoin says:

    Wow. What Mike Quinoa said. That picture truly speaks one thousand words.

  • eddy says:

    An amazing and very touching story. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Courtney says:

    This immediately brought tears to my eyes. I’m so glad that precious animal got to have happiness before her passing. Thanks again PETA for another moving posting.

  • Marta says:

    Wow. Thanks for posting this.

  • rex's mom says:

    I have tears in my eyes for Dorothy’s passing. I love all animals and hate any kind of abuse torture neglect and just plain cruelty. I belong to IDA and it is a wonderful organization. I am glad they gave Dorothy 8 years of happiness and also happy that she died of old age and not because of any type of injury inflicted by humans..

  • SASHA says:


  • Ben Y. says:

    Mike Quinoa Yeah the first picture is pretty depressing.

  • Michele says:

    These fellow earthlings of ours are so beautiful in life and death. They can teach humans a lot about socalled “humanity” if only people would truly listen.

  • SASHA says:

    CAN’T STOP CRYING! You can just see the love from the other chimps and humans for Dorothy. I’m so glad she got to live her finale years in peace with other free chimps. I’m so glad that those people at IDA were so good to her ! They have my love and respect for helping the chimps!

  • Mike Quinoa says:

    Wow that top picture says it all. Anyone who looks at that pic and can’t see the emotional depth and communicative skills of animals lives in a state of denial.

  • Aneliese says:

    Heartbreaking story. I’m still in awe at the first picture I can read the sadness in the monkey’s faces better than the peoples.