As you know the goal of every wildlife rescue is the rehabilitation of the animal and release back into the wild. That is something that our partners at the Zambia Primate Project have perfected. 

Late last year the team released a group of 27 vervet monkeys, named the Nkonde troop, back into Kafue National Park. 

Each of these 27 individuals had been seized from terrible conditions. Most have been taken as young animals to be kept as pets (despite this being illegal) and were kept tethered and confined, and sadly often tormented to perform tricks. 

The monkeys need a lot of care before they can be released and they must be integrated with other individuals as they only have a chance of survival if released as a troop. This whole process can take one to three years. 

For this release, the location was selected to ensure the safety and well-being of the troop and a temporary enclosure was constructed to give them time to acclimatise to the sights and smells of the area. After 

ten days, the doors were opened and the monkeys took their first steps, then leaps, to freedom. 

The very aptly named, Big Boy, has asserted himself as leader of the troop and will take care of his precious new family as they experience both the joys and dangers of living back in the wild. 

The troop will be monitored closely for the next year to ensure that they thrive in their new found freedom. 

Sadly, the team has already rescued several more vervet monkeys already that will need intensive rehabilitation before they too will get to return to the wild like the Nkonde troop. 

At last! South Korea bans dog meat. Meet Martell: a true champion for animals