We saw Silke’s results and just had to help… maybe you will too.
In South Africa many vervet monkeys are left orphaned. Silke is a rescue/rehab expert. She raises these babies, forms entire troops and gives them a second chance to live free.
However, as costs go up and more monkeys are brought to the center, Silke needs help saving the babies and educating others to do the same.
With your help Nikela provides funds so Silke can do rescue/rehab AND has time to educate the next generation of wildlife advocates and rehabbers.
It all began on Face Book…
It was sometime in October 2010 that Silke and I became Face Book friends. She quickly endeared herself to me. However, as I tend to “jump first and look later” my rational self said, “Not so fast! Check things out!”
So it was a few weeks of following her work with the monkeys, paying attention to others comments and several direct message exchanges before I allowed validation of my intuitive response. “This woman is for real, this woman is amazing!” We began the lengthy process of getting Silke and her organization qualified and project certified, but that’s all the boring stuff.
Here is her story much of it in Silke’s own words:
When the first vervet monkey arrived here I didn’t know anything about how to help, except that I should transfer it as soon as possible to a Monkey Rehab. Little did I know how that day would change my life.
It was back in December of 2003 that Rodney and I began our work of reintroducing wildlife back into the bush after their time in Rehab (with rehabs best, Brian Jones.) It didn’t take long before people in the area, including vets started calling on us for help with injured and orphaned eland, kudu, warthogs, zebra, jackals, even porcupines. I soon realized my true calling: to help wild animals in need.
The Monkey Rehab I contacted on that life changing day, didn’t get back to me, so I started doing what I could. Within 3 weeks two more monkeys found their way to us and Rita Miljo (founder of CARE, one of the most well-known primate rehab centers in South Africa) suggested that I take care of them myself. But I didn’t know anything about monkeys…..but our chemistry seemed to fit, right from the start.
In my search for information I found there was almost no data available in South Africa! No rehabbers were documenting or sharing their work (probably so very busy keeping everything going!)
I ordered books from the UK (England), and found those were all based on research done in Kenya or Tanzania. Many books later…lots of watching and observing the monkeys….many monkeys later…after 4 years I had a troop of 28 monkeys ready for release back into the wild. How thrilling! How sad!
With the help of my mentors we bid farewell… the release was largely successful. I thought for sure that a hand raised chap named Karools, would need to be brought back, but he was so much part of the troop that with sexual maturity he was no longer interested in us humans. One monkey female, did have to be brought back as she was jumping on people. We wondered about her, as she didn’t recover fully from a head injury that had caused slight brain damage. Then sadly an 8 month old died due to Septicemia. But for 26 vervets it was a second chance to live free.
What does it take to Rescue and Rehab a Baby Monkey?
Tiny orphaned, or older and maimed, shot, poisoned or otherwise injured vervet monkeys find a place of refuge with Silke. It takes from 3 to 5 years in a controlled environment to form a well-adjusted troop of compatible monkeys ready for release. (Watch for stories and details on the dedicated work by humans and surrogate monkeys to get a baby ready for entry into a troop.)
During this long “get ready” process the public is allowed to tour the center and see how monkeys live, learn what they do for the natural environment and how best they can help in the survival of the Vervet Monkey. Community groups, Schools and families all have the chance to be educated on the monkeys face to face.
In 2010 two Vervet Monkey Troops were released back into wild and the goal for 2011 is to release 3 troops. Two troops with a total of 35 Monkeys has been released already this year (2011) and the third release of 9 Monkeys is coming up in October. (Be sure to follow that adventure with us.)
What if the Monkey cannot be released?
It’s a fantastic feeling seeing a troop of monkeys you have saved and rehabbed released into the bush, unfortunately not all of our monkeys can be given another chance of freedom. Our Sanctuary programme provides care, love, food and safety to several small groups of vervets that due to age, injury, disability or abuse are unable to enter into our rehab programme.
We firmly believe that even when a monkey loses an arm and a leg, is blind or has been caught in a snare that it shouldn’t be euthanized, we have living proof that these monkeys can not only survive but adapt to their personal situation and live a near normal life, playing, grooming, enjoying life and even mothering.
Silke’s sanctuary also provides the ideal opportunity for research and education of local students from elementary through university.
Help Silke Rescue more Babies
With the human-monkey conflict escalating Silke is pedaling as fast as she can. The need for her rescue/rehab, sanctuary and education programs are not able to keep up without help. Silke has no time to raise much needed funds.
That’s why we share her story, because like us you probably want to help Silke. By all of us giving a little (say $7 each month) and inviting our friends to do the same, Silke can do what she does best, save another baby, form and release another troop, educate another child, train up another future rehabber, all this, to keep the vervet monkeys not merely hanging on to survival, but thriving in the South African bush.
As you support Silke you’ll enjoy following her into the wilds, the neonatal monkey nursery, the rehab center and the sanctuary via stories, photos and video clips… so go ahead, please make your donation to support Silke’s work now.
Monthly Help for Silke’s Babies
Click on the Give button below, contribute your monthly $7. Our goal is to send Silke $1,000 every month so Silke can give more babies a second chance to grow up and live free.