top of page
ZPP 3.jpg

Primates in need

Since its conception, The Zambian Primate Project has rescued over 750 Vervet Monkeys and Baboons.


These rescues are primarily the result of the illegal exotic pet trade in Zambia; however, rescues occur whenever a primate is injured or orphaned through the actions of humans. This includes illegal snaring by poachers for bush meat and the persecution and stoning of primates in local communities where they are often perceived as pests.

The primates are rescued by our team from hotspot areas across Zambia, in collaboration with officers from the Department of National Parks and Wildlife (DNPW) and Zambia Police, following intelligence received by ZPP from our national network of local informers and concerned members of the public. Some of the primates we rescue are given up willingly, whilst others are hostile confiscations.

The primates we rescue

Vervet Monkey 2.jpg

Vervet Monkey

Vervet Monkey 1.jpg

The vervet monkey is common throughout a variety of woodland types and around rest points.


Moving in troops of about 20, they feed on young shoots, seeds and fruit but occasionally will eat insects and eggs.

Baboon 2.jpg


Baboon 1.jpg

Chacma and Yellow Baboons are both common in Zambia.


They are both gregarious animals, occurring in troops of about 50 or more, feeding on the ground and in trees on fruit, seeds, rhizomes and insects.

Primates in distress

Vervet monkeys and baboons are often killed by communities as they compete for food with humans. A common method of killing is by stoning the primate, a cruel and lengthy death. They are seen as pests, raiding the food and crops of villages.

Many others are killed by poachers to eat or trade as bush meat. When an adult female with a baby is killed and her baby survives, the small, dependant primate is often kept as a household pet, sold into the illegal pet trade for money or kept as an attraction by local business owners. As the young primate grows, it can become difficult to handle, biting and attacking as it tries to escape captivity.  It is at this point that captive primates are usually chained and caged for the rest of their lives.

We want to bring awareness to the plight of primates who are suffering from social isolation, harsh tethers, unsuitable enclosures and bad diet. To do this, we have created a gallery of images that highlight the heart-breaking stories of these animals. Please be aware that some of these images may contain graphic or distressing content.

bottom of page