VIDEO and PHOTOS It’s about so much more than putting a few saved monkeys together to have a successful Vervet monkey troop release.
Huge enclosures with old painted car tires, rope swings, places to hide, and old barrels to climb in. What might seem like a random array of objects to stimulate its resident monkeys is really a carefully designed layout to simulate their natural habitat. Maybe not by looks, but to develop skills and muscles that will be needed once back in the wilds.
Monkeys arrive at Bambelela deep in the heart of the Waterburg mountains in the Limpopo Province of South Africa for a variety of reasons. They’ve been orphaned, injured, abused or weren’t progressing at another center.
There are several stages or steps to rehabilitating a vervet monkey.
Point of entry
Recently the triage and quarantine area, the point of entry for most new comers, was moved. For some time a section in Silke’s house was dedicated as ‘The Clinic’, however it now has a brand new stand alone facility (thanks to your donations Nikela was able to help make this happen.)
Then there is the Kindergarten where the pink faces (baby monkeys) spend their day with a surrogate monkey mother. At night they have a human ‘mother’ to snuggle up with, after they have been duly diapered of course.
Older monkeys once nursed back to health, or old enough, are grouped together on a trial basis. There Silke carefully observes their behaviors and personality traits as she carefully creates new families called troops.
Once a group of 30 or so monkeys show promise of bonding the long rehabilitation process begins. At first making sure natural healthy hierarchies are established and then slowly reducing the human interaction and creating feeding situations as close to the wilds as is possible.
Parallel to preparing the vervet monkey troop for release is finding a viable release site and getting all the necessary permissions and permits… This can be arduous as not all farmers or conservancies want a monkey troop around.
When all the stars have lined up and the troop is ready for release another big challenge begins. Catching and transporting the monkeys to the release site. In most cases a transition enclosure is set up into which they are released to get accustomed to their new environment. A rehabber stays with them for three months monitoring their reintegration into the wilds.
In the case of Lisa Troop (the one we helped with) Boepa and Bobby are still on site monitoring the vervet monkeys full integration and adjustment to living free once more.
Story in Photos
Watch the video of the Lisa Troop Release
By Bambelela Volunteer Bailey Garton
(Thanks to all who contributed during our matching challenge to help fund this troops second chance at living free)
Helping out is easy.
100% of your charitable donation goes to help the vervets.