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 3       September 2001    - a periodic newsletter



  family holidays in Tenerife

It is un-believable that we are already sending out our third newsletter, time does  certainly fly….. so much has happened since our last Chatter it is difficult to know where to begin., for a change lets start with happy events a kind of smile that you usually get from spending  the holidays to Lanzarote and other luxurious places………
HAPPY; Very recently we were approached by the Kennedy family of Amanzimtoti about a young monkey that had a damaged arm… these people have a wonderful relationship with their resident troop of Vervets and have for the last two years had  a “Feeding Station” operating with great success.  despite the “prophets of doom”I would like to say however that the Kennedy’s started their feeding station long before making contact with us at A.P.E.S. These people used logic” hungry monkey’s raid, help them when food is scarce, and they stop raiding,” simple, however we still have some people who believe that this makes them aggressive ( Bronwyn has a two year old daughter, Taylor, who thinks the monkeys are her playmates, there is no aggression what so ever only trust) lazy and makes them breed…. Amazing isn’t it…. Now for some very happy and exciting news about Pellet, the baby  with the damaged arm,After Julie Kennedy contacted us at A.P.E.S. we realized these were not people who were frightened of the Vervets but had a remarkable relationship with them ,so we advised them how to capture Pellet This they did with great success , after Bronwyn and her dad, Rob,captured Pellet they  then took him to a resident vet, Dr. Mick Hoole, who reported that this poor creature had been SHOT WITH A PELLET GUN damaging the nerves in his arm he had actually started chewing his fingers off as he didn’t have any feeling at all in the hand or arm, Mick advised us that the only alternative to putting him to sleep was, to remove the arm at the shoulder,,,, I’m sure you can imagine what thoughts were going through our minds at this point,,,,, well after discussion with Mick, and  the Kennedy’s, it was decided to give Pellet a chance.,and he went through the operation with flying colours His adopted family continued to  nurse him with loving and expert care.  I will now quote from the  e/.mail received from Bronwyn, “I know you said that we should’nt let Pellet go while it is so cold but really we had no choice. Pellet for some reason went beserk when the troop arrived, so it was either letting them see each other or Pellet killing himself in that cage. I could see that he was’nt very happy. We introduced them again and much to our delight they attacked us and not Pellet, he was crying and going crazy. After a while,  his mom went to the cage and took his head in her hands and stroked him. She and the male sat on that cage as if they would die first before letting us get to him again.We did get to him and let him go, he is fine, he and his parents stayed most of the day here and I think his mommy will keep him warm tonight, we didn’t give him any special things so he won’t need to adapt much, we  didn’t want to cause a problem   by giving him a heated water bottle and things like that. He is much happier, and we felt that it was cruel leaving him in the cage for longer than he should be, we nursed him back to health now his parents are taking over. The one arm hasn’t caused too much of a problem as he was running around with the other and climbing trees. We felt that this was the right time and it was. I could’nt of kept him any longer than we did because I felt it was cruel for him to have such a limited space, he has been in a cage for almost two weeks (except his cuddles through the day) but I felt that he should be with his mom. We could’nt bring him inside again after letting him see the troop that would just be cruel so we followed our judgement. “Unquote. I think that says it all. I would like to add however that some people feel that once babies  have  been “humanised” it is impossible to return them back to their family I feel that this story proves that this is not always  the case.As we always say each and every case has to be treated differently.
A Large male monkey named Simon was brought to the sanctuary by caring people that were on holiday in Bazley from Pietermaritzburg,  They were out walking near the railway line when they heard a loud thump, and low and behold lying on the, ground bleeding from a head wound ,was a very large male monkey, Simon the namesake thought he was dead as he was lying so still, his friend rushed back to the cottage and collected a very large towel which they used as a hammock laid Simon monk in this improvised hammock and brought him to us, Kehela my  assistant was here and put the now waking Simon into the hospital cage. When I arrived  home,I found a very  groggy  monk busy eating, Kehela had given him a buffet of various goodies and a bowl of water, We decided that Simon should remain for a few days as he did have a damaged eye and seemed slightly concussed. No one could shed any light on how he fell from his perch and after much questioning  of the very caring and concerned rescurers it was decided that poor Simon  must have been frightened by a snake and passed out with shock . Well all ended well, After a few days  rest and an awful lot of bananas, we opened the hospital cage door and Simon returned to the wild. Unfortunately his left eye was damaged and this  affected his sight  I’m sure  in time this will heal. He has been back not with our resident wild troop but on his own., He does not seem any worse for his frightening experience either. Apart from this event we seem to have been very busy with rescues this month, poor Kenny really had a busy time. There are far too many to write a story about each one but I will give you a short rundown.; RIVERS  from Manor Gardens was rescued by Kenny but unfortunately this poor monkey had been injured for sometime and we are led to believe that someone had tried to rescue him  on numerous occasions, Kenny managed to capture him and took him to Tina at Riverside Clinic unfortunately because of the delays his wounds were now too severe and Rivers had to be put to sleep, thank you Tina for your efforts trying to save him. We are told the people in that part of Manor Gardens were distraught because  Rivers was well know never a threat to anyone and infact one lady said “ He was such a gentleman” Thank you people for caring, one blessing is that he didn’t die alone in the bush somewhere.
KERRY; She was  a from Mount Edgecomb, Kerry her name sake phoned as this monkey seemed injured, Marlene did this her last rescue before going overseas incidently, well this monkey was taken to C.R.O.W. as is their ruling, but when phoned the next day I was told that their call-out vet had put her to sleep. I can only say I was upset as I was led to believe the wound on her arm was not that severe but it would take time to heal…..Again it was with a heavy heart I had to report back to Kerry at Mount Edgecombe. Thanks for caring Kerry, its people like you that make it  worthwhile
As I  said since our last Chatter there seems to have been an awful lot of call outs. To continue;;;;;
May saw another little one that had to be put to sleep  as  it was so badly injured, shot… yes shot. It had a hole in its head that turned into an abcess, it was too far gone for Tina  at the Riverside clinic to save, thanks again Tina for your efforts.
May  again, Val at the Sandcastle in Toti reported that there was a  poor female monkey that was badly injured but mobile and still eating well, we tried to capture her  on numerous occasions but  we kept on missing her,  eventually Yvonne from the S.P.C.A. Toti managed to capture her but by this time she had deteriorated so badly she had to be put  down, again her injures pointed to being shot. This is so sad because she did have a young one but luckily it was old enough to survive on its own  with the help of other troop members. Thanks to Val for caring and to  Yvonne for your kindness and help. . Talking about Yvonne she reported to me that she had been totally disgusted on a call out she had had from a  Athlone park resident,  this African chap had called her as he had seen this poor injured male monkey fall out of a tree and  he was most concerned,  when Yvonne arrived this monkey had  been shot in the head , he had fallen out of an avacado tree in this man’s garden, his poor head  burst on impact, he must have been in terrific pain as the abcess caused by the pellet had gone rotten, I only wish that people who think its proper to use a pellet gun and cause such horrific injuries could see the results of their actions….
June, Mrs. Jackson phoned regarding a female juvenile that was hurt,  she was very brave and caught this poor animal with the aid of her husband and took it to our  vet Mick Hoole, but unfortunately it died on the operating table, another shot animal, it goes on and on,  Until someone gets heavily fined for  this sort of action these poor animals will continue to suffer,  God help the monkeys…
KINGSWAY poor old and I mean old female monkey was found laying  on the veranda at Kingsway High school the students and teachers alike were most concerned, called us and when we arrived  some of the students were actually guarding this poor monkey, thank you all for caring. Well she had been caught in a trap sometime and her hand had nearly been severed, because she had been caught in this trap for so long she was dehydrated and  emaciated the only thing that could be done for her was to put her to sleep. It was terribly said to see how this had  affected the rescuers  when we had to tell them the sad news, but bless you all again for caring. .
 VOLTAIRE a teenage female  that had been nearly electrocuted in  the Doonside area, but luckily Carol heard the bang from out side and found this poor monk  lying on the ground. She used the presence of mind and covered her to keep her warm phone us, we advised her to take her to our  vet for a check up, this was done and after a couple of days  in hospital she was released but she did have a totally useless hand caused by the accident. It was wonderful to see how this monkey reacted to being released back into her area  Bless you Carol for caring enough to save her life. 
SHIRLEY; She was taken  to Toti Vet Clinic after been knocked down  somewhere in Toti, unfortunately  Dr van Heerden  could not tell us where exactly she was found   She  had concussion and a hole in her skull, some facial injuries as well, We were called three or four days later and collected her, after a week of treatment we 
Again tried to find out where she came from but to no avail, she has how joined our group. As I’m sure you are aware you cant just release a monkey to any troop and expect  it to be accepted  immediately.
There have been many other call outs some successful other not. Like the one that was knocked down near the Tongaat bridge unfortunately the police that attended and advised CROW about this one would not help, they were  afraid... again the dreadful idea that these creatures carry Rabies” utter nonsense”. When Kenny got to the scene
 this poor animal was no where to be seen, only conclusion is that it landed in someone’s pot. Yes it’s a horrific thought but it does happen. That is why it is so important for people who report this sort of accident to please Stand by until help arrives. Another call for Kenny on the same day, there was a poor female that had been hit by a car   this kind lady had covered her with a blanket until help arrived, she was taken to C.R.O.W. unfortunately she died...   A happier call out this time in Balito, same day again  Andre phoned  reporting that a monkey had a snare round its middle we asked him to keep an eye on it until Kenny could get there but it disappeared which is par for the course, anyway we are delighted to report that Andre phoned back the next day saying the snare had dropped off,, much to his delight, Thanks Andre for your concern.
We think the sadest call out we have had this month  August, is the one from Shallcross, a female had been shot and because of the delays no fault of the person asking for help but she was given the   run around so to speak she said she must have phoned at least a dozen different phone numbers,,,, from the time of her first phone call at  about3pm to us  nearly 5pm , I also tried to get help for her as we are about 90 kms away from the area, unfortunately Kenny was on a breakdown and there was no one else available. Venishi tried covering the monkey with a blanket but she kept crawling out from under it, eventually  we had to go ourselves,  bear in mind that the round trip was approximately 180kms and  unfortunately the female had died just twenty minutes  before we arrived. The most tragic thing is the female was pregnant, by the size of her tu,mmy I should think she had about two months or so to go. She had been SHOT and bled to death, if only someone had got there earlier she might have been saved.  Rod and I not to mention the caring people were most distressed to say the least not only sadness but extreme anger because of the  unneccessary  suffering this animal had to go through because of the lack of response or correct information been given to Venishi, bless you for all your efforts Venishi Im only sorry you had to see what some humans are capable of.
AUGUST; This month has been terrible regarding deaths of pregnant females. Very dedicated members of A.P.E.S. on the south coast, Lizelle and Pete  were devastated when they contacted us very recently. A troop that they look after in their area and feed near a natural gorge, actually the towns folk want to know where the monkeys have gone?, proof again that feeding stations work….. Well  these caring people were horrified  that a pregnant  female member of their troop,  was poisoned, unfortunately  she died while Lizelle was trying to seek  help.While this was  happening ,another report came in, one of the troop was  killed by a motorist,  the motorist did stop but too late. What is of concern to Lizelle  and Pete is that there are seven members of this troop missing  and there is no way of checking how many have been poisoned, the same poison was used as the Umbogintwini poisoning, Organo Phosphate,  These people are not going to let this pass but will find out who the culprit is, thank goodness they do have a very very strong  ally in Eric Taljaardt  of the S.P.C.A. Thank you Pete and  Lizzelle for your help and concern and you to Eric, Bless you all for caring.  This month again, a call from  Durban North  from another person that cared enough to call for help, but unfortunately it was too late for the female monkey concerned  By the description she had died in childbirth, her baby didn’t survive either, This is tragic and Im sure this has something to do with the drought  situation and including the stressful conditions these monkeys have to endure,  fighting to survive in an ever decreasing enviroment. Again we ask,  is it such a sin to help these creatures survive by providing 
Now I leave the next section on news from our sister organization W.R.C. (Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in the Cape.  We quote;; ;STEPHNIE WOOLF  the founder….
At the beginning of this year the  Sanctuary opened in the Cape .Prior  to this  I worked in Pretoria for a number of years as well as working with Rita Miljo at Care in the Northern Province   Since opening the doors so to speak in January ,we have dealt with a variety of cases. Non coastal birds sent by SANCCOB (this has allowed them to concentrate on the Penguins and other coastal birds that desperately need their help,) Another patient arrived, a small spotted Genet, this poor creature had been burnt in a bush fire, and due to his injuries he was unable to hunt so got weaker and weaker, to add to this poor animals problems he got attacked by dogs… Fortunately through all his troubles and a great deal of care and attention  he managed to survive and was released. Another side to our work is again EDUCATION, especially the farmers in the area ,we are trying to convince them not to use  gin traps and the gun,  but to trap  with care, and we will then release the animals to another less problematic area.
Due to workjng with CARE( they specialize in Baboon rehab and rescue ).  I’ve  now become involved with the BABOON RESCUE GROUP , they try to capture and relocate so called “problem animals At present I have a pet youngster who had become a problem to her owners because she was getting too much of a handful,.MIA is an 8 month old female who had been horribly spoilt and had no manners whatsoever but she is learning quickly, Mia  is very sociable but everso  naughty  When  will people learn these primates are not PETS but WILD animals   Many  times before we can rescue or relocate these so called pets they are  euthanased, reasons being delays in obtaining  a permit  for their re-location.  Tragically this  has happened very recently to a vervet monkey that was someone’s pet. We are also working with other organizations such as the S.P.C.A. to try and get them to inform us of any primates
and other wild creatures that  need help. Another species that that seem to find their way here are small buck,  They  are usually picked up by concerned members of the public. They think the baby was abandoned by its mother,instead of realizing that the little one had been hidden by its mother and should have been left alone. Again we go back to the
word “Education.”A future project is an educational course .for regular bird  volunteer,s in the handling of raptors. It is a totally different method from that used to hold a penguin or a dove, as these bird,s,if not handled correctly can cause some serious damage. We are also working with small groups at a time  involving school children to encourage conservation this is a very  important part of our work at W,R.C.
Of course it is an on going battle for various projects, we are at present putting final touches to an I.C.U. unit for the badily injured and ill animals that arrive. There is also a very valuable network of ladies who look after the garden birds or act as collection points for creatures that  come  in for care. Our aims are high but we are growing and look forward to be able to assist more of our   indigenous  wildlife that needs our help.” Unquote. Well done Steff you and your helpers are doing a fantastic  job keep it up.
Now for the comings and goings of our local troop at A.P.E.S. Unfortunately it is with deep sorrow I again have to report that  FUDGE  our herring shaped face teenager has been murdered that is the best word to describe it, I’m sure you don’t need to be told by whom,,, yes it was our neighbour’s brother, but this time fortunately for us but not so fortunate for LITTLE PETE who was also shot through the cheek but survived  we called the S.P.C.A. and Inspector Taljaardt came and gave these people a final  written warning, hopefully this will stop the insane slaughter here but it doesn’t bring back Fudge and the others that went before her. Unfortunately we have not recovered her body either. Thanks Eric for taking the trouble and caring enough for these creatures
 LOO is doing fantastically well,thanks again to the medication that we received from Dr. Hoole, actually I think we had the only bald monkey in captivity…. He got so thin we actually though we were going to lose him, and what a problem getting him to take his medication, at R450.00 for  the tablets, you can imagine everyone was extremely precious. We eventually had to disguise them in eggs,this was done by piecing the top and pushing in the crushed tablet, this worked for a while.Then we had to try avacado pears, seeing his reaction and trying to remove the so called contaminated part,was extremely entertaining. We even tried coating his favourite sweets with these crushed tablets, anyway he must have had some  intake because as I have said he has made a fantastic recovery. He still has his pot-belly and he now has a brand new coat growing, a bit like a crew-cut but its there. Actually with all due respect he actually looks like Ghandi. LOO  now spends a great deal of his time out of the enclosure with Mimi  and the rest of the gang It is too funny to see his antics with the younger members of the troop, they play catch, hide and seek in the bush, and it is difficult to imagine that he is approximately three years old, N2 who is the same age looks like a giant next to him. Anyway they say dynamite comes in small packets… Now the most exciting news of all, well we think it is anyway.,, MINKY BROWN has become 90% a wild monkey, for the last four months has not slept in her “indoor flat’ but outside and in all weather, she actually has become our Alpha female and believe it or not has challenged me on numerous occasions, I honestly feel she thinks she should be the Queen mum and its time for me to step down, She will still jump on my shoulder and I must add its like having a miniature Chimp  land on  me but she has lost some weight since her bush life I have to show her far more  respect now and can’t take  liberties  as before. . It is quite a sight to see her ladyship with  our troop, she is very protective of the youngsters, they too are out all day now and on occasions spend the night out  as well,  especially ELLIOT who still thinks he is of royal blood, and is far superior to the other youngsters, For his cheek he got rather badly bitten and had to have quite a number of stitches, but as we always said he has to learn his place in the monkey society, something we  cannot teach him..Another rescue,in Umkomaas, a traffic inspector picked this baby up and phoned us, we managed to sort her out  Mark at the Crocodillian restraurant  found her family and returned the little one with success, well done Mark
Finally some very exciting news, Very recently we had a meeting at C.R.O.W. with the other monkey groups, this was instigated by Helena Greaves the Chairlady.This meeting was held to bring the different groups together to form a body that would cover the whole of Kwazulu/Natal and most of all to have one set of rules, so to speak on the Vervets, rescue, information, etc It is what has been needed for a very long time and with one body it will add clout, then  organizations such as CROW K Z  N .W  (Parksboard) and other governmental bodies  and many others
will listen and we can then make a fantastic difference to the plight of the Vervets  This  will also stop confusion regarding advice to the general public. Some groups may feel threatened but after all if it’s the monkeys we want to help it is the only way to go. UNITY IS STRENGTH I’m sure there would be no objection to the different groups retaining their own names , After all look at sport , there are many different sports and they all fall under one body. I would like to thank Helena for taking the time and trouble to  organise the meeting at C.R.O.W.  thank’s to her staff  and  to all those that attended..

RESCUE UNIT;We are desperate for more volunteers, Kenny will train them in the correct methods used. The monkeys need  your help.

Finally please let us have your e/mail address it will save us a great deal in postage;  Thank you all for caring.  Bless you one and all.   


APES Chatter 3
May & June
Recent Events

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