The rescue and rehabilitation of every wild animal ideally is the beginning of their journey to freedom.
“We’ll adopt him!” Our daughter said.
We were at Bambelela watching the orphaned young vervet monkeys in Kindergarten. An enclosure for those waiting for new families.
It was June 2017. Two of our children, one spouse and three grandchildren had come to spend a couple of weeks with us in Africa. With so little time we could only visit our Wildlife Heroes that are close in. Silke was one of them.
MK as the young black faced vervet was named watched us as Silke told us about him. Like the others his mother was killed and a kind soul had brought him to Bambelela. He was doing well and would be joining a troop soon.
Each year Silke and her team have the challenge to form new troops. These troops, like families, must be balanced between sexes and ages. Like families the monkeys, with their different personalities need to learn to get along.
On one occasion when we visited Silke she was busy stitching up a few monkeys who’d gotten after each other. It was a newly formed troop and they were still being supervised. Actually, it was MK’s new family. Fortunately he was not one of the injured ones.
After a few months of adjustment and observation Silke is confident that this motley group will solidify into a healthy troop.
A couple of weeks ago it was time to move the troop from their smaller ‘get to know you’ enclosure to their large rehab enclosure. This large space full of enrichment tubes, nets and trees will be their home for the next two to three years.
One thing Silke looks for to assure a troop is release ready is off spring. Apparently babies born to the troop solidifies them. In a wild troop not only the mother cares for the babies, but other monkeys act as baby sitters. This caring for the young bonds the adults together. It creates a protective instinct in the males who will begin acting aggressively towards intruders.
Needless to say our daughter and family are thrilled that MK, their adopted monkey, is well on his journey to freedom.
Helping is easy.
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