Because sometimes what you need most is to watch the joyous moment when a young vervet monkey is reunited with his family.
His name is Pearce and he had seriously injured his leg, possibly on barbed wire, when he was spotted by a Kingsway High School student in Amanzimtoti, South Africa. The student contacted the Umsizi Vervet Rescue Center, who quickly sent out volunteers to catch the unfortunate monkey.
“We tried for three hours … but his overprotective mother would not allow us close enough to catch him by hand,” Nigel Wright, a volunteer for Umsizi Vervet Rescue Center, told The Dodo. “So we came back the next morning with a metal cage that we use to trap injured monkeys.”
Placing food into the cage successfully lured Pearce into the care of the rescue team, but his mother and other family members were furious to have their baby taken away.
The team worked quickly, sedating Pearce, wrapping him in a blanket, and then taking him a veterinary clinic where he received 10 stitches in his leg. Then all he needed was time to heal. But Pearce was understandably restless in captivity, so the team gave him some friendly company to help soothe him.
“Another injured 1-year-old baby was placed into the cage with him,” Wright said. “He soon took this scared little girl under his wing and hugged her and held her tight, each finding comfort in each other.”
Three weeks later Pearce had his stitches removed, so it was time for him to go back to his family. But vervet monkeys travel around in their troops, so first the volunteer team had to locate them, hoping they’d be somewhere in the vicinity of the high school where Pearce had been discovered.
Sure enough, the rescue team spotted his family near the school’s soccer fields. At the same time the vervet family recognized the team and used aggressive displays to show their displeasure with the people who’d taken their boy away. But Pearce also recognized his family.
“Pearce showed us he was happy and that it was definitely his troop by calling to his mother and by tumbling around in his carrying cage,” Wright said. “If it wasn’t his troop, he would have just laid flat in the cage and pushed himself into a corner.”
So the team put Pearce’s cage on the ground, opened its door, and out he scampered, eager to return to his troop. And they we’re overjoyed to welcome him home with hugs and pats, especially his ecstatic mama who even helped pull him up onto the roof an into her arms:
Welcome home, little monkey. And well done, members of the Umsizi Vervet Rescue Center.
[via /r/gifs and the dodo]