Adoption profile: Tao’s troop

Adopting a troop is a fantastic way to support the work at Lilongwe Wildlife Centre, Malawi’s only wildlife sanctuary.


Tiny orphan Tao came to us in February 2020 after being rescued from being sold on the side of the road. We don’t know exactly how he came to be there but it’s likely that his mother was killed by people hunting for baby monkeys to sell into the illegal pet trade. 

When he first arrived Tao was a terrified bundle of nerves. It took him a long time to trust people enough to drink from his bottle. As he was still so young, we decided to pair him with a first-time foster mum called Rain. Rain had always struggled to fit into troop life as she’d been kept alone as a pet and hadn’t learned the social skills monkeys need to thrive in groups. But she took to her new role like a natural! Within hours of meeting Tao she was meticulously grooming him and when it started raining she picked him up and hugged him tight to keep him warm. 

The troop

Tao was looked after by Rain until he was big enough to join a troop of his own. He found the transition into troop life very smooth as he seems to make friends with every monkey he meets!

Your support will help our team care for Tao and his troop to make sure they are ready for release into the wild, where they belong. We’ll perform health checks and vaccinations, as well as placing tracking collars on some individuals as they gear up for the release process.

The troop is now thriving in their pre-release enclosure, a large area designed to prepare them for their life in the wild. This area includes lots of indigenous trees, so Tao and his friends are learning all about seed pods and the types of fruits they’ll encounter once they’re released. We’re aiming to release the troop in 2023, so our approach at this stage is as hands-off as possible. Tao has come such a long way since he arrived at the Centre, and we’re really excited for his next chapter.

To give Tao and his troop a £25 sponsorship for one year, please click donate below.


Thank you for helping us give Tao and his new family a second chance at freedom!

Baby Tao after being introduced to new foster mum LWC
Tao 1
Rain and Tao