January 08, 2020

Monkeys Visiting Your Home


As development continues to encroach onto wild habitats, people choosing to live in semi-natural environments – farms, smallholdings, seaside villages etc. increasingly need to find environmentally friendly ways of co-existing with wild animals and flora in order to preserve and rehabilitate the natural bio-diversity.
It’s common to assume that primate numbers are not threatened.
Age-old myths serve to justify the persecution of these animals by certain sectors of society and sightings of baboons and monkeys are generally considered to be common.
As a result, it is widely assumed that primates are not potentially threatened. This is an important misconception.
In spite of many primates living in low predator areas, they get shot, poisoned, electrocuted, killed by dogs, caught in snares and trapped for research laboratories and muthi.
Over the years, troops have declined in numbers and troop structures are consistently damaged due to ongoing human developments.

December 30, 2019

Update on the Cape Peninsula Baboons

Update on the Cape Peninsula Baboons
By Karin Saks

In 1990, following the culling of an entire troop of baboons in Kommetjie, the Kommetjie Environmental Awareness Group (KEAG) was formed. Through the efforts of KEAG, the Baboon Management Team was started, which essentially involved all the relevant authorities to find management options for resolving conflicts between humans and baboons on the southern peninsula of Cape Town (Mail and Guardian, January, 2005).
Based on population censuses from 1998 and 1999 (Kansky and Gaynor 2000) which showed an apparent high birth and mortality rate coupled with a highly skewed adult male to female ratio, it was suggested that  the baboon population was under severe human predation pressure and therefore in need of management intervention (Beamish, E.K. 2009). In her booklet, Baboons on the Cape Peninsula, 2002, Kansky described the Cape Peninsula population as critically endangered (according to Red Data list criteria) as there were less than 250 mature individuals left.
Age/sex ratios of the Cape Peninsula were recorded between 2005 and 2008 showing that 66% of the troops had one or no adult males due to high mortality in the late 1990’s leading to a skew in the male to female ratio at 1:8. Humans were seen to be responsible for the skewed adult sex ratio which resulted in a higher alpha male turnover and increased rate of infanticide (Kansky and Gaynor 1999; Peterson pers.comm. 2008).

August 12, 2019

Hank P. Albarelli, Jr.

We have been saddened to learn of the passing of one of our precious board members - Hank P Albarelli. Our sincere condolences to Hank's family. He will be sorely missed. 

Obituary: Henry P. Albarelli, Jr.

Henry P. Albarelli, Jr.
  • Henry P. Albarelli, Jr.
H.P. “Hank” Albarelli Jr., author and Burlington native, died on June 18 from complications of a stroke. The eldest son of Nancy O’Neill Albarelli and the late Henry P. Albarelli Sr., he was 72. In recent decades, Hank and his wife, Kathleen McDonald, made their home in the Tampa Bay region of Florida, where he passed away surrounded by family.

November 30, 2018

Why We Need to Protect Vervet Monkeys (Chlorocebus pygerythrus pygerythrus)

Juvenile vervet monkey killed by a resident in Hartebeespoort Dam, North West Province, South Africa.

An unspeakable act of cruelty made its way onto social media in November, 2018 bringing attention to the killing of vervet monkeys (impaled on a steel fence) by a well known doctor and wildlife collector in Hartebeespoort Dam, North West Province, South Africa.

November 02, 2018

The Life of Bipod - Vervet Monkey Missing Two Limbs

vervet monkey, darwin primate group, samango monkey, primates, sykes monkey, blue monkey,
Bipod - Female Vervet Missing an Arm and a Leg

Bipod, a female vervet monkey, missing one arm and one leg manages to keep up with her troop. Our trail cameras have captured a number of videos of her interacting with members from her group and the samango monkeys that share their territory. The following trail camera footage documents some of Bipod's adventures.

October 27, 2018

Allies - Vervet and Samango Monkeys

Not wanting to disturb the samango and vervet monkeys (Cercopithecus albogularis labiatus and Chlorocebus pygerythrus pygerythrus) crossing the paddock to reach the Forest Fig (Ficus craterostoma), we sat over fifty metres away with our cameras.  

May 12, 2017

Dogs and Baboons



For years I’ve lived harmoniously with dogs, cats, monkeys and baboons. I’ve shared my “territory” with six different raiding baboon troops in various parts of South Africa forcing me to find ways to live in peace with these animals while finding the peace of mind needed to know the dogs and cats that lived with me would be safe.

The juvenile baboons in the wild baboon troop were particularly interested in forming friendly relationships with my cats... 

The wild resident baboon troops have always shown respect for the animals that live with me, including the free-roaming rescued,  vervet monkeys that lived in the forest around my home. The video at the end of this post shows how three different primate species lived peacefully together. This is merely one example taken from a time in my life when I was rehabilitating injured and orphaned vervet monkeys.

April 13, 2017

Misconceptions about Baboons

The following info has been taken from: http://www.imfene.org/misconceptions-about-baboons - a site that offers information from a scientific viewpoint. 

Misconceptions about Baboons

Below are some things we've heard people say about baboons in South Africa....and some answers based on current scientific knowledge.

October 07, 2015

The Argument Against Consumptive Sustainable Use:

The Argument Against Consumptive Sustainable Use:

Karin Saks

Is it possible to promote the idea of wildlife as a commodity that may be traded, controlled, hunted, subjected to untold cruel practices in the name of biomedical research and entertainment, yet simultaneously expect this practice to foster a respect for wildlife and the environment?

May 06, 2015

Old Africa and the Environment

Once upon a time in Africa, people understood that us humans are not above all other animals but equal to them. And so the time has come for us to reflect on the past, present and look deeply to find a solution to the damage we have caused.

February 01, 2015

Baboons in Africa - Misunderstanding their Language

A Researcher working in Uganda contacted me some time ago to ask if I could help her understand what was happening to the villagers in her area; a group of the women were being "sexually harassed" by a troop of baboons. These "attacks" occurred when the women headed towards the river to do their daily clothes washing.

June 01, 2013

DPG orphan baboons with the wild baboon troop.

Recently, I've been  going through all the footage I've taken over the last years. This clip is a short and summarised view of the baboon orphans in my care when I first introduced them to the wild troop.