Help Save Diani’s Primates from Electrocutions

Help Save Diani’s Wildlife from Electrocutions

Meet Bolt, an adult male galago, just one of the many electrocution victims that we receive through our doors at Colobus Conservation. Bolt is one of the lucky ones as he has survived. Shockingly, most electrocution cases do not survive, and what is more worrying is that our second biggest welfare is due to electrocutions. This occurs when an animal touches two exposed cables, most of the primates at some point will travel in the tree canopy, making them vulnerable to electrocutions

This problem is not only found in Diani, Kenya. Reports of animals being electrocuted are worldwide, countries such as India, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica and Brazil. Although studies are limited on the impact electrocutions are having on urban wildlife, some have strongly suggested that fatalities due to electrocutions are contributing towards the extinction risk of certain wildlife, such as squirrel monkeys in Costa Rica and urban Wied’s marmosets in Brazil. Just a week ago a national black out occurred in Kenya due to a monkey tripping a transformer. As areas become more urbanised this is only going to become a bigger problem and will be detrimental to the conservation of many species.

Going back to Bolt, he came in after being found on the floor, it was clear he had been electrocuted, he had wounds and singed hair on his left leg and he struggled to walk. The Colobus team went to work and he was given antibiotics and received around the clock care but his leg was pass treatment and a few days later had to be amputated. He will now need to remain in our care for the coming months, so he can adjust to having one leg, practice climbing and be assessed to determine his chances after release.

Another incident occurred only a few days ago, the outcome being more common than Bolts. Colobus Conservation were called out to find another galago hanging off exposed cables. It was evident the galago had jumped to the cables while travelling and had been electrocuted to death. A few weeks prior to this a young Sykes monkey was also found hanging of the cables, before this a colobus. Whitecap the juvenile colobus that had to have his arm amputated was yet another victim of electrocution, the list goes on.

At Colobus Conservation we actively work to reduce such incidences. We work alongside Kenya Power and Lighting Company (KPLC) trimming trees near exposed cables so primates do not cross exposed cables when travelling among the trees. Another programme is the insulation of these cables, so if primates touch them they will not be electrocuted. We also actively collect data on these incidences so we can get a better idea of how to combat this problem as well as enables us to better understand the effects electrocutions have on urban wildlife, contributing to a currently, very limited knowledge base.

We desperately do all we can to reduce wildlife being electrocuted but until we can find a permanent solution this will continue and most likely the number of fatalities will rise. Please help us continue our work by donating to the cause, for insulating one metre of exposed cable it only costs 200 Ksh (equivalent to $2 or £1.40). To send a contribution please visit:, most welfare’s we attend are not as lucky as Bolt or Whitecap.

Thank you!

Kelly Martin
Conservation Manager

Our mailing address is:
Colobus Conservation
P.O. Box 5380,
Diani Beach,
Mombasa, 80401,