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PICKPOCKETS OF THE SAVANNAH


Vervet Monkey’s are more than meets the eye.

Not all animals in the animal kingdom are as sweet and cute as they look. Monkeys are especially intelligent and devious animals. Many scientists have observed different monkey species over the years and have found these fascinating “distant relatives” to be very complex and often comical.

If you ever get the opportunity to travel to Africa or on a safari you may encounter one of these mischievous species: the Vervet Monkeys. Vervet Monkeys are considered “Old World Monkeys” which mean they are native to Africa–but they have also been introduced to other areas like Florida and Cuba.

These monkeys love tourists!

Like many monkeys these Vervets have been studied in depth by scientists to understand genetic and social behaviors in humans! And these animals do have very “human-like” characteristics and diseases such as hypertension, anxiety and social dependencies. . . as well as a complicated sense of “trade.” This particular trait has caused many people who encounter these monkeys to think they are pests. . .


These cute and clever animals love humans especially enjoy tour groups. When tourists come to visit their home sites they put on quite the show, stealing the attention and sometimes other things! Vervet Monkeys have been known to steal things such as cell phones and other valuables (jewelry, passports, watches, etc.).



Food is an excellent bribe for Vervets Monkeys.

If this does happen to you, don’t despair! All you really need to do is to trade with them. . . Give them something of greater value than your valuables. And for these monkeys that tends to be food! They are not too picky when it comes to food. These Vervet Monkeys animals are opportunists they will eat: all kinds of things including human food and will trade “valuables” for food.

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The Havasi Wilderness Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to heightening awareness and appreciation of the natural environment.

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