Help to care for, rehabilitate and release injured and abandoned Vervet Monkeys back into the wild to live a free and natural life. This is a wonderful project that encompasses all aspects of Vervet Monkey Rehabilitation and Conservation … not to be missed!
This rehabilitation project is run by a non-profit organisation and is located in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The centre takes in rescued Vervet Monkeys from all around the country. The work they do is to genuinely help the monkeys, so there is little hands-on work because it’s important that the monkeys aren’t human-habituated. This would significantly reduce the possibility of being able to release them back into the wild – which is the centre’s primary aim.
As these Vervets are being prepared for “the outside world” and by necessity have to be kept in enclosures until they have been cared for, rehabilitated and prepared for release, the contribution you can make to improving their daily pre-release lives is enormous.
The range of work is quite diverse and varied, and wide-ranging, including:
- Feeding the Monkeys: This includes not only feeding, but also food preparation. You’ll spend an hour or two chopping fruit and vegetables to feed to the Vervets in the outdoor enclosures.
- Growing the food to feed the Monkeys: Bruce and Sandi, who run the Centre, buy the fruit that the monkeys need, but the gardens grow a constant supply of vegetables which need to be looked after. If you have green fingers, they will come in handy (but not to worry if you don’t, the monkeys won’t notice!) You can help to sow seeds when necessary, keep the veggies well watered and harvest them when they are ready to be eaten … and you’ll then have the undying devotion of the Vervets, who are always hungry!
- Enclosure Enrichment: Some of the most satisfying work you can do will be to provide some enclosure enrichment and mental stimulation. This is an essential part of keeping the Vervet Monkeys happy and occupied. You can use your creativity to provide useful “toys” and games for them and offer them a different element to the usual daily routine. The monkeys take great interest and delight in new areas to explore and will really enjoy your contributions to this facet of their enforced enclosure until they can be released. (We provide our volunteers with an in-house guide to suggestions for enclosure enrichment and you may be able to use or adapt some of the suggestions for Vervet Monkeys.)
- Data Collection: Records of all the monkeys and the releases have to be kept, so if paper-work or collating data is your forte, your assistance will be hugely appreciated in that department.
- The Centre’s Facebook and Social Networks: Bruce tries his level best to update the Centre’s Facebook page on a daily basis, but he doesn’t always get the time. You can use your computer skills to keep the Facebook page fresh and interesting as well as helping with the web site.
- Monkey Releases – freedom at last! The older Vervet Monkeys start to be released from September through to the early summer and you would be required to assist with these releases. You may stay on the release site for a few weeks to monitor the integration to normal Vervet monkey life and to ensure a successful rehabilitation and release.
- Post-Release Feeding is necessary whilst the Vervets get used to their new “home” and learn where the natural food sources are, and you’ll help by taking food to the feeding stations if you are on site. The Vervets usually need to be given food for about 2 or 3 weeks after their release.
- Post-release Monitoring: The newly released troop must also be monitored to check for any injuries or members that have been excluded from the troop. Monkeys who are in such situations could possibly have a slim chance of survival due to their injury or isolation. In extreme cases, re-capture may be necessary in the best interest of the individual concerned. Each release poses its own set of circumstances and you’ll have a very important role to play in the monitoring.
THE REWARDS OF DOING THIS PROJECT:
This placement is definitely for nature loving enthusiasts who are willing to work hard and aren’t afraid of getting their hands dirty, but the rewards are well worth it:
- You’ll get a wonderful and varied experience with many Vervet Monkeys.
- You’ll get to experience the headiness of looking after animals that are totally helpless and reliant on you take care of them.
- You’ll leave feeling very proud of yourself for having contributed to the quality of life and well-being of previously abused and battered animals.
- You’ll learn much more than you can imagine, particularly about the importance of conserving wildlife, and hopefully you’ll help to raise awareness by talking to friends and colleagues on your return home.
- This project will be an excellent entry on your CV!
WHAT YOU’LL GAIN FROM DOING THIS PROJECT
- An exciting opportunity to travel, see the world and experience a foreign culture first-hand.
- New skills, more confidence and invaluable personal and professional development.
- The enormous satisfaction of helping injured, orphaned and displaced animals to return them to their natural environment and knowing that you made a difference to them.
- An opportunity to take a break from the traditional academic track or your current career path in order to gain life experience and global cultural awareness
- An entry on your CV or Résumé that will enhance your career opportunities and make you stand out from the crowd.
- Make friends, form relationships and build memories that will last a lifetime.
- Opportunities to enjoy some exciting adventure and cultural activities while on your programme.
- And best of all … an unforgettable experience!
Accommodation and Food
You will live on site either in a single room on the mezzanine level or a double room in the guest wing of the house. You’ll join Sandi and Bruce at meal times and you can let them know if you have any particular food preferences or allergies, e.g. if you are a vegetarian or vegan. Meals are provided, but not ‘extras’ like biscuits, sweets, soda pop or alcohol, any specialty food or drinks. The evening meal is the main meal of the day and you’ll prepare your own breakfast and lunch from the provisions provided.
What to do next
Talk to us – We’re there to help you. Most of our team are ex Travellers volunteers and are ideally qualified to offer advice and guidance because they know what you’re looking for. They’ll help you find your perfect project – and then make it all happen!
If you’d like to apply for this project. Visit our website and complete the application form. As soon as we receive it, we’ll liaise with you and then start making your travel adventure happen.
It’s as easy as that.