“VERVET monkeys are creatures we certainly love to hate and therefore this is something I am rather reluctant to write about. Whether you love them or hate them, many of their behavioral issues are a direct result of We destroy their homes to make them ours and then we get angry when they raid our kitchen or knock over our garbage can,” said Warren Dick.
Vervet monkeys share many human qualities with us, including high blood pressure, anxiety, and even social or dependent drinking. They are very social animals, living in groups ranging from 10 to 70 individuals and they have different hierarchies between males and females.
Males usually move to neighboring groups once they reach sexual maturity. They also have quite an extensive vocabulary, including different calls for different types of predators. Babies acquire their vocabulary as they grow and begin to learn the meaning of different calls.
READ ALSO: Understanding the behavior of vervet monkeys
Like humans, individuals can recognize each other simply by the sound of their voice. Mothers know their baby’s voice and will respond more quickly to alarm calls from their own child than from another.
A few days after the birth of a new baby, each member of the troupe has at least one chance to see, smell and even touch the new baby.
In well-established groups, mothers often leave their babies in the care of immature (adolescent) females within the troop. Not only does this give the mother a break, but it also gives young women an opportunity to learn more about baby care before they have one.
Troops that have this kind of mothering technique often have a much better survival rate than those that don’t.
“Even though I love wildlife and monkeys, I never encourage feeding wild animals. While one person is apparently ‘kind’ to an animal, the same animal is considered vermin by another person heartless and at the end of the day the poor monkey is in pain.Feeding monkeys gets them used to humans, gives them a sense of entitlement and makes conflict inevitable.Although it seems innocent to give food to a monkey from your hand, the same monkey may go to another human expecting the same treatment, but if the food does not come, the monkey may become persistent or even aggressive, giving the person reason to act against the animal .”
According to Warren, an unfortunate fact is that almost all monkeys living in residential areas have at least two or three pellets in their bodies from a pellet gun.
It is actually a criminal offense to shoot any animal with a pellet gun and if caught you can face a hefty fine or jail time. If you see someone deliberately injuring monkeys or wildlife, report it to the local SPCA.
ALSO READ: Monkeys – to feed or not to feed?
“An idea I’ve heard of, instead of hand feeding or putting the food in your garden, instead take the food to a nearby park and leave it there for the monkeys to find in their normal routine of foraging In this way, humans are not associated with the given food.
Contact Warren to have some of your spiders, snakes or other interesting wildlife identified. Call him or WhatsApp on 072 211 0353. Follow the conversation on Facebook, Warren’s Small World.
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