Stemming from the need for functional and self sustaing sanctuaries thoughout the World, and the serious obligation of society to meet the challenges of possible extinction of most primate and bird species in the wild, Touch a Monkeys Heart Foundation was born.
The vision of this organization is a not for gain, we are a body which will strive to improve the lives of captive primates and birds, by relocating them to sanctuaries and simultaneously strive to challenge and change legislation which allows or supports trading in primates and birds.
The foundation also has the vision of self sustaining sanctuaries of primates and birds which are able to live in as wild an environment as possible, with the aim of being in a position to re-seed original home ranges with the progeny at some future appropriate point in time.
Touch a Monkey’s Heart Foundation’s goal is to encourage understanding and commitment to the conservation of the world's wildlife, the need for healthy natural habitats and recognition of the interdependence of people, their natural environment and its component resources. The Foundations is committed to reaching and engaging the largest number of people possible to enable them, through knowledge and understanding, to develop the motivation and skills to make informed choices about their lives in relation to the wise use of the natural resources around them.
Location of the sanctuary: Plettenberg Bay – South Africa.
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The Touch a Monkey's Heart Foundation is constituted under Section 21 of the Companies Act as a non-profit organisation, and has as its objectives to;
• Promote the plight of primates
• Promote the protection of habitat and environments including those where no primates are found
• Strive to change legislation to protect non-human primate rights
The Foundation is currently the sole custodian of all the primates and birds found at its flagship sanctuaries in The Crags Plettenberg Bay. The Foundation is relatively new to the environmental scene, and has only just started to make its mark. During 2001 and 2007 Trustees of The Foundation were invited to present a paper on Eden Syndrome, a form of environmental enrichment, at the Pan African Zoological Gardens and Botanical Gardens Annual General Meeting in May. Trustees were also invited to attend the American Zoological Association conference in Orlando in 2000.
Besides its work in environmental enrichment, The Foundation has been pressing for legislation in halting the bush meat trade, and limiting trade in wild animals especially those destined to be pets. It is also one of the key players in the institution of a South African Bureau of Standards SABS Code 3079 which will set the highest possible standards for all animals kept captive, transported or introduced to semi-captive conditions. The Foundation is also very involved in various education programs to bring environmental concerns to the attention of the general public. The Foundation is now in the process of launching a campaign to raise funds to secure land for future sanctuaries. Only projects which are totally sustainable and environmentally enhancing are embarked on. The Foundation is a non-profit organisation and the aim thereof is to provide protection and promote the plight of animals, monkeys in particular, but also of the environment in general.
It is with great pride that South African's can claim that The Foundation’s efforts to rehabilitate and free previously caged primates and birds has successfully created a internationally recognised safe house in Plettenberg Bay for the adorable furry and winged creatures who call it “home”. These truly extra-ordinary sanctuaries are home to many species of primates and birds from 4 continents around the world. Although they don't 'speak' the same language, they all live in total harmony with each other.
A question often asked, is “can the primates and birds born at The Foundation’s free-roaming sanctuaries be reintroduced into the forests of their homeland, e.g.: Madagascar?” Presently protection of the world’s remaining forests involves a race against time, but with self-sustained colonies of endangered species being established in sanctuaries such as those maintained and planned by The Foundation, they could one day be the source for reintroducing primate and bird species into the wild areas where they have been depleted. Yet, reintroduction programs within natural habitats can only succeed if significant progress is made in designating secure sites in the wild.
Unfortunately reserves are often too poorly funded to keep staff and prevent intrusion from slash-and-burn farmers and hunters. In some countries national park authorities have even allowed logging operations to continue within park boundaries. As a result the majority of the world’s primate and bird species, and many other wild animals, face continued habitat destruction, hunting, and capture for illegal sale.
One of The Foundation’s main focus is to create self-sustaining tourist-driven free-roaming sanctuaries throughout our continent housing either endangered or critically vulnerable primates and birds and other animals. In order for this to happen, environmentally suitable land has to be secured and placed into trust for the sole use of housing these sustainable sanctuaries, and this will form a major part of the outreach work that will be undertaken over the next decade.
TAMHF’s (Touch a Monkey’s Heart Foundation’s) goal is:
- To encourage understanding and commitment to the conservation of the World's wildlife.
- To communicate the need for healthy natural habitats; and recognition of the animals need for interdependence of people, their natural environment and its component resources.
- The Foundations is committed to reaching and engaging the largest number of people possible to enable them, through knowledge and understanding, to develop the motivation and skills to make informed choices about their lives in relation to the wise use of the natural resources around them.
Location of the TAHMF sanctuaries:
Plettenberg Bay – South Africa.
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