Proudly South African

9th June 2010

We are truly endemic to South Africa, but even today we were regarded as vermin in this county. Humans constantly chase us away from their, and our, homes. So where should we live? Some humans, who live in George, Knysna, Plett and beyond constantly phone Monkeyland letting the monkey-people know that we have escaped from Monkeyland! How silly!!! If I lived inside the Monkeyland forest I would be sooooooo happy. I would never leave.

 

What is your IQ!!!??? Let me tell you - primate to primate - my cousin lives in George, and he has lived there for a looooong time. His grandpa used to live in the same forest too. This forest became a housing development a few years back, and all our friends and family were forced to move.

 

Twenty years ago there were loads of trees – to many to count – now there is nothing.  Humans assume that vervet monkeys can be happy if, and when, they locate a small clump of trees to live in – somewhere else. WHERE is that clump and WHAT is the size of this clump? We are in fact FORTUNATE if we locate a tree in a shopping mall or a domesitic backyard – what on earth do you humans think we should eat?

 

Let me strave you (whilst stealing your home) for a few days and see what you humans sayand do!!!!

 

Vervet monkeys are omnivores and will eat basically anything. We have cheek pouches like hamsters for storing food. We aren’t even fussy. Our diet includes such things as leaves, fungi, nuts and small vertebrates. Our favourite types of foods are edible fruit and flowers. Yet, we need forests, space and trees and humans simply don’t allow us to have any of this.  Very few even ATTEMPT to assist us!!!!

 

The humans have dull dozed most of our land and the 5% that is left will most likely be come demolished in a year from now. The human actually race saddens me.

 

I wish I lived at Monkeyland - if I did I would have no troubles, but at the moment I live in fear, in the mountains scavenging for food. I used to live somewhere else near the coast, but a farmer shot my mum because she raided crops and dustbins to feed me. My aunt was simultaneously snared in a local makeshift bush pig trap. The last words my late mum desperately screamed at me were RUN! RUN get away from here! As far as you can!

 

So I ran.

 

I have, however, heard about the place called Monkeyland. The sanctuary is a bit to far away from me, but I wish I was nearby. I would however like to ask you not to chase us vervet monkeys away.  We are also South Africans, we also have rights, and we are probably more part of this country’s foundation than you.  Be compassionate when you see us. We might be starving? We might be scared and lonely? We might be hungry or in fear of our lives? Place yourselves in our shoes, and how would you react?

 

The facts are: the vervet monkeys numbers are declining. Vervets are mostly killed in South Africa for the bushmeat trade. Vervets are also popularly kept as pets (and then eaten when bored with, or just tossed away). In South Africa, infant vervets can sell for R500 to R1500. Very quickly however, owners come to realize that their “pet” vervet monkeys are highly destructive (because they are wild animals) and we are abandoned, sold or killed.

 

Vervet monkeys are also frequently used in biomedical research worldwide. We are often used in blood pressure studies because we are naturally prone to develop high blood pressure. If you require any further information about organisations whom help vervet monkeys please contact Christian or Burt from Monkeyland at curator@monkeyland.co.za

 

Please don’t chase us away from our natural wilderness homes – we where here first! Consider this before, you do, or react the way you would have without thought.

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