primate rescue and rehabilitation sanctuary


Animal Protection & Environmental Sanctuary

A non-profit organisation specialising in Primate rehabilitation and rescue,
based in Kwazulu Natal - South Africa

(Darwin Primate Group is in no way connected to



Welcome to APES 



I'm Dawn Magowan.

IN 1992 , I became involved with the rehabilitation of infant Vervet monkeys in KZN. South Africa.MINKY & DAWN

My first orphan arrived in December 1992, just two weeks old. She had been stolen from her mother. My daughter, who worked in a doctor’s surgery, managed to rescue the little mite and bring her down to me.

'Bugs' did extremely well and the wild troop that I had become friendly with and who accepted me as one of their own, soon accepted my 'baby'.

In fact Rodney witnessed a very touching scene. I was standing on the veranda with the little one, when a wild mother with her baby came across the lawn. Although she had to pass numerous dogs, my pet pig and a number of
cats, she came up to me, patted me on the leg and held her baby out for me to see. I did the same. Rodney was watching all this from an upstairs window.

I am not ashamed to admit that tears were running down my cheeks at the trust this wild animal was showing me. My thoughts were "My God, and they shoot you and your kind!"

From that moment on I decided I would do all I could to help any orphans, injured wild Vervets or cast off 'pets' . . . and so APES was born.


The first 10 years

When Bugs was approximately a year old, a second baby, 'Bullet' arrived. A local sugar farmer had shot her mother. When asked why he did this he replied, “Because she was there!”.

BulletBullet was only an hour or two old. She sustained injuries from the shotgun pellets that killed her mother. One of these pieces of metal lodged in her head and had to remain there, as it was too dangerous to remove. It was very touching to see how Bugs adopted Bullet when we brought her home from the vet, a truly remarkable sight!

These two monkeys lived happily together, totally free and mixing with the wild troop who continued to visit us regularly. Then came the time for Bugs to move on. She reached maturity, found a mate and returned permanently to the wild. A very sad time in a way, but it was what was best for her and what we had worked for.

Bullet was lonely, but she had the company of the wild youngsters who were a wee bit younger than her. Because of her injury she was ‘slower’ than a normal monkey of her age.

Much to our delight Bugs reappeared with herMINKY & LOTTO troop approximately eight months later with a baby. She had become a wild monkey and had been fully accepted into the resident troop and visits at regular intervals!

Over time more and more casualties arrived and departed. Through word of mouth people got to know about us and soon we were being called for help and advice, rescue of sick and injured Vervets and educational talks at schools and in local communities.

All this work has been done with our own funds and a few donations. Fortunately, we have built a network of friends and associates - kind people who help make a difference, offering veterinary services, food, hands-on help and moral support. We have been able to purchase an acre of virgin bush adjacent to our home and extend the sanctuary.

The monkeys are our prime concern. Our greatest wish is to be able to expand and help more of these now endangered creatures return to their natural habitat and areas, to rehabilitate troops to areas where they once roamed, to eradicate the senseless cruelty we see daily and to educate people of all age groups to help them understand and protect their natural heritage before it is lost for all time.



Home page
Welcome to Apes
The first 10 years


Thank You

Volunteer Information

A day in the life . .

& Donations

APES Chatter
a periodic newsletter

Facts & Fallacies


Working Volunteers
 & Eco-Tourists


Location &

Umpalazi Community & Wildlife Project

Blinkwater Enviro Watch

“THE HAMPTONS WILDLIFE CARE CENTRE” For More Information Please Contact Us At Apes

Green Volunteers: working with animals, wildlife and nature conservation volunteering Database




©  Apes, 2001-2002         last updated  March 22, 2006           webmaster