Sunday, January 24, 2010

Monkeying around...

Sunday, January 24th

We started our day at Monkeyland near Plettenberg Bay.  Monkeyland has monkeys, apes and lemurs.  These animals come from zoos or, unfortunately, from people who had them as pets and no longer wanted them.  In South Africa, it is legal to have monkeys as pets but illegal to have tortoises as pets. 

Monkeyland is the world's first multi-species free-roaming primate sanctuary.  It is world renowned for its rehabilitation work.

Monkeyland has more than 10 species of monkeys who all live in harmony.  There are 12 feeding platforms throughout the park which is 12 hectares.  They are feed fruit, vegetables, chicken, etc.

Seeing if the tortoise was male or female....female (if you were wondering)...

Our safari guide...the stick is used in case we encounter snakes!  Yikes!!

It such a strange feeling to be walking amongst all of these animals. 

A suspension bridge which is 30 meters above the ground.

A sneaky thief...

We then headed to a craft based community workshop.  It was established by a group of unemployed, entrepreneurial women from the Kurland community.  We bought soap, magnets and jewelry.  The affects of apartheid are still devastating.

Elephant crossing!!

Our next destination was The Elephant Sanctuary.  There are 6 elephants are this sanctuary right now.  Some were found injured (2 of them had part of their trunks cut off in a trap) and others were dying of dehydration.

Here I am with Tandi from Botswana walking trunk in hand.  Tandi is 15 years old and weighs over 5000 pounds.

Below is Tandi showing us how she flaps her ears to get flies off of her and also to get the dried mud off of her back.

Tom feeding Tandi...  Tandi's trainer has been with Tandi for more than 4 years.  He only takes 1 vacation a year because Tandi is so used to him.  He lives above Pretoria and the bus ride takes more than 24 hours.

Riding bareback...

Elephant brushing...


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Oh my word Dawn! You are very brave to go near the elephant :-) and what about the bridge..scary.

But you both look like you are having a whale of a time, monkeying around .. Ha Ha hugs Anne x

Anonymous said...

OMG!!!!! That is sooo incredibly cool!!!


Notes from Noël said...

Hi Anne and Leesa - To be able to touch and walk with an elephant is incredible! This park was wonderful because they took injured and/or sick elephants and rehabilitated them.