Monkeys

Felidae provides a home to two vervet monkeys, Melvin and Gordon. During tours visitors can easily spot the difference between these boys as Gordon is noticeably smaller than Melvin. Both vervets were rescued, although for different reasons.

Gordon was captured by trappers who killed his mom for food. He was then sold to people and made his way to Felidae center, where he found a permanent home!

Melvin was rescued from his previous home due to neglect and mistreatment. He was kept in a township and people would kick him and throw rocks at him. He now lives happily with Gordon! While both monkeys are still shy around people, Melvin enjoys sitting at the edge of his enclosure and watching everything that happens during tours. Both boys love receiving snacks provided by Felidae during the tour as well!

Monkey facts

Habitat: Vervets can be found all across Southern and Eastern Africa. They prefer to live in savanna, riverine woodland, coastal forest or mountains. These monkeys are highly adaptable and have even been seen living in both rural and urban settings.

Characteristics: These mostly vegetarian monkeys have black faces and grey body hair color, ranging in length from about 50 cm for males to about 40 cm for females. Their faces are black and have a fringe of white hair around it. They have up to 30 different alarm calls, signaling the approach of predators or danger!

Food: These monkeys are primarily herbivores, living mostly on wild fruits, flowers, leaves, seeds, and seed pods. Additionally they can eat grasshoppers and termites! Melvin and Gordon are fed a vegetarian meal each day to meet these needs, consisting of various fruits and vegetables. On some days they receive a special treat and are given a hard-boiled egg!

Breeding: Vervets typically give birth once a year. Compared to the cats on the farm they have a long gestation period – lasting 165 days! While they can have twins, it is most common for one baby to be born at a time. Mothers can recognize each child’s voice and respond quickly when summoned.



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