Babies in the Bush

Earlier this year I wrote a post featuring one of last spring’s arrivals in our area. Now spring is back and with the rain slowing down we are fast-moving into an African summer. Making the most of the sunshine the monkeys have shaken out their bedraggled coats, emerging from their rainy hiding places in full force – up to their usual antics.

Opportunistic, mischievous, playful bundles of smelliness, they take ownership of the surrounds as if it were their right – which of course it is. And while we sit captive behind closed windows guarding our fruit and bread, we are at the same time captivated by their flying frolics and precious baby bundles.

It is no longer new knowledge that sharing of space and resources on our overdeveloped planet is a challenge that will need to be faced with commitment and understanding in the years to come, if our intention is to survive. As a rule though our capacity in this department has proven to be somewhat pathetic at best.

I heard recently of a large development, built on the outskirts of a major urban area, which had engaged with all the correct ‘Environmental Processes’. But for some reason no-one thought to give a thought to the monkeys that had lived there for years on end. Being territorial and with nowhere else to go, when the project finished up the troop was finally given a bit of attention, identified as ‘a problem’ hanging around the parking lot, lost and hungry. The result was to destroy them ‘for their own good’ –  the best form of sharing that we humans could come up with.

So when I stomp about cleaning up monkey poo and curse over my  just ripened and now ‘missing’ avocado pears I remind myself that the monkeys were here first and if they were to suddenly disappear, things wouldn’t be quite the same – at which point a cup of tea and a monkey viewing session on my cleaned up stoep become the order of the day.

Spring Monkeys: Chintsa November 2012

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16 thoughts on “Babies in the Bush

  1. Great posting Gill! Wonderful photographs too. It’s comforting that folks like you are endeavouring to make a difference, and are not so indifferent to the creatures that we share this planet with. Monkeys have complex social relationships, to suffering anxiety and depression. Now with someone stealing their territory (& food), we can imagine how this above mentioned troop is now feeling. Here below, are two great sites for info. and ideas so these vervets don’t worry your household too much…………….Thanks again Gill, for helping to dispel ignorance. See :
    http://umpalazi.blogspot.com/2009/02/vervet-monkey-truths-from-umpalazi.html
    http://www.monkeyhelpline.wordpress.com

  2. I’m not a ‘monkey person’ for reasons unfathomable to me, but I am hugely in favour of their, or any native animal’s rights to their environment. To me it’s a privilege to be able to share it with them, us as the interlopers not the other way around. It is appalling that the ‘inconvenient’ troupe was destroyed. I hope one day soon humans get a whole lot smarter. Extremely well written post, and lovely photos even to me, not-so-fussed on monkeys 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment EllaDee. It is a real love/hate senario over here at times with our local troops, fired up by inconsistant behaviour towards the monkeys especially over holiday season when so many out-of-towners pitch up. But the more I engage the more I learn and the more tolerant I become – The terrible drought years that we have recently come out of must have been extremely difficult for them and it is interesting (and so obvious when one takes the time to stop and think about it) how their behaviour has calmed since the drought broke. More food in the wild = less reason to invade my kitchen. The mom’s face though as she holds her baba is so precious never mind the cute babies! Hard to resist.

  3. Reading really good blogs like this is such a fascinating way to learn about other parts of the world. Instead of the abstract is brings it down to the meaningful, the personal. No monkeys in Scotland, not in the wild anyway, but good to read your piece on them.

    • Thanks for your comment. Insights into the lives of others in other parts of the world is one of the major benefits of blogging for me too. Am also looking forward to reading more about your side of the woods;)

  4. I suppose the same story is being told everywhere. Here it is with black bears and coyotes. You are so understanding and tolerant and wise — I don’t think I’m there yet. To see the monkeys with the mammas and babies there — that is such a universal experience, especially because we are more closely related to them than to any other wild creatures.

    • The Mama’s and babies certainly help with tolerance levels! Perhaps what we all need is to spend more time watching moms and babes. The look on the mom’s face is so special – but boy, can these monkeys make you feel like a prisoner in your own home at times! It is an on-going challenge but one that I am the stronger for, having to deal with it.

  5. The same thing happened here in Tucson, when mountain lions were spotted in a local canyon popular to hikers and tourists. The answer, obvious to only those in charge of our wildlife, was to go out and shoot as many as possible. Stupid and tragic.

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