Monday, July 28, 2014

Vervet Monkey

The vervet monkey has a black face fringed by white cheeks and brow. 
Vervet monkey near Sarova Shaba Lodge. Photo by John Mirau.
Also near the Sarova Shaba Lodge. Photo by Esmee Tooke.
The coat color varies geographically, from silver/gray to yellow, reddish or olive/green, with white to yellow/white underparts. The ears, hands and feet are usually black and adult males have a pale blue scrotum. 

This vervet monkey, near the Sarova Shaba Lodge, shows the blue scrotum and black feet and hands. 
It has a long tail that is held almost horizontal when walking, with the tip pointing down. There are five subspecies, found in the eastern portion of Africa from Ethiopia and Somalia down to South Africa, and I can't find enough information to try and sort out if we were just seeing one or more of the subspecies. 
In the Lerai Forest in Ngorongoro Crater. Photo by Steven Shuel.
Photo by Steven Shuel.
It is the common monkey of the savanna and goes in troops between 8 and 140 animals. We first encountered this monkey at the Sarova Shaba Lodge where it was roaming the grounds in great quantities. When we first arrived I followed one around for about 15 minutes while it walked under and on top of vehicles and in and out of the bushes. 
I followed this vervet monkey around the Sarova Shaba grounds.
We also saw isolated individuals in various other places, like Serengeti National Park. 
In Serengeti NP. Photo by Michal Lewin.
Photo by Steven Shuel.
High in a tree in Serengeti NP. Photo by Mark Edwards. 
In Serengeti NP.
It looks like it would make a very cute pet: about the right size, very curious, very cute. This last comment is probably anachronistic now - it is probably illegal to have them as pets in California and most places in the U.S. I do think back to my time as a youth when my uncle had a pet spider monkey and squirrel monkey and when exotic pets were still available. I'd never heard of them before our trip to Africa. 


  1. I'm pretty sure I don't want a pet monkey. It could be harder to control than even my husband is.

  2. But really, Judy, it would be cuddlier and cuter than some of the reptiles that have graced your home....

  3. You are right, Chris. And by the way, I didn't really want tTHOSE pets either!