The rescue of KK the baby vervet

When we rescued KK, she weighed just 320 grams. That’s less than a can of Coke.

She was found all alone in Nkhotakota town, well outside the perimeter of the nearby national park. We won’t know exactly how she got there, but when the park manager called us for help, our Wildlife Emergency Response Unit (WERU) set off straight away to collect the tiny monkey. The next day KK arrived at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.

On arrival we estimated her to be just two weeks old. She immediately required intensive, round-the-clock care from our animal rehabilitation staff and volunteers in order to keep her temperature stable and ensure she took on the required calories to gain weight. She was malnourished, dehydrated, and completely dependent on others to keep her alive. Our dedicated team had to perform every part of her care to ensure she has a shot at life.

Despite her miniscule size and rough start in life, KK took well to the initial stages of her rehab, learning quickly to feed from the bottle and mastering how to drink from inside a feeding cage.

From her arrival it became clear that KK has a special, precocious personality. Settling quickly into life at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, she started to play explore surroundings, learning the skills she’ll need as she grows into a juvenile and adult vervet.

Her progression has been so promising that we have now introduced her to her foster mum, Target, who has taken KK under her wing, and is now providing all the care and security KK needs as she develops.

Nevertheless, she still faces a long and challenging road ahead. She is still a tiny infant and requires constant attention and intensive rehab from our animal care team at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre.

An extremely important period of care will now begin for KK as we prepare her for life in a larger troop in around six months’ time. Vervets are very social animals and we will have to work hard to ensure that KK can fully integrate into a new family. Even then, more work lays ahead to prepare the troop for an eventual release back into the wild where KK and her new family belong.

KK is certainly not the last orphaned or injured animal that we will care for this year. In 2018 WERU performed 90 wildlife rescues and the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre provided rehab for nearly 300 animal and performed 35 releases back into the wild.

We never give up on any rescued, injured, or orphaned wild animal because we believe every one of them deserves a second shot at a happy, healthy life in the wild.

Primates in Malawi face many threats including habitat loss and destruction, the illegal pet trade, and poaching, and we need your support so that we can continue to:
– Rescue orphaned and injured animals all across Malawi
– Provide intensive veterinary care and rehab at the Lilongwe Wildlife Centre
– Release animals back into the wild where they belong
– Help educate the public on the importance of wildlife and how to reduce the threats that wild animals face, including in schools and community groups
– Help tackle the illegal pet trade, poaching, and the illegal trafficking in animals and wildlife products