PROFLIGHT Zambia has helped rescue a two-week-old vervet monkey whose mother was killed by poachers.
The airline stepped in to fly the young primate to safety at Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust in South Luangwa National Park, where it will be cared for until it was old enough to be released back into the wild.
The little monkey – named Myk – was being sold on the roadside when a team from Game Rangers International Zambia Primate Project (ZPP) discovered him and took him to Lusaka before Proflight stepped in to move him to Mfuwe where he will be weaned together with other orphaned vervets.
In a press statement the airline’s director of Government and Industry Affairs Captain Phillip Lemba said:
“We know the importance of such species and the need to protect them. Tourists travel from far to come and see them. This alone helps to boost tourism in Zambia so ensuring that they are safe and protected is important for tourism as well as the country’s development,” The great majority of primates that ZPP rescues were victims of the growing bush meat trade in Zambia.
The mothers are slaughtered for their meat and their young sold into the illegal pet trade and fall victim to animal cruelty.
GRI – Zambia Primate Project was one of Africa’s most established and successful primate release programmes with its mission is to rescue and rehabilitate injured, orphaned and illegally held vervet monkeys and yellow baboons for release back to the wild.
Primate survival rate six months after release currently averaged a remarkable 95 percent, said the organisation.
It was established by the Born Free Foundation, which provided ongoing support.
Protecting wildlife was a key component of Proflight’s social responsibility programme as the airline recognises the importance of wildlife in attracting tourists to Zambia.
In the past Proflight has helped conservation groups fly a rescued baby elephant and a hippo to be cared for.