Steve and Carol, the founders of Monkey Helpline, have been featured on an international animal website which has helped boost their fundraising efforts.
KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa – The Dodo is an internationally recognised media outlet the focusses solely on animal stories. They have a massive following, reaching over 23 million people daily.
Recently the animal website featured a proudly South African duo who work tirelessly to rescue monkeys in the KwaZulu-Natal area. Steve Smit and Carol Booth founded the Monkey Helpline and work around 20-hours a day.
Monkey Helpline started in 1995 and is a volunteer group based in Westville near Durban. They rescue monkeys facing all kinds of problems, from being hit by cars to being injured while invading homes. The animals are then taken to the sanctuary where they are rehabilitated and released once healed and ready.
By being featured on the world’s leading animal website, they have had a brilliant spotlight cast onto their work. Their focus is on educating people living in areas where monkeys live. They work to change attitudes towards the animals and have seen an upswing in the tolerance levels within the areas they work.
‘We devote our time to educating people about the reasons why the monkeys are here, why monkeys behave the way they do, the things people should do or not do when monkeys are around, and how to humanely keep monkeys away from those places where they are not welcome. Just knowing that monkeys will NOT attack and bite people, and that they DON’T carry rabies, is usually enough to change antagonism and fear into tolerance, and frequently into appreciation.’
Monkeys have a bad wrap because of years of farmers labelling them as pests and a general lack of legislation that protects their animal rights.
Steve and Carol have made thousands of sacrifices in life to do the work they do. Their number one focus is on protecting the vulnerable species.
As an NGO, they rely on donations to keep their operations running smoothly. With the spotlight from The Dodo, their opportunities have grown. They also offer a volunteer programme for internationals and locals. Locals are invited to join them on their open days where they build enrichment furniture for the monkeys and host talks to create awareness and educate on how to deal with monkeys properly.
The Monkey Helpline offers a free service to their community, saving animals in the process. The work they do is valued by the people who live with monkeys.
‘Our team of dedicated rescuers and rescue assistants, veterinarians, educators, monitors, fund-raisers, administrative assistants and supporters is what makes this project the success that it is today.’
If you would like to learn more about the work Monkey Helpline does, you can connect with them via Facebook here.
Take a look at the impressive feature the Dodo did on the organisation below.