The multi-award winning primate sanctuary, Monkeyland, located in Plettenberg Bay on the Garden Route has double the reason to celebrate this week.
On Wednesday 11th March, a new Howler Monkey was born. Both parents have been seen being very protective of the new addition to their family whilst the baby’s big sister has shown some interest in baby, but more interest in ensuring she still gets enough attention from Mum and Dad.
A few days after the birth of the Howler, staff and visitors to Monkeyland had more reason to celebrate – the successful release of two Tufted Capuchin monkeys into the Monkeyland forest.
The two Capuchin monkeys had been kept as pets before arriving at Monkeyland and were, therefore, used to lots of human contact. Monkeyland followed their well-established and respected Eden Syndrome process (http://www.saasa.org.za/live/the-eden-syndrome/) to rehabilitate the monkeys so that they can live freely within the forest without fear of humans or any desire to interact with them.
At 11.00am on Monday 16th March, Hamidi, Monkeyland’s Head Ranger, assisted by two of his staff Msondezi and Egle released the Capuchins from their enclosure into the forest. One of Monkeyland’s volunteers, Paula Hallam, was there to film the release https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arT1nPrSxh4 and assist with post-release monitoring.
The Capuchins will continue to be closely monitored over the coming weeks to ensure that the dehumanisation process has been successful. Early signs are very encouraging. One of our alpha male Capuchins has already taken a keen interest in recruiting one of the released Capuchins in to the forest and both have kept far away from staff and visitors.