Meet the Animals » Primates » Dash
Vervet Monkey Chlorocebus pygerythrus - Dash
Dash came to us more than a decade ago from a sanctuary that was in the process of closing down. She has a home here for the rest of her live. Dash is quite placid and calm she is very gentle when given food. Vervet monkeys diet consists of fruits, figs, leaves, seeds and in the wild they will also take birds eggs and young chicks, as well as enjoying insects. They can live up to 24 years in captivity.
Vervet monkeys are known as food raiders in South Africa, they have little fear of humans and live in large troops in the wild. These monkeys are classed as vermin in their native land and sadly can be killed, without even having to have a permit to do it.
An interesting fact about vervet monkeys is that they possess what is called the ‘Rudiments of Language’. The calls they are able to make vary depending on the threat to the community. They have very distinctive calls to warn out for leopards, snakes and falcons.
In Kruger National Park in South America armed guards protect the public from these monkeys coming too close to them, as it is estimated that every day 5 people get bitten by them in the Park. It is, however due to human encroachment into their natural habitat that has caused these monkeys to subsequently become unafraid of humans and also being regularly fed by some tourists does not help.
The vervet monkey has a complex and fragile social system, its ongoing persecution by electricity pylons, vehicles, dogs, pellet guns, poison and bush meat is thought to have affected troop structures and diminishing numbers. They are also used in biomedical research. Multiple organisations are involved in vervet monkey conservation.