Vervet Monkey Foundation Is First in Africa to Receive Accreditation From Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

(Washington DC) – The Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries –the only globally recognized organization providing standards to identify legitimate animal sanctuaries and wildlife rescue centers – has awarded accredited status to the Vervet Monkey Foundation, located in Tzaneen, South Africa, as of October 2, 2015.

As confirmed through an onsite visit by GFAS, this accreditation signifies that the Vervet Monkey Foundation meets the Federation’s rigorous, peer-reviewed standards that define a true sanctuary providing humane and responsible care of animals, as well as standards addressing safety and security, veterinary care, and other areas of financial and organizational sustainability. Accredited status with GFAS provides a transparent, trusted means for the public, donors, and government agencies to recognize the Vervet Monkey Foundation as an outstanding sanctuary.

“GFAS is honored to recognize the outstanding work being done at the Vervet Monkey Foundation as our first accredited primate facility in Africa,” states Kellie Heckman, GFAS Executive Director. “Their accreditation represents a remarkable dedication to a lifetime of care for the monkeys at their facility.”

“The Vervet Monkey Foundation does a tremendous and important job caring for hundreds of monkeys that are often seen by the public as undesirable, and the sanctuary takes great care to address the individual social and medical needs for each,” said Jackie Bennett, GFAS Director of Accreditation, Africa and Asia. “They have also demonstrated a commitment to creating a sustainable organization with set plans and goals to ensure the continuing care of these primates.”

The Vervet Monkey Foundation is currently home to more than 500 vervet monkeys, as well as several samango monkeys. Through its carefully designed rehabilitation program, the center has successfully integrated hundreds of orphaned baby vervets into troops that live in natural environments in large open topped enclosures. Where possible and when the locations of their troops are known, monkeys are released back to the wild after receiving necessary treatment. The Vervet Monkey Foundation also engages in community outreach and education to teach the public about vervets and ways to avoid human-animal conflicts.

“The Vervet Monkey Foundation (VMF) is thrilled to be the first sanctuary in Africa to be accredited by GFAS,” says Dave du Toit, VMF’s Co-Director. “The VMF team have been working hard towards these standards and would like to say a huge thank you to GFAS, all the staff, volunteers and supporters for helping us to achieve this incredible milestone,” adds Co-Director Josie du Toit. “The VMF pledges to always put the monkeys in their care first and to strive to change public perception.”

The next big vision on which the VMF is working is the Vervet Forest project, envisioned as a 300-500 hectare indigenous bush area in South Africa. The goal of the project is to create a protected forest for rehabilitated orphaned and abused vervet monkeys who will be free from hunting, culling and human conflict; to create a whole thriving eco-system that benefits indigenous plant and animal life; and to host international and local educational workshops with the themes of veterinary, primatology, environmental, peaceful co-existence and lifestyle choices.

About Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries
Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries (GFAS) is a United States 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the sole purpose of strengthening and supporting the work of animal sanctuaries, rescues, and rehabilitation centers worldwide. The goal of GFAS in working with and assisting these animal care facilities is to ensure they are supported, honored, recognized and rewarded for meeting important criteria in providing care to the animals in residence. GFAS was founded in 2007 by animal protection leaders from a number of different organizations in response to virtually unchecked and often hidden exploitation of animals for human entertainment and financial profit. The GFAS Board of Directors guides the organization’s work in a collaborative manner. While the Board includes those in top leadership at Born Free USA, The Humane Society of the United States, International Fund for Animal Welfare, and American Anti-Vivisection Society, all Board members serve as individuals dedicated to animal sanctuaries. For more information, please visit localhost.

About Vervet Monkey Foundation
The Vervet Monkey Foundation is a non-profit organization (#020 694 NPO) established in 1993 after the first orphan Regus was found by Dave Du Toit in 1989. When Dave contacted the authorities upon finding Regus, he was told to kill it as they were vermin. This was the beginning of the plight of the vervets and the birth of the Vervet Monkey Foundation. The sanctuary is based in Tzaneen in the Limpopo Province of South Africa and rehabilitates and provides sanctuary to over 500 primates, orphaned, injured, abused, ex-laboratory or unwanted pets. In addition to this the VMF provides:

  • A program to rehabilitate orphaned and injured primates.
  • A program to research the claims of damage and problems caused by vervet monkeys and offer possible solutions to co-existence.
  • An education program to inform the public of the role that the vervet monkey plays in the eco-system and how to prevent human – vervet
  • A sanctuary for primates unfortunate enough to be unreleasable but still able to have a quality of life.
  • An opportunity for volunteers to study the life style and environment of the vervet monkey primate
  • A project for volunteers to become involved in the conservation and rehabilitation of this unique indigenous primate.
  • Opportunities for volunteers, vet nurses, gap year students and those involved and interested in primate
  • Promotion of a vegan lifestyle to help sustain the environment, prevent habitat loss, animal suffering and to make a contribution towards helping many of the world’s issues.

For more information, please visit

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