Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Where there’s life there’s hope

One baby monkey’s personal rescue story

GRI – Zambia Primate Project (ZPP), established and supported by the Born Free Foundation since 2002, recently received a report of a baby vervet monkey that had been found all alone with serious injuries. She had been hit by a speeding vehicle in Kafue National Park and left for dead.

ZPP stepped in immediately and within 24 hours this baby monkey, named Jacky, was hospitalised and undergoing tests and treatment at the University of Zambia’s Vet Clinic (UNZA). It was touch and go for the next 2 weeks, but against all the odds, Jacky pulled through.

X-rays revealed Jacky had a cracked skull and a severely injured rear right leg. The swelling to her brain caused seizures, but these stopped after 3 days once the swelling subsided. The crack to her skull will heal fully in time as she is so young. ZPP had to take the tough decision, however, to amputate her right leg as the nerves were irreversibly damaged and it was broken in several places and infected. This will give her the best chance of a full recovery. Vervet monkeys in the wild are known to be able to live full and active lives with just 3 limbs so we are confident that she will one day be fully rehabilitated back to the wild.

Shortly after Jack’s operation, ZPP’s Senior Technical Advisr Dr Cheryl Mvula, put Jacky on a flight to the Luangwa Valley, where Jacky is to undergo intensive recuperation at ZPP’s long-term partner the Chipembele Wildlife Education Trust – also a Born Free supported project.  

We are so happy to report that thanks to a huge team effort involving many caring people Jacky is now doing just fine. The amputation wound has shown no sign of infection and is healing well.

She is very mobile, feisty, eating well and getting to know her new family of other rescued vervets at Chipembele through the enclosure fence who are totally fascinated by her. It was particularly touching to see Tonto, a young rescued vervet monkey, very gently cradling her stump in his hand through the wire. Mica, another orphaned baby monkey that ZPP rescued from the illegal pet trade recently, is the only monkey allowed in with Jacky at this early stage, because of her fragility, and they are fast becoming good friends. It is so important to their emotional well-being that these baby primates have other primates as company.

Jacky is an example of the amazing robustness and fighting spirit of injured wild animals. Huge thanks go to everyone involved in Jacky's rescue and care thus far, particularly GRI-Zambia Primate Project and Chipembele, whose attentive and professional care has given her a second chance at life.

Jacky and Mica
Jacky recuperating at Chipembele and with Mica (on the right). She looks very glum after her ordeal, but having Mica as company will soon change that.

To find out more about GRI – Zambia Primate Project or to volunteer with them in Zambia visit

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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