A happy Easter for the gorgeous Grivets

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A happy Easter for the gorgeous Grivets

The Easter Bunny will be making an extra special delivery to Monkey Haven this year – dropping off four gorgeous Grivets to join our happy family.

The Grivets, also known as African green monkeys, are being given a permanent home with us, thanks to everyone who contributed to our fundraising campaign over the summer. These adorable creatures – with their white tufty sideburns – can now be brought over from Spain, where they have been cared for by animal charity AAP.

The ‘fab four’ are being given another chance of happiness, after a traumatic start in life as victims of the illegal pet trade. Malta was discovered going through customs at Malta Airport, bound up in cloth and tape, and hidden in a sports bag (she’s shown in the slideshow above, as she was found – and as she is now). Pepper was found at an airport in Paris, and is small and slightly deformed from maltreatment. Soma used to be kept in a parrot cage and Angèle had also been badly neglected by a private owner.

Meet the fab four

Petra Sonius


Pepper is the smallest and has the darkest face. She’s got a short temper and will scream if things don’t go her way. She doesn’t like to be hurried and eats slowly, giving the others the chance to pinch her food!



Somer is the youngest of the group. She’s very flexible and her favourite activities include playing and swinging around. She also enjoys grooming Pepper, who’s her best pal.

Petra Sonius


Angèle is the boss, no question. She enjoys her food and is the tubbiest of the group. This little lady will dominate enrichment activities and always ensures that the others know their place.

Malta de groene meerkat in januari 2010.Copyright: Stichting AAP/ Petra Sonius


Malta is the man about the house. He’s respected, but the girls run rings around him. His epilepsy is controlled by medication, which is usually hidden in a piece of banana. He can be very, very noisy!

Monkey Haven’s founder, Don Walser, says: “We were desperate to rehome them all, but as a charity, we simply didn’t have the funds to bring them over. We’re so grateful for such an amazing response from the public who have made our dream possible.”

The four Grivets have spent the past two years receiving medical and psychological support, and bonding as a group. “We can now provide them with the permanent home that they deserve – and all the love and care that they need,” says Don.

The finishing touches are now being made to their enclosure. There will be a lawned area, where the Grivets can forage for bugs, which is their favourite form of enrichment. This encourages them to display the kind of behavior that they would in the wild, and keep their brains and bodies active. Grivets are playful creatures and will be entertained by a swing, hammocks, fire hoses, ropes and tunnels. They’ll also have a cosy heated house, with branches leading up to sleeping areas.

Towards the middle of March, the animals will start their journey to the Island, travelling in a quarantine van, and accompanied by handlers from AAP. The handlers will stay at Monkey Haven for a week, helping the Grivets to settle in, and teaching staff all about their routines, personalities and special needs.

Says Don: “There’s so much to learn, such as how to get the monkeys inside at night, how to give Malta his daily medication, and how to make sure they all get equal amounts of food – as Angèle can be rather dominant when it comes to food and sharing!”

Head Keeper Lisa Simpkins says: “It’s going to be a very Happy Easter at Monkey Haven. We can’t wait to welcome the gorgeous Grivets and there will be lots of treats waiting for them – including their favourite live bugs!”

By |2018-10-17T14:24:12+00:00February 4th, 2016|Categories: News, Rescue|