The 2016 vervet monkey is now coming to a close after nine long months of post-release monitoring in Kasungu National Park.
22 vervets, all who came into the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre after being injured or orphaned, were successfully rehabilitated and given a second chance to live life in the wild. They were released into Kasungu National Park in March of this year, and they have been monitored by our release and research team nearly every day for the past nine months.
This troop has done wonderfully in their new home! They have taken in three new wild adult males and have welcomed four new babies! They have settled nicely into their new territory centered on the permanent water holes in the large “dambo” or riverbed, where they spent most of their time during the very hot dry months. One of the wild male immigrants, Cicero, has successfully taken over as alpha male of the troop, dethroning released alpha male Pops, who is still with the troop.
With Cicero at the helm, the troop should continue to navigate their new home successfully, especially with the start of the rainy season now as the bush blossoms into full greenery. For now, we will be saying goodbye to this troop for a while (they will still be checked on regularly) and let them adapt to and enjoy life on their own back in the wild.
As one release winds down, however, another one begins! The release team is busy preparing for the next vervet release in 2017, so watch this space for updates on a new troop getting their second chance at life back in the wild!