Kenya Velvet Monkeys

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The Kenya Velvet Monkeys , Cercopithecus aethiops, will be familiar to anyone who has visited one of Kenya's National Parks or Reserves.

They are fearless, cheeky, intelligent ..... And considered a pest by hotel owners. They are adept at forming raiding parties near restaurants and we have spent many a breakfast playing 'protect the sugar-bowl' while a troop of Vervet made a dash through grabbing bananas, mangoes, sugar cubes .... and just about anything they can lay their hands on.

They climb well, are agile and very quick. Many lodges have taken to employing local marksmen armed with sling-shots whose job it is to scare off any Vervet that comes close to the diners. Of course the monkeys can't be blamed for their behaviour, countless tourists have encouraged them to come close by offeringsweets or fruit.

But be warned, the Velvet’s preferred way of handling this situation is to bite the hand that feeds them.... so they nip in, bite the finger holding the treat and then grab it when the unsuspecting person drops it.

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