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



APES Chatter 2       April 2001    - a periodic newsletter




To prove that we at A.P.E.S. don’t just deal with the Vervets, I was approached by Foschini in Amanzimtoti to help with a ‘bird problem  It was a valid request I thought   A pair of red wing Starlings had built a nest and hatched three healthy babies over their frontdoor. Her dilemma was the sign was to be changed therefore the babies would be homeless  and how long did I think it would take before they could be disturbed, bearing in mind these babies were now teenagers and just about ready to take off into the wild. I assured her that a week or two was all that was required,.I The manageress of Foschini’s had already spoken to the manageress of Miladys who readily agreed without hesitation that if the little ones had not left by the time the new sign was ready to be put up by all means go ahead,and move the nest  over  to their side, Isnt it wonderful that we have two such caring people in our area. Good news for all, the birds decided since they were going to be disturbed in the near future they would get the young ones to take flying lessons a.s.a.p. the day after the discussion the youngsters were seen leaving home. The home isn’t being destroyed but being moved over to Miladys overhang anyway. Thank you to both manageresses for caring.

Unfortunately it is with a very heavy heart that we report the death of Moggy, she was killed by dogs, I honestly don’t think they intentionally wanted to kill her but because of her restricted vision she might not have been able to move quick enough, but the only thought we can hold, is at least she had a happy time and was “free”, for a number of months, Of course we have had various incidents with our local troop, especially the Alpha female, who seems to take delight in terrorising all in sundry, giving a few bites here and there, nothing fatal mind but quite sore if you are on the receiving end, as one or two of our inmates know, it is usually the tails that get injured, it seems that most of the monkeys forget they have them!!!!
We are delighted to tell you that Mimi(whose mum was killed and she seriously injured) who was sent to us by  Stephnie Woolf (now  Wildcare & Rehab Centre in the Cape) & Karen Trendler, has  with a lot l of love and care  survived. It is so wonderful to see Mimi living out in the wild, of course she will never be able to go off with the wild ones but has a “boyfriend” in the wild and spends her days foraging and do what monkeys do best. Tombie was collected from the Durban S.P.C.A. her “owner” an African man had two but one was eaten by the neighbours he was worried that Tombie would also end up this way hence her being at S.P.C.A. she now is out in the wild doing her own thing, because she is about five or six years old it will take considerably longer for her to totally rehabilitate into the wild troop, she too has attached herself to BigBoy and it is wonderful to see them grooming each other. All the babies are doing very well out in their big enclosure, and sleep out at night as well. In about three to four weeks time they are going to be out in the wild blue yonder, always a heart wrenching time, but they have to start coping on their own, of course our teenagers will be there to assist them as well.
 With the heatwave that we have had recently the teenagers and  Minky have decided the pool is a fantastic place. We have many delightful moments watching their antics.  The babies also have a pool which they use constantly, sometimes even when it isn’t that hot, typical children….
RESCUES/CALL-OUTS  We have had numerous calls, and are thankful to people like C.R.O.W., various Protection Services, S.P.C.A. for giving out our contact number enabling us to educate people and help the monkeys in distress. A special thanks to Inspector Neilson of Metro police, for caring enough to visit us and trying to  help with the so called Monkey Problems, they are now referring calls to us rather than reverting to the “gun’ You  and your men are STARS a BIG THANK YOU from all the Monkeys.  We must report that on one of our call outs we rescued a very large male, he had been in a fight but also had been knocked down by a vehicle, thank you to the lady  “Sally” who  cared enough to phone us,Mick was taken to a wonderful caring vet, DR MICK HOOLE of Doonside, who spent a great deal of his time putting Mick back together, Thank you  Dr, Hoole. Mick is doing wonderfully well and should be released very shortly,  after his 47 plus stitches are removed…… It has been a great privilege having this monkey during his convalescence he has allowed us to groom him, inject him, groomed me at close range and the laugh was when he presented himself to me…. My comment; “Thank you very much but not this time”. Mick is so gentle it is difficult to believe that he is a wild animal   he is approximately ten or twelve years old and has canines that would put an Alsatian dog to shame!!!!……( that is gratitude for you)….. We are all going to miss him when it is time for him to go back to his particular area.(Just a quick report back, Mick was released  fifteen days after his rescue, it was heart rendering to see the excitement he displayed when he saw his “area” we had a small picnic lunch for him which we put down before letting him out, he did not panic or run but climbed out, selected a couple of apples and strolled off but he did look around, it seemed as he was saying “thank you” and goodbye…
It might be of interest that one of our call-outs from the S.P.C.A. was for a Gannet that had been shot at,we suspect a speargun was used, anyway as usual Kenny Coetzee our star rescuer……saved the day and our “patient” was taken for a nice  bath at Kennys house and then off to  Fynland Island in the harbour. Bless you Kenny for all your hard work….   There have been a number of other call outs far too many to mention them all, not less important we might add.
We have had a very successful meeting with the new Director of Parksboard  which now  has a new name, again, and are delighted to say it was extremely fruitful, its wonderful to see that the head of this organisation is so knowledgeable, and most of all caring. Thank you once again Director Khulani Mkhizi.
We would like to advise our members that we are hoping to have a meeting before the end of April, anyone that can offer a venue not to far from the  Durban/Toti, please let us know, we would also like to put a notice in the local papers regarding this meeting so that anyone who is interested can also attend. ANY SUGGESTIONS??????
We have also been asked on numerous occasions what  is a “usual day “ at A.P.E.S. well yours truly will sit down at the infernal machine in the not too distant future, I promise,and put this on paper, so people can see it isn’t all fun and games so to speak.

It is with a very sad heart we say goodbye to three of our very  dedicated members, Marlene Russell, Chris Taylor, who are off to England for at least three years  and Johann Labaschagne who is off to Gauteng, good luck and God bless you three we will miss you dreadfully, a very big thank you for all your help and support in the past.
The day usually begins between four &  four thirty a.m. in summer & five / five thirty in winter. Rod is allowed the luxury of  an extra half hour of sleep…
First the cats get fed, the Rooibos tea is prepared for the  teenagers (I have found that when there are highly strung monkeys  this  helps to calm them down (as it does in the case when human children have the same  problem)
Tea is taken out into one of the continually open enclosures , and usually there are the very early risers that come out of the bush and partake of the refreshments….. bread is also put out, then  the  unreleasables are also “served” their  goodies. Next  it is the babies turn, by this time it is nearly six, They get Ideal milk, their fruit/veg  that has been prepared before-hand. While They are drinking their milk I clean and disinfect their sleeping quarters.
If the wild troop arrived the evening before I have to rush around and get their feeding station sorted out   they have bread, while Im preparing their fruit & veg. While they are waiting I then make Rod his tea and if Lady Minky decided to sleep in her indoor “flat”  she has her tea as well… she then lets herself out to mix with the common lot….. I then go down to the flat and prepare the food for the troop for the day, that is our troop and the food for the wild troop. This consists of the following procedure. The fruit/veg is selected and washed cut up and divided between various feeding dishes , immediate meals,  lunch and late afternoon for the residents of A.P.E.S.  Then  each group get their dish of food, the wild ones have theirs on the one enclosure roof, this enables them to have contact  with any babies that are still in an enclosure and for them to get to know the “New ones” this all helps with the intergration in the end. By this time it is 7a.m. and time for me to get ready for work. We leave at 7.30a.m. When I have left my helper Khela takes over, his duties are to clean the enclosures , remove all the old half eaten or dropped  fruit,spray with an antiseptic  mixture. for hygienic purposes, and it helps to keep flies at bay. Khela also makes sure they have fresh water two or three times a day, the babies “swimming pool” is also cleaned out and filled with fresh water if it is hot enough. Fresh branches are cut and put into the babies and the   un-releasables enclosures ( to clear up a point) the  un -releasables are often referred to as the “Lame & Lazy , these are monkeys that cannot be let out at all because of their disabilities, but do have large enough enclosures and branches, toys etc to stop them getting bored. They have grass and soil as well and can forage for grubs & insects if they are capable.Khela also keeps an eye on the monkeys that are out, not that he follows them around but remember they are not yet full adults and can get into problems, but most of the time they spend out in the “Monkey Bush” next door doing what monkeys do best. He does however keep a special eye on the new arrivals and Mini who is partially disable, see the latest Chatter. One very important issue is that Khela has to watch out incase there are any disasters, fights with the wild ones if they are around or any injuries, we are very fortunate to have a very caring neighbour Gloria Stowell and her family who are always available to cart the injured off to the vet if  necessary , but not too serious the wounded are attended to when we get home, actually a number of Rods customers wonder why we often have Purple blotches here and there, well this is the reason.. Khela checks their food dishes and makes sure there is always enough fresh water etc, He then cleans the enclosures in the mid afternoon feeds the dogs and does a final trip around the garden picking the various droppings, remember we do have 12 dogs and of course Nunu our piggy.  When we get back at 5p.m. I take over, the monkey duties, by this time they have had their last prepared meals, which is often left or half eaten because they have had a very  successful day foraging in the wild. (The babies are fed every four hours with fresh food and their milk ) as they get older of course their milk intake is cut down and eventually stops all together. While they are having milk they are given vitamins every day in their early morning feed. It is always a delight when the babies are able to drink themselves it does help tremendously with the work load, One can imagine what “fun’ it is trying to bottle feed six or seven babes all at the same time….,. I now know how an Octopus feels…. For the people that wonder how I manage when they are still on the bottle and work the same time, that’s easily answered, they come to work with us and are fed regularly and have an enclosure at work big enough for them until the are capable of being on their own with Khela in charge. Back to the workday….   Babies are given their last milk, and a snack of bread or biscuits, At 6p.m. they are rounded up and closed in their sleeping quarters, which has been lined with paper and a bed of towels & blankets.One might ask why close them it, when they are still tiny they need the security and safety of being shielded, they sleep in a bundle clutching each other for added security. When they are about six or seven months old they are allowed to sleep out on a ledge or perch and can if they want to go into their sleeping box. By this time all the others are heading for their night  roosts this changes regularly as well,. If her ladyship Minky decideds that she will be sleeping out she does but if she decides that because it is a night for sleeping indoors she arrives in as it gets dark and spends a short time on my lap watching a animal programme on T.V. and then she is popped into her “flat” for the night, Now it is suppertime for the lowly humans of the household. Over the weekends we don’t have any helpers except on the Saturday  morning if Im working but on Sundays Khela is off and the whole load falls on Rods & my shoulders !!!!!!
Why do we do it……… ? Just had a phone call herewith a very interesting story from a lady called Sandy,  she works for a vet in Durban North, on arriving home she found that her husband had prepared lunch for them, rolls, salad etc etc, which he left on the diningroom table. When she went into the diningroom, she found to her surprise she had guests,,,,, Sitting on her table was a very large male monkey, next to him was a large female and they were helping themselves but not eating, passing the food along a monkey chain, each one getting a morsel this varied according to the size of the monkey mind,,,,,, once all of them had something, the male helped himself, taking a roll, dipping  it into the butter taking a slice of ham as well. He sauntered out of the open window,as if leaving a restuarant. Sandy was transfixed and only wished she had a camera on hand…… Methinks this definitely shows logic and intelligence.Sandy next time make sure you are equipped with your camera, better still a video camera……That’s all for now folks….. ALL AT A.P.E.S..


APES Chatter 2
Caring birds
Moggy departs
Mimi recovers
Tombi meets BigBoy
Season's babies
Parks Board meeting
A day in the life . .

Chatter 2nd_quarter
Chatter April2009
Chatter Oct 2008
Chatter July 2008
Chatter May 2007
Chatter 2007
Chatter 2006
Chatter 2005
Chatter 3
Chatter 2
Chatter 1

Home page


Thank You

A day in the life . .

& Donations

Facts & Fallacies


Working Volunteers  & Eco-Tourists


Location &




Apes, 2001         last updated  October 28, 2004           webmaster