Sunday, February 6, 2011

Pets or Pests?

Too-doo-te-doo-te-doo-te-doo-te-doo-te-doo. Pink Panther striding across the lawn
Mmm, what a lovely snack

Butter wouldn't melt in my mouth

The Vervet monkey(Chlorocebus pygerythrus) is found in South and East Africa. As usual, man has made this cute little guy a pest by feeding him in his environment. (And no, I don't recommend one as a pet, they have huge teeth when fully grown and are not averse to using them. The threat of rabies is also very real in Africa)

The Vervet monkey range in Africa

The Vervet monkey is diurnal and social, living in groups of up to 38.  There is a clear order of dominance among individuals within the group.

The Vervet Monkey uses different sounds to warn of different types of predators. It has distinct calls to warn of the sighting of a leopard, a snake, or an eagle.
The young appear to have an innate tendency to make these alarm calls, and adult monkeys seem to give positive reinforcement when the young make the right call, by repeating the alarm. Mothers have been reported to punish young giving the wrong call.

The Vervet Monkey eats a wide range of fruits, figs, leaves, seeds and flowers. It also eats birds' eggs and young chicks, and insects (grasshopper and termites). In human inhabited environments it will eat bread and various crops; especially maize.
Source above:

In most campsites or lodges in the forests and bush, monkeys are a great problem. They are not shy or afraid of humans. If a house or tent is left open, the monkeys will go inside and apart from wrecking whatever they find, will steal what they can. Cell phones, cameras, cosmetics, foodstuffs, whatever. Not to steal in the nasty sense, but because they're inquisitive creatures by nature!

Here on camp they 're all around us. Who can blame them? They are actually in their natural environment while we are the aliens. In the week that I've been here, I've shooed them by making faces and shouting at them. I've waved my arms about and raced across the lawn towards them.  And guess what? They move away into the thickets and within thirty seconds they're all back in the garden again.  I read a unique method of keeping them at bay in a travel magazine. At an upmarket lodge in the Knysna Forests, in the Western Cape, South Africa, the waiters are armed with catties (slingshots) and ice. This is works as a  friendly deterrent without causing any harm to the animal should you strike it in the face/eye by mistake.

Our resident troop (and tonight I'll do a head-count ; I'm sure it will number 38 or more) is only present early in the morning and late afternoon. I don't mind them being around (how can I? LOL!)  and - as long as we remember to close the doors when we're not inside - I think we can all co-habit quite amicably here in the Valley.  

For more pet posts  around the world, click here


  1. Goodness, interesting! I find opossums and raccoons, as well as deer a menace in our yard but I can't imagine a monkey! Yes, I'd agree they are cute, but cute does NOT make for a good pet.
    Thanks for an informative was fun learning aobut the creatures.

  2. I for one wouldn't like to monkey around with these guys. It does not take much to turn monkeys into carnivores and with a pack of thirty I would not feel safe at all or let my cat out either.

  3. Joan warned me about these monkeys. I saw them all over ZA. Hopefully you'll get some great photos.

  4. What a bunch of characters! Maybe a water pistol would work, LOL!
    Cute pictures.
    ☼ Sunny

  5. They are so interesting to watch. I'm sure you'll soon get to know the temperaments of a number of your regulars!

  6. Snap! We should start a critter magazine. It sure is a conversation starter. We have a troupe of monkeys in our garden. I would imagine they would leave a bit of mess in the garden.

  7. this is so interesting!

    Woof woof
    from Bozo
    Pets forever

  8. Have fed wild monkeys regularly before. Females were polite but the males could be a menace. They were entertaining with their antics at times.

  9. Hi sweetie! I'm late...again...but these monkeys are cute and I know they can be dangerous!
    You two be safe!!!

  10. Sorry I'm late, too, haven't been able to access the site for whatever reason???? Really cute shots of the monkeys, but I bet they can be a nuisance! Fun post for the day, Jo!

    Sylvia, Sam and Mojo

  11. They must be very entertaining to watch, Jo, better than squirrels or chipmunks or wild rabbits!
    -- K

  12. Those monkeys are cute but I wouldn't want one for a pet.

    Visiting from Pet Pride.

  13. It is a cute little pest, I must admit! Our cute pests are mule deer (called that because of their long ears; they're just a type of deer). Ours also return after being shooed away, but it's longer before they're back again, maybe an hour or two.

  14. I have to laugh because that sounds so exotic to me ! Being surrounded by real monkeys instead of only human once !

  15. Oh those little monkeys are such mischievous little things! I would not recommend them as pets either. They are very cute as babies, but grow quite aggressive over the years.

  16. I had not idea about a lot of the things you talk about -- so this was really informative! I definitely would not want one as a pet -- I think I'll stick to admiring them in your photos :-)


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo