Mel’s Lucky Escape from the Pet Trade

Colobus Conservation’s latest success story

Meet Little Mel…

Mel, a young female vervet monkey arrived at Colobus Conservation a few weeks ago, after being rescued from street entertainers, trying to sell her to tourists passing by. Colobus Conservation was called to the scene by a concerned individual after witnessing little Mel tied up, alone and on the ground. She was being handed round for people to see, her asking price started at $10. Team Colobus moved fast, as often, on arrival, the individuals will leave the scene quickly, knowing that what they are doing is illegal. We arrived in time and was able to rescue little Mel before she was sold. She was strong and tried to bite us and wiggle away, not knowing what was happening to her, we wrapped her in a towel and drove back to the centre, as soon as the engine started, little Mel fell fast asleep, indicating how truly exhausted she must have been from her ordeal. On arrival at the centre, Mel was checked by the vet, she was dehydrated and covered in dirt, but her condition was not so bad.

Little Mel was found tied to a bag, on the ground, alone and scared.

For the rest of the day and the first night, Mel cried for her mother, she then would sleep, eat and cry some more. We did all we could to comfort her, but we knew we would never be able to give her what she really needed, her mother. The next day we introduced her to another young female vervet monkey, Mali, within the hour both had bonded and little Mel’s crying stop almost immediately, finally she was with a fellow monkey.

Now, weeks later both are inseparable, sleeping, eating and playing together, which fills the heart of all the colobus team. Mel will now have to spend at least 2 years in captivity, where she will learn to be a monkey again, learning how to use her environment and what foods to eat and how to socialise with other monkeys. Once ready and fully integrated she will be released back into the wild, where she belongs.
We were able to save little Mel from the illegal pet trade, however, not all monkeys get a second chance, many will be sold as pets, or used as a photo prop or passed around for tourists to stroke and touch. Many would have been torn away from their mother and their mother likely killed. Colobus Conservation believe by creating awareness and through education, we can stop this being the fate for many animals, we work with the local community, school children and tourists to create awareness of why monkeys and other wild animals are not pets and the importance of the local wildlife. But we can’t do this without your help, please help us help other monkeys, like Mel, by donating or adopting one of our monkeys, you can also donate via M-Pesa Paybill #339227. Our work would truly not be possible without you. Thank you for supporting us and helping us save such monkeys like little Mel!
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Colobus Conservation · P.O. Box 5380 · Diani Beach · Mombasa 80401 · Kenya

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