And here it came, my last month in South Africa. Having spend almost two years at this place, I could barely imagine myself being somewhere else.
But things always change. Nothing stays the same forever.
That is one of the life lessons my parents taught me (but let’s not get too philosophical).
My one goal before leaving
I desperately wanted to give Mika a new home!
But, who is Mika?
Well, she is a little juvenile vervet monkey that was kept as a pet for most of her life. Her “owners” decided to give her to the Vervet Monkey Foundation.
They realized (luckily) that this was not a good life for her. And because she is a monkey, she needed to be with other monkeys.
When she arrived she didn’t know how to be a normal monkey and because of that, her rehabilitation process was long and sometimes frustrating (there were days that I didn’t believe she would ever make it).
The long process of rehabilitating a monkey
With every monkey it is different.
There are even some times that they will never be able to join a troop of monkeys. When thay are too humanized, they have certain behaviours that don’t help with their integration.
All because they have been around humans for too long.
But I was determined to make this happen, not just because I am stubborn (because I am) but also because she was making some progress (again, very slowly) and I refused to let her life the rest of her life in a small enclosure all by herself (again, I can be stubborn).
My last weeks…
At one point during my last weeks, I am not sure what happened, but all of our long hours and Mika’s determination made it happen!
She was playing with the other juveniles and climbing in trees.
We even called one of the trees «Mika’s tree», because she would always sit in it to eat and hide when she was afraid.
Also, chasing adult males became her new hobby.
At last, her integration was going somewhere!
And I could not be happier knowing that she was sleeping in a tree with her new brothers and sisters. She would never again spend her days in a cage.
Saying goodbye is never easy, but when I walked for the last time around and saw all the amazing things I was able to do for these monkeys, I knew that everything would be fine.
My path is set and I just have to see where it takes me. Hopefully to other amazing places with inspiring people and animals to fall in love with.
And if you liked this story, subscribe and keep an eye on my blog. Maybe next post I will tell you more about Mika and how she managed to get me a little crazy in the process of her integration ?