Crow needs help to care for orphan infant vervet monkeys

One of the many baby vervet monkeys rescued by Crow. | Supplied

One of the many baby vervet monkeys rescued by Crow. | Supplied

Published Jun 22, 2024


Durban — The Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (Crow) has made an impassioned plea for donations of money and building materials to help build new primate enclosures.

Every “baby season” Crow rescues about 20 or 30 injured or orphaned infant vervet monkeys who stay at the Yellowwood Park centre for a number of years. Their current enclosures need rehabilitating.

“These vulnerable infants, unable to feed from their mothers, rely entirely on our dedicated primate nurse who bottle feeds them milk formula throughout their first year. Our vervet monkey programme spans four to five years, guiding the monkeys through four crucial phases of rehabilitation,” said Crow’s fund-raising and marketing officer, Denika Govender.

She said their seven primate enclosures were constructed from gum poles and mesh wire about 20 years ago but were now deteriorating and needed to be replaced.

Two enclosures have been rebuilt with galvanised metal designed to last a lifetime, with funding from Compass Medical Waste Services, Govender said.

Each enclosure costs R400 000 and Crow wanted to rebuild them before the end of the year to ensure that the latest monkeys can smoothly transition into their final rehabilitation stage.

“The final stage is where the monkeys have established their hierarchies, acclimated to the outside world, and experience limited human interaction,” she said.

Crow was founded by local conservationist Isolde Mellet in 1977 and became the country’s first dedicated wildlife rehabilitation centre. It rescues, rehabilitates and releases between 3 000 and 4000 injured, orphaned and displaced wild animals each year.

The donations will help pay for equipment, building materials and tools to rebuild and maintain its enclosures to ensure the safety and comfort of the animals in its care, Govender said.

“Every rand raised will directly fund this crucial rebuilding project. Your contribution, no matter how small, will significantly impact the lives of these vervet monkeys, ensuring they receive the rehabilitation they need,” she said.

Govender said the support was essential in helping Crow’s monkeys receive the care and rehabilitation they needed to return to the wild in large protected areas far from human settlements.

To donate, visit their website at

Independent on Saturday