It was with great anticipation that I awaited this afternoon. You see Maggie just returned from her trip to South Africa and had much to share with me about her time with Karin at her primate center. Let me start at the beginning.
“Can I do anything for Nikela while in South Africa?” Maggie asked. Maggie a longtime supporter of Nikela was off to visit an old friend and experience his conservation work, which happened to be close to one of the experts we support, I was elated.
A little over a month later Maggie not only delivered a donation check to Karin for her primate center, but also spent a week volunteering there. Maggie got to see Karin in action, working with injured and orphaned monkeys and dealing with irate farmers.
In South Africa baboons and vervet monkeys are treated like pests, so they are shot, poisoned and snared in an attempt to get rid of them. Maggie tells the story of witnessing such a shooting and hearing the threats.
In what’s left of the indigenous Knysna forest in her area farms keep expanding and Karin provides an oasis for a wild troop of baboons as well as around 40 other monkeys, some in rehab while the unreleasable ones call the center home.
We’re all very aware of the war waged against the rhino, with at least 160 poached already this year, however, we hear little of the daily struggle for survival of South Africa’s baboons and vervet monkeys. There aren’t over 150 organizations focused on them, there is not price on their nose, they are just quietly being snared, poisoned, shot or hit by vehicles travelling down the hiways.
Karin, with the help of volunteers truly is the primates champion and we’re thrilled that Maggie will be sharing her personal experiences with us as soon as she’s over her jet lag and gotten back into her life here in the USA.