By Samara on December 2, 2014

Our new arrivals are a couple of weeks old now and it’s time for them to start exploring the world around them…and this means playtime!

Occasionally we’ll see a few mums without their babies, turn a corner and there will be a pile of them playing behind a shrub, wobbling around on their tiny legs. They’ve been climbing on rocks, trees, each other, and sometimes the big male monkeys! Some of them have even worked out how to climb up mum’s tail to get a better view of the world sitting on her back. It’s incredibly cute.  It’s also a privilege for us to be able to witness things like this here on Samara, because over the years our groups of vervet monkeys have become used to us hanging around; usually unhabituated troops keep their newborns far, far away from human eyes.

Playtime is an important part of life for most animals…not only is it fun, but it lets infants learn coordination and develop the social and physical skills they will need to hold their own in the troop rankings later in life. Our yearlings spend most of their day running around playing rough and tumble these days, and they’re definitely starting to encourage the infants to join in, sometimes earning them a warning from the mums if they start to get too boisterous.

Over the next few months we’re going to see them getting more and more adventurous as they get to know their environment and start venturing out on their own, and we’re anticipating a few more births, so hopefully we’ll get to see a lot more playgroups in the future…

Until next time…
Bex and the Verveteers


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