We fell in love with Karin and wanted to help… maybe you will too.
In South Africa human-primate conflicts are escalating, with the monkeys losing. Karin is a primate expert and knows how to decrease these conflicts. However, due to the great rescue and rehab need Karin has no time to for the necessary public awareness campaigns or education programs.
With your help Nikela provides funds so Karin can do rescue/rehab AND get out there and save more “Josephs”.
It all began one rainy afternoon…
Spring is the rainy season in the Cape Province (South Africa.) It is grey and chilly as we make our way down the muddy forest road to Karin’s primate center. The monkey troop in the trees huddles together. Only three come scampering closer as we splash through the puddles to greet Karin half way across the open yard. Within seconds all three are hanging from her, each clamoring softly for her attention. She gently grabs the one on her shoulder and puts her on the closest tree stump, then removes the next, leaving the third hugging her like a frightened toddler. Karin’s arms wrap around to cradle her.
After exchanging courtesies Karin explains that this troop is a mix of injured and orphaned monkeys that live on the property. Most she’s been able to keep wild, but these three, well they’re a different story.
Karin invites us inside. The monkey shrieks as Karin loosens her grip and sets her down before closing the door. She shakes her head sadly and says, more to herself than to us, “If only she could have stayed in the wild where she belongs!”
We enter the main room of the humble home, the kitchen, where much of the activity happens, from preparing food for all primates to enchanting guests with stories. John (Karin’s assistant) offers us freshly made tarts and cup of steaming tea.
[Since our visit John has moved on and now Debbie and Steve are assisting Karin]
Karin is not feeling well today (we find out later… so much on her mind! From grappling with ever changing government policies, time to find funds to support her efforts, and most recently, how to catch a baboon with a deadly snare around his neck.)
Like most of us, Karin practically fell into her life’s work. A neighbor asked her to help out with an orphaned baby baboon close to two decades ago. She fell in love, and her journey to understand these quite misunderstood, and in South Africa mistreated, creatures began.
A Little About the Monkeys’ Plight…
Baboons and vervet monkeys are found in eastern and southern Africa. As human populations expand and wildlife habitat shrinks monkey and human conflicts increase, with the monkey frequently losing.
According to Karin, monkeys tend to be blamed for all kinds of community mischief, from knocking over rubbish bins (trash cans) to stealing fruit. Irate humans resort to poisoning, shooting and snaring which creates destructive imbalances in the troops.
How so? Alpha males are frequently the primary target, this leaves the troop vulnerable to the new male moving in. Karin tells us the incoming Alpha kills all the young ones (getting rid of the old Alpha’s gene pool) and of course females often die or are badly injured protecting their babies. So, when one male monkey is killed many more die as a result.
The Curse of the Simple Snare…
Being shot or poisoned are horrible ways to die, but snaring is possibly the most cruel of all. Snares can be found everywhere. In the primate center’s immediate area John regularly scours the forests for snares. He finds far too many. While sharing the stories he pulls out a large bucket with all kinds of wire paraphernalia. He grabs one tugging it free from the rest, “This is the most common, electric fence wire, made into a noose.”
The noose is placed on a well-travelled wildlife path and lightly covered with dirt, or hung from a bush at head level. The unsuspecting monkey is caught by the hand or neck. A horrible struggle ensues causing the snare to dig into the flesh. In the case of “No-Hand” (a story we will share in the future) he lost his entire hand and Joseph, well he’s the one with the snare around the neck. His story is captured on video.
Watch “Saving Joseph”
Help Karin Save More “Josephs”…
Karin is totally immersed in rescue and rehab. She knows that saving one monkey at a time is a good thing. However with so many being lost or injured each day, it is imperative that people, young and old, get educated. When she has time Karin writes and speaks out sharing insights as to how furred and furless primates can live together.
Instead of trying to raise funds Karin needs time to write, time to get her articles into the local newspapers and magazines, she needs to talk to kids in the schools, and hold town hall meetings. She needs to get out there!
That’s why we share her story, because like us you probably want to help Karin. By all of us giving a little (say $7 each month) and inviting our friends to do the same, Karin can do what she does best, save another baboon like Joseph and share her knowledge with kids, youth, and adults so monkeys and humans can share their space and live together more peaceably.
As you support Karin you’ll enjoy following her into the bush and the classroom via stories, photos and video clips… so go ahead, please make your donation to support Karin’s work now.
Click on the Give button below, contribute your monthly $7 and together we can expand Karin’s efforts by sending her $1,000 every month.