January to June 2009

Its been a while since this blog was updated, but new information will be posted every day if possible and at the very least every week from here on.

It has been a hectic year so far for the Monkey Helpline with rescue callouts every day – and we still average three rescues every two days, with six rescues on each of the past two Saturdays.

Currently we have 27 monkeys in our “high care!

This year to date we have also done in excess of forty educational talks about Vervet monkeys to schools and other community groups, manned our outreach table at the Essenwood Craft Market every Saturday and promoted the work of Monkey Helpline and Animal Rights Africa in many other public forums. We continue to distribute thousands of information leaflets.

Looking at the statistics of Vervet monkeys dealt with by the Monkey Helpline so far this year, it is shocking to know how many of these monkeys actually died.

In the period 1 January 2009 to 17 May 2009, 137 days, we dealt with 143 dead monkeys – just more than one dead monkey every day! These monkeys were euthanased, died en route to the vet, died during or after veterinary treatment, or in some cases were already dead on our arrival.

67 deaths were the result of motor vehicle accidents.

29 deaths were the result of pellet gun injuries

22 deaths were the result of injuries caused by dogs

12 deaths were the result of injuries caused by other monkeys

13 deaths were due to poisoning, razor-wire, electrocution, raptors, Tetanus or snares. One was burnt with hot oil.

These figures do not reflect those monkeys dealt with by any other primate handling groups in KZN.

X-rays show that over eighty percent of the monkeys rescued or retrieved by the Monkey Helpline have air gun pellets lodged in their bodies, rarely only one pellet, mostly between two and eight pellets, some with ten to fifteen pellets.

If one considers that the Monkey Helpline is only dealing with the tip of the ice-berg when it comes to rescuing or retrieving sick, injured, orphaned or otherwise in-need-of-help Vervets in KZN, the rate at which the Vervet population in KZN, particularly in and around towns and cities, is being decimated should set alarm bells ringing. It certainly makes a mockery of those claims that there is a population explosion of Vervets and that they are breeding out of control. Now more than ever they need our protection and care, especially when you consider that our “dead file” has 29 new entries just for the first 15 days of June!

(PS. The figure of 143 dead monkeys in the first 137 days of 2009 was subsequently adjusted to 154 after some misfiled admission records were re-filed)