Moonlight for Monkeys

“Moonlight for Monkeys” is a night trail run on the beautiful trails of Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park, which coincides with the full moon.
This event caters for all levels of fitness, and is aimed at the whole family. Runners will be required to bring their own light source for the run (head light, torch, bike light, fairy lights, glow sticks).

There will be stalls, fun activities for kids, and there is currently a colouring competition for the kids, with lots of awesome prizes to be won as well. Jetaime Ribbink, the current South African Champion Warrior will be in attendance for any running fans to have a meet and greet with her.

The fun run consists of a 5km run/walk and 10km run.
People can enter on

The 5km is R30, and the 10km is R60. Please note that there is an entrance fee of R10 for non-members at Giba Gorge.
Registration starts at 16:30 on the day.

For more info and updates, people can visit or view the event

All proceeds from the run will be donated to Monkey Helpline to assist us in our ongoing work with Vervet monkeys in and around KZN.

We would like to extend its thanks to the ladies from the Monkey Helpline Donate Team who have worked tirelessly in organising the event, and to all the companies who have sponsored prizes.

Monkey Helpline on Twitter

Monkey Helpline is now on Twitter, we will be posting updates there as well.


Media Release 26/11

Media Release after the NSPCA’s public release of a video and post on their Facebook page.

Should you require additional comments, please contact


KwaZulu-Natal-based monkey rescue organization, Monkey Helpline is appalled by the decision of the National Council of SPCA’s (NSPCA)to issue a media statement on its findings during a recent inspection of the primate rescue and education organisation’s facility based in Westville, Durban.

“We believe that the NSPCA has acted in bad faith and view this action on the part of the NSPCA as a deliberate and retaliatory attempt to undermine the integrity of Monkey Helpline after we recently criticized their primate euthanasia ruling publicly on their Facebook page, and challenged the NSPCA to convene provincial meetings for all interested and affected parties to address the crisis facing indigenous primates in South Africa”, said Monkey Helpline founder, Steve Smit.  “Needless to say the NSPCA has not responded to our call for the holding of these meetings.

The controversial ruling by the NSPCA, arrived at without any constructive engagement with members of the primate care community, that any sick or injured baboon or monkey brought in to an SPCA will summarily be euthanased, or if it is a healthy animal it will be kept for five days and then euthanased if not “claimed” by a NSPCA accredited and permitted primate facility, has infuriated animal lovers across South Africa and abroad and has resulted in much criticism of the NSPCA.  Monkey Helpline has been at the forefront of public criticism of the NSPCA  and has even started a Causes petition on Facebook calling on the NSPCA to abandon this policy.

Two weeks ago the NSPCA sent its senior wildlife inspector, Sister Ainsley Hay, accompanied by an inspector and the manager of the Kloof and Highway SPCA, to the Westville premises where Monkey Helpline is based, ostensibly to carry out an inspection following a “complaint” by a member of the public that Monkey Helpline was hoarding three hundred and seventy-five monkeys in sub-standard conditions.  When challenged on this by Steve Smit the NSPCA inspector denied that the visit was a strong arm tactic by the NSPCA intended to bully Monkey Helpline into submission after it’s public challenging of the NSPCA’s controversial primate euthanasia ruling.

“It is our considered opinion that this entire exercise had nothing to do a so-called public complaint, rather that it is a typically phobic response by the NSPCA to being publicly challenged, and that because the SPCA movement generally, with NSPCA policies and rulings at the forefront, is dominated by a pro-euthanasia mindset, it cannot comprehend why any individual or organisation would be committed to doing what we do in order to save monkeys and give them a second chance at life life, either in a sanctuary or rehabilitated back into the wild after a period of recovery confinement and continued confinement until such time as the sanctuary and rehabilitation facilities to do this have been constructed.

“It is important to realize that all the monkeys in the care of Monkey Helpline have been rescued by us from extremely dire situations and are severely compromised”, said Smit.  “Every one of these monkeys would have suffered and died had we not intervened and provided life-saving treatment and recovery care where possible and desirable.  Monkey Helpline responds to over one thousand rescue callouts every year, rescuing an average of three monkeys every day throughout most of the year.  A high percentage, close to seventy-five percent, of rescue callouts end in the death of the monkey concerned, often by means of euthanasia due to the extreme nature of the animals’ illness or injury.  Many are dead on arrival or die before, during or after veterinary treatment.”

“We totally reject the NSPCA claim that what we are doing is “testimony to a serious case of wild animal hoarding”.  It is a ridiculous statement to make given that Monkey Helpline is the only dedicated primate rescue organisation in KZN and we accumulate monkeys from across the province.  Every monkey currently in our care has our commitment to ensuring that it will ultimately find a safe and fulfilling future in the sanctuary or rehabilitation facility currently being planned for land already donated to Monkey Helpline by a highly respected local conservation organisation.  Over the past seven years we have returned a large number for monkeys back into the wild, and the two hundred monkeys currently in our care represent an accumulation of less than thirty monkeys per year over this seven year period.  This can hardly be called “a serious case of wild animal hoarding”.

‘Insofar as claims by the NSPCA that, “Vervet Monkeys and some parrots were found to be without food and water and kept in filthy, cramped cages”, this is sensationalised and subjective”, said Smit.  “We believe that the NSPCA came to our property with the express intention of finding problems for which they could issue us with a warning.  That some of the cages had not yet been cleaned and the food and water containers replaced had everything to do with the practicality of running a facility such as the Monkey Helpline clinic and absolutely nothing to do with a lack of commitment to running as tidy a ship as we are capable of.  No monkey, or for that matter any other animal in our care, goes a single day without fresh food and water.  We are committed to providing for the basic needs and more of all the animals in our care, and the NSPCA inspector who carried out the inspection would have to admit that all the animals are physically in good condition.  Simple logic tells us that this would not be the case if these animals are denied access to food and water for meaningful periods at a time.  The inspector neglects to mention that even as she was critical of the absence of water in some of the clinic cages, I pointed out the pile of newly washed food and water containers that would be placed back into the cages shortly”.

Smit says that Inspector Ainsley’s claim that he, “has finally admitted that animal cruelty is occurring and that it is unacceptable to confine these animals unnecessarily,” is both incorrect and presented out of context.  He says that he agrees that unnecessary confinement for gratuitous reasons is cruel, but the confinement of monkeys in the Monkey Helpline clinic is not “unnecessary” and is also the only option available to Monkey Helpline as it moves towards establishing a benchmark sanctuary and rehabilitation facility on the land recently donated to it.  Smit asserts that it is a case of, “the end justifying the means”.

Smit also challenged the NSPCA inspector’s concerns about the length of time that monkeys were being kept in the clinic cages.  “We too are not comfortable with monkeys being confined beyond the time required for recovery from the injury or illness that preempted their rescue in the first place, but the reality is that this initial discomfort will more than be compensated for when the monkeys move to spacious sanctuary and rehabilitation enclosures.  If this means that some monkeys will have spent a year in such close confinement, it also means that they will at least be alive to enjoy the remaining five, ten or even twenty years of life that will follow.  Had they not been rescued they would now be dead, and most would have suffered horribly before dying.”

Taking the positive out of this issue, it might just be the catalyst the propels the NSPCA into taking a more proactive role in addressing the crisis facing monkeys and baboons in South Africa, and this would be a welcome deviation from their current position which is both inflexible and insensitive to the objectives of primate rescue, sanctuary and rehabilitation organisations in South Africa.

In my experience the NSPCA has made no effort to contribute to the South African primate care debate in any meaningful way.  If the NSPCA wants the respect and cooperation of primate care organisations and individuals, and wants to genuinely serve the needs of monkeys and baboons in South Africa, it must abandon its bully boy tactics and embark on a path of constructive engagement with the various organisations and individuals who are expending a huge amount of time, money and emotional energy in an effort to broker a better deal for the misunderstood, maligned and persecuted monkeys and baboons in South Africa.  And whilst they are about it they should be actively working to improve the lot of the thousands of exotic monkeys and parrots condemned to a life of imprisonment or enslavement in the hands of people with far more money than intellectual or emotional capacity to comprehend the cruelty associated with keeping monkeys and parrots, amongst others, as pets.

In concluding it is important to point out that whilst the NSPCA denies that its latest inspection of Monkey Helpline facilities has anything to do with the Monkey Helpline’s public criticism of the NSPCA’s primate euthanasia ruling and was motivated by the “public complaint” about excessive numbers of monkeys at the Monkey Helpline facility, the NSPCA’s media statement made no mention of the alleged complaint, but does conclude with a paragraph using its findings at Monkey Helpline as justification for the euthanasia ruling.

Monkey Helpline will not be gagged by the NSPCA when we feel criticism of their actions, or at times lack thereof, is justified.  We will act in accordance with our organisation’s objectives and will continue to hold our heads high and display our Monkey Helpline branding with pride!

Zombie Run

Come join in for some family fun, bonding time and a healthy activity for all. The Zombie FUN RUN will not only be a day of great fun, but also a way of supporting local No profits, Monkey Helpline will be one of these. So, come run, have fun, and help our Vervets in KZN.

Keep the 30th November open for this awesome event.

Zombie Run

The Indigenous Gardener Article

Thanks to The Indigenous Gardener for the article

Page 25

Vervet Monkeys Vervet monkeys are amongst the most misunderstood and persecuted of animals in South Africa,and certainly in KwaZulu-Natal –

During the last quarter of every year, Monkey Helpline is called to rescue a number of female monkeys, either heavily pregnant or carrying a new baby. Most are attacked and bitten by dogs or been struck by motor cars whilst crossing roads. Pregnant females have significantly reduced mobility, and the period between September and December is a particularly difficult
one for them. This is the time during which the majority of pregnant Vervets give birth!

Monkey Helpline spokesperson, Carol Booth, says that every year her organisation receives numerous rescue callouts concerning female Vervets who, being heavily pregnant or carrying their newborn baby, are struck down by cars or attacked by dogs. “Normally agile and alert these monkeys usually avoid dogs or cars, but during advanced stages of pregnancy, or encumbered by their new-borns, they find it more difficult to escape into the relative safety of trees, onto walls or even out of the garden altogether”, says Booth. “Just a few seconds slower than usual, they become the victims of a dog attack, usually with fatal consequences
for themselves and their unborn or newly born baby. The same happens to these female monkeys trying to cross roads.”

Booth appealed to dog owners to be particularly alert to the presence of monkeys visiting their garden at this time of the year, and to confine their dogs during the short time the monkeys are around. “Monkeys follow pre-determined foraging routes and most people
are aware of the possibility of monkeys passing through their property. Controlling your dogs in the presence of monkeys takes very little effort that ultimately translates into a huge benefit to the monkeys. Likewise, being alert to monkeys in the road or trying to cross the road and simply slowing down will give the pregnant  females or those with new-born babies a bit more time to cross the road safely or to make the decision to wait until the car has passed.”

According to Booth this is also the time of year when the juvenile Vervets born during the previous season, around ten months to a year earlier, are also at risk of death or injury by dogs and motor cars. “Following a mother whose attention is on her new-born baby or who, still heavily pregnant, is not so confident in crossing roads or gardens, the juvenile has to make its own decisions about when and where to run and when to wait. Even a moments
haste or hesitation can be fatal, and many juvenile Vervets are killed or seriously injured by motor cars or dogs during this period.” Many pregnant Vervets are attacked by dogs or hit by cars accidentally, but a significant number are deliberately targeted by airgun owners because, moving slowly due to their situation, they become easy targets. Incidents of these vulnerable females shot are not uncommon. and there is clear evidence that many shooters
are deliberately targeted a mother monkey visibly carrying a baby!”

“Contrary to statements made by the anti-monkey brigade, there is, in fact, an alarming decrease in the population of urban Vervet Monkeys,” says Booth. “The claim that there is a population explosion of monkeys is totally false. Urban monkeys are regular victims of car strikes, dog attacks, high voltage electrocution, air gun and other shootings, razor wire injuries, deliberate poisoning, and traps or snares set out to catch them for ‘bush meat’ or ‘muti’.

No amount of “natural” predation ever impacted on Vervet populations as devastatingly as has deliberate and accidental human related “predation”.

At Monkey Helpline, our two full-time rescuers respond to around one thousand rescue call-outs every year. Of these, almost seventy-five percent are dead on arrival, die en-route to the vet, are euthanized, or die within the first few days after veterinary treatment.

Consider also that only in her fourth year can a female Vervet give birth to a single baby (twins are rare) for the first time, and this after a seven month pregnancy. Research indicates that only one out or every four babies will reach adulthood. Therefore, far from needing their numbers reduced, they urgently need every bit of help they can get to survive in this increasingly monkey-unfriendly world.”

Daily News Article

Thanks to The Daily News for the article.

Monkey business keeps helpline busy

October 2 2013 at 09:00am

ND springbaby

Spring is not only a time when flowers bloom, but when the seemingly ubiquitous vervet monkey – adored by some, hated by others – start multiplying.

It’s also a time when the KZN Monkey Helpline sees an uptick in rescues of the primates, who get run over by cars, shot by annoyed humans or bitten by dogs.

Since the start of the breeding season last month the helpline has rescued 10 heavily pregnant monkeys and several newborns.

Three premature newborns had died due to trauma suffered by their mother, said the organisation’s spokesman, Darryl Oliver, but two were being cared for by human surrogate mothers.

“Females are pregnant for around 160 days and give birth from September through to December,” Oliver said.

He said of the 10 pregnant females that were rescued, only two had retained the foetuses. “Most monkeys who suffer trauma from being hit by cars, bitten by dogs or shot with air guns, abort their foetus after a few days,” Oliver said.

The organisation rescues about 30 baby vervets – usually those under six weeks old – each year. All are raised by specially trained human surrogate mothers.

“Having babies puts female vervet monkeys at risk,” Oliver said.

“One of the privileges that goes with living in KZN is that we have vervets living around our homes, schools, parks and even our factories.

“People have mixed emotions about them when they see vervets. Love them or hate them, they are here to stay,” he said.

The helpline aims to educate people to care about monkeys and to make urban wildlife areas a better place for humans and animals.

Oliver said monkeys were among the most misunderstood and persecuted of animals in South Africa.

Shoe Box Hampers

With Spring already well on it’s way, Monkey Helpline faces one of it’s busiest times of the year. It is from around now until December that mothers from the age of 4 start to give birth to young.

During the unnatural habitat, i.e. human settlements, that the monks have to live in every day, they face far more unnatural dangers, such as humans wielding guns, catapults, etc, domestic pets, security features such as electric fences and razor wire, and motor vehicles.

Any trauma to the monkey can cause a mother to self-abort her baby prematurely. Sometimes they are strong enough to survive and be rescued and passed onto our human surrogates, and other times they are not developed enough and have either died in-utero due to trauma, or post birth from complications or abandonment.

We have put together some same packs as ideas for you if you want to donate goods in the form of Shoebox Hampers.

There are 3 categories to choose from – however, you can donate according to your budget. We understand that a single box can be quite costly, so even 5 or 6 items will help. You can even split the list between friends to make up on big box, the choice is yours.

Most of the items can be purchased from Dischem and Pick n Pay.

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1) New Born Package
– Soft baby blanket
– Face cloth
– Detol
– Glucose powder
– Protexin – Kyron (available from a vet)
– Gastropect
– Rehydrate
– Vidaylin multivitamin drops
–  baby safe teething toy
– small soft baby safe teddy
– Baby milk formula, S26
– Purity Baby Food,  Yogurt and banana, apple, – Cerelac / Rice Cereal
– Johnsons baby shampoo
– Detol soap
– Waterless hand. cleaning gel
– F10 ointment
– F10 SC spray
– Small heating pad (Dischem)

2) Monkey Pack
– Raisins
– Monkey nuts (peanuts in the shell)
– Morvite
– Dried fruit/ prunes etc
– Puffed Weat cereal
– Energade concentrate (mixed berry flavour)
– Popcorn.(unpopped)
– Brown rice
– Peanut butter
– Apricot jam
– Honey
– Samp and Beans
– Astros
– Marshmallows
– Chewable multi vitamin ( eg. Teddy vites)
– Black rubbish bags
– towel

3) Rescue Pack
– Glucose powder
– Arnica drops/ tablets
– Rescue drops/ tablets
– Traumele drops/ tablets
– Rehydrate
– Energade concentrate.(mixed berry flavour)
– Hot water bottle
– soft baby blanket
– Towel
– Crepe bandages
– Sofban
– 50 or 75m Elastoplast roll
– Micropore
– Flexus.
– Cotton wool
– Gauze swabs
– 1m syringe
– Needles (23, 21, 18G)
-Gelonet/ Parafin gauze
– Tetravac. (Tetanus vacine)
– F10 ointment
– F10 SC spray
– Standard Tourch Batteries
– Ringers Lactate
– Standard Touch/ LED Head lamp
– Cable Ties

The drop off points for these boxes will be at:

  • Riverside vet (Durban North)
  • Ashburn vet (Glenashley)
  • Westville vet (Westville)

Please ensure your box has your name, phone number and email address on.