5 min read

Sick Monkey Discovered For Sale On The Side Of The Road

Malnourished, dehydrated and hardly able to breathe, Sprog was being sold on the side of the road when he was found.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

In September, a concerned citizen spotted someone trying to pawn the tiny vervet monkey off on anyone wanting a pet, even though it is illegal to buy, sell or keep any wild animal in the African country of Malawi. The good Samaritan intervened and brought Sprog to people who could help him.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

"Sprog was ... was severely dehydrated - the worst we have seen in recent times," Kat Stansfield, of the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, told The Dodo.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Luckily, the little guy was in good hands. A veterinarian rushed to give Sprog fluids and tried convincing him to drink some milk and munch on some soft banana. For his respiratory problems stemming from being malnourished, Sprog was given a round of antibiotics.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

"It was a tense couple of days, and being as dehydrated as he was, there was no telling whether he was going to make it," Stansfield said. "After some care from our team and TLC from our volunteers, he brightened up really well within just a few days, and we started to see the playful and lively monkey in him come out!"

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Once Sprog regained his strength, he met some fellow vervet monkeys: Target, an "experienced foster mum," and Bumi, an orphan who came to the wildlife center earlier this year and is being fostered by Target.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

"It's early days but the integration of Sprog with this pair is going very well!" Stansfield said. "Target has taken to him splendidly, but it's Bumi who's the shining star. ... She's acting like a protective big sister to Sprog and showing him the ropes, grooming him, proving to be a great playmate, and generally keeping an eye on him making sure he's OK and settling in," Stansfield said.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Rescuers hope that by socializing with Bumi and others like him, Sprog's nerve-wracking experiences are starting to melt away. "Processes like this ... are integral to their development and future," Stanfield said.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Once they're ready, both Sprog and Bumi will meet a whole troop of vervet monkeys at the wildlife center, set to be released in Kasungu National Park, so they can go back into the wild together.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

The Lilongwe Wildlife Center, of the Lilongwe Wildlife Trust, acts as Malawi's only wildlife sanctuary. There are nearly 200 animals currently in residence who will be rehabilitated and released back into the wild when possible.

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust
Kat Stansfield/Lilongwe Wildlife Trust

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