“I own a thatched property in Marina Beach, lower south coast. My roof is being systematically destroyed by a troop(s) of monkeys. When I contacted my insurance broker about a claim to effect repairs, he told me that monkeys are classed as vermin, so I would not be able to claim for the damage/repairs. Is this the case?If monkeys are vermin, is it legal to poison them like rats & mice? I understand the need for conservation of nature in the area. However I can’t afford the bills to continually repair my thatch”.

Above is an extract from a letter I received this past week, and it so clearly illustrates the stupidity that informs the thinking of a small but dangerous number of morally retarded cretins whose actions are having a terrible impact on the lives of many monkeys throughout KwaZulu-Natal and other parts of South Africa. What kind of twisted mind are we dealing with, who even considers poisoning as an acceptable means of resolving his problems with monkeys?

Certainly in KZN monkeys are not classified as vermin and it is most definitely illegal to “poison them like rats and mice”! Fact is that monkeys are protected nationally by the Animal Protection Act and provincially by the KZN Nature Conservation Ordinance. They are also protected by the efforts of organizations like Monkey Helpline, various animal protection groups, and by a not insignificant body of ordinary people who feel very strongly about the welfare of monkeys and other animals.

Which brings me to the point of this blog post, namely, to show that without the support of the animal-caring public, Monkey Helpline cannot carry out its mandate to educate, rescue, provide veterinary care, post-veterinary care, rehabilitate, release or provide life-long sanctuary.

Yes, without this support Monkey Helpline would not even have known about most of the three-hundred and twenty-seven rescue callouts we responded to between January 1 and June 30 this year. These calls originated from across the age, race and gender spectrum, from people representing all sectors of our society, but all of them with three things in common – decency, integrity and compassion!

And if this seems like a high number of monkeys in need of our help, believe us when we tell you that it represents only a fraction of the total number of monkeys suffering and dying in places where no caring person gets to see them and do something to help. If Monkey Helpline rescue figures are extrapolated to the total area traversed by troops of monkeys throughout KwaZulu-Natal every day, then a staggering number of monkeys are being injured or killed here every year. Judging by the non-scientific observations by Monkey Helpline rescuers of the situation as it affects urban Vervet monkeys, it is not unrealistic to fear the extinction of these little animals within the lifetime of our current generation.
(The pics exhibited in this posting show just how deranged a person can be. Top pic shows a beautiful adult male Vervet with an arrow shot from a bow through his arm. Next pic shows the x-ray of his humerus shattered by the arrow just above the elbow joint. Bottom pic of this monkey after the broken arrow was removed from his arm, with veterinarian, Dr Kerry Easson holding the three pieces of arrow.)

If you want to make a real difference for monkeys in South Africa, you cannot do better than to show your support for our efforts to help them. We know from our day to day experiences, and the people we meet and talk to, that there are far more people who care about the welfare of monkeys than there are people who dislike and loathe monkeys to the extent of harming or killing them. Unfortunately the pro-monkey people are not as vociferous about their feelings as are the anti-monkey people. We need to let these anti-monkey cretins know that they are a small minority whose aggression and violence towards monkeys will not be allowed to go unchallenged.

So, how do YOU show the monkeys that you are batting for them?

Its pretty simple. Arrange with your kids’ school for Monkey Helpline to come and do a Power Point-supported talk to pupils and teachers. Volunteer to work at the Monkey Helpline “high care” and recovery facility. Distribute Monkey helpline leaflets. Become a “monkey monitor”. Help us at our Essenwood Market table on Saturdays between 8.30am and 2pm – an hour or two whenever you can, would be a great help. Become a Monkey helpline member, donor or sustainer. This and so much more – contact Steve or Carol on 082 659 4711 or 082 411 5444 respectively or email us at .

Remember, without your help and support we cannot continue helping monkeys in distress. THE MONKEYS NEED YOU!!!