Vervet Monkeys at Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya: A Photographic Essay
T he vervet monkeys at Lake Nakuru National Park in Kenya were cavorting in the trees, doing what monkeys typically do.
The small omnivorous primates are common in eastern Africa. Their diets consist of leaves, young shoots and other vegetation; but they have been known to also consume baby birds, insects, small mammals and eggs.
Classified as a medium-sized to large-sized monkey, the vervet monkey can weigh anywhere between seven pounds to as heavy as 17 pounds.
Vervet monkeys can live in acacia forests, woodlands and savannah along streams, rivers, and lakes — and in mountain areas up to a maximum height of approximately 13,000 feet — yet they typically do not inhabit deserts or rain forests.
Groups of vervet monkeys are called troops, which usually consist of anywhere between ten through 50 individual members — mainly adult females and their immature offspring.
“There is a strict social hierarchy among troop members”, according to the African Wildlife Foundation. “Males transfer troops at least once in their lifetime, beginning at puberty. This is a dangerous process, not only because of the predators they may encounter in transit, but also because troops dislike immigrants.”
Predators of vervet monkeys include eagles and leopards — which I find quite ironic, as here were all of these vervet monkeys; and yet leopards were the only major animal which I did not witness for myself while on safari in Kenya…
…but the vervet monkeys I saw did not seem to be concerned about any predators, as they seemed to be carefree as they were swinging around with each other and climbing trees.