The Monkey Park at Ben Shemen Forest had an exciting day on Tuesday, when it opened an open area for two of its mangabey monkeys.
The two monkeys are named Joey and Sapti. Joey, who was abused by his mother right after birth, was taken in by Ben Shemen Forest. The forest’s keeper, Sarit, took care of Joey for the first four months, after which his grandmother, who received the name Sapti, was brought to the forest as well to keep him company.
Now that they’ve adjusted to one another, the two monkeys will be allowed to live in this new open area so that they can be in a monkey’s natural habitat.
“They were very excited to be in this new area,” said Dr. Tamar Fredman, Director of the Israeli Primate Sanctuary Foundation. “As we’re speaking, Joey is climbing on a tree and that is the first time he’s done that. Sapti, who came from this little petting zoo, now has a ground and trees. It’s a very exciting thing for monkeys.
“They have to get used to it slowly because sometimes new and good things also need some time to get used to,” she added. “But they look very excited.”
The Monkey Park at Ben Shemen Forest is a private, non-profit organization. The park has an area which is not open to visitors, in which monkeys in need are rehabilitated.
“The open area in the Monkey Park, where people can come and visit, has educational programs and conservation programs,” said Dr. Fredman. “But all in all it’s one big project, a non-profit organization and all the money goes toward rehabilitating the monkeys.”
The climate in Israel is good for the monkeys, she said, because it doesn’t get too cold in the winter. Even though it gets very hot in the summer, the monkeys have sprinklers and pools so they can stay cool and have fun at the same time.