Tuesday, 04 May 2010

Vervet Victims

Its already May and this has been a seriously busy year of rescues. Baby season which started in September has tested us like never before and, as you can see from the stats below, its literally been raining baby monkeys. But also monkeys with injuries of every other kind!

Every month Carol goes through our diary and vet records and collates all the information that enables us to produce stats like those for January 2010 that follow. Technical hassles have made it difficult to collate and present the stats for February through March, but they will be available shortly. In the meantime, read on and weep…

January 2010 statistics showing the details of Monkey Helpline rescue call-outs and the outcomes:

Rescue call-outs - 51

Survived - 12 (Includes 5 babies)
Dead (Euthanised, DOA, DAR, etc) - 39 (19 MVA, 8 shot, 6 dog bite, 3 monkey bites, 2 Tetanus, 1 old age)

Dead made up of - 12 adult females (1 firearm, 1 pellet gun, 1 monkey bite, 1 tetanus, 1 old age, 2 dog bite, 5 MVA); 9 adult males (1 tetanus, 3 pellet gun, 5 MVA); 9 youngsters (1 pellet gun, 1 monkey bite, 3 MVA, 4 dog bite); 9 babies (1 monkey bite, 6 MVA, 2 pellet gun)

Released from “high care” : 8

Sent to rehab (CROW) : 2

Injured monkeys monitored/medicated in situ : 6

Baby season 2009/2010:

Just for interest, the number of babies rescued and handed to surrogate moms by Monkey Helpline since 21 September 2009 and up to 10 February 2010, stands at 34, made up as follows:

- 3 to the Hamptons
- 2 to Joan Chalmers
- 5 to Sandy Burrell
- 7 to Jenny Morgans
- 16 to Carol Booth ( 7 died – 1 premature with lung complications, 2 organ failure, 1 hypothermic, 2 severe septicemia, 1 with injuries from being caught then dropped from high by a Yellowbill Kite)
- 1 with snared mother to Tumbili Sanctuary

Monkey Helpline also recommended and facilitated the direct transfer of 1 baby from Freeme Johannesburg to The Hamptons.

Another 4 were rescued by Monkey Helpline but then released back to mothers (2 caught in razor wire, 1 trapped under fallen bird bath, 1 MVA).

During the above period (21.9.09 to date) Monkey Helpline dealt with or was made aware of over 50 baby Vervets dead in situ (includes 9 dead listed for January 2010 but excludes babies who died with surrogate moms)

At the time of posting this blog the number of babies rescued by Monkey helpline since September 2009 stands at 50. Of these, five babies were reunited with their mothers. Details in next posting of statistics. Tragically sad as is the situation that brings every baby Vervet into our care, the rescue of two babies on consecutive days after their mothers were shot with pellets and had to be euthanised sits right up their with the saddest. One was shot in Westville on Christmas eve and the other was shot in Verulem on Christmas day!

But, what is going to happen to all the babies? We are five months away from the next baby season and already we have more babies and older monkeys than the system can accommodate as it currently functions. Rehabilitation centres are doing the best they can given the limitations imposed on them by lack of finances and other resources and also the conservation authorities. There is a dearth of rehabilitation sites, and Vervet monkeys just don’t feature on the radar of the conservation authorities.

Fact is that Vervets in KwaZul-Natal are in CRISIS!!!

This dilemma will be the topic of serious discussion in blogs to follow.