In 1989 the plight of the vervet monkey species in South Africa first came to light when an orphaned baby vervet monkey, only hours old was discovered. Enquiries to recognised authorities concerning the fate of such primates revealed that there were no facilities to provide for its care and welfare, instead they were told to kill the monkey because, such animals were regarded as vermin.
As environmentalists and humanitarians, they saw that the solution to this problem did not lie in euthanasing these orphaned primates but rather, the need for an organisation to provide a sanctuary for them and to holistically investigate what was in fact happening to this indigenous primate of South Africa.
It soon became apparent that very little was in fact known about this species. Most of the data available at that time was negative, contradictory, incomplete and inaccurate. This void was due to its classification as vermin, and this lack of knowledge had portrayed this indigenous primate in a very poor and negative light. At that time there was also very little information pertaining to the rehabilitation of this primate species. As conservationists they could see that the solution to this problem was not the senseless killing of these primates but the need for a programme incorporating:
- A facility to research the life style and environment of this species
- A program to rehabilitate orphaned and injured primates
- A program to research the claims of damage and problems caused by vervet monkeys and offer possible solutions for co-existence
- An education program to inform the public of the role that the vervet monkey plays in the eco system
- A sanctuary for primates unfortunate enough to be unreleasable but, manageable enough to be used for educational purposes