Monkey Town, the well-known primate centre in Somerset West, is asking for donations to help it continue to care for its animals during the continued lockdown restrictions.
“Monkey Town Primate Centre is a privately owned wildlife centre that cares for around 700 animals. Many of our animals are ex-pets or are rescues due to smuggling or animal abuse,” wrote Melissa Grobler, Monkey Town’s manager, on their BackaBuddy post.
Monkey Town closed on March 20, slightly earlier than when the official lockdown began and has not received any new income besides donations since.
“We closed a bit earlier as apes are also susceptible to respiratory diseases like COVID-19,” said Grobler.
The wildlife centre gets much of its income from visitors who pay an entrance fee. This then goes to the feeding and care of the animals. As much of the tourism industry is still closed, access to this revenue stream is not possible and there is little indication as to when they will be allowed to open their doors.
“Our animals still have to eat multiple times a day, we have veterinary bills, salaries for our staff, electricity bills are skyrocketing as we are entering winter…there are so many expenses,”writes Grobler.
The wildlife centre is currently aiming to raise R500 000 to keep it going during these difficult times. The majority of the funds will go to keeping the animals fed. Grobler explains in a Facebook post that their food bill amounts to R100 000 a month alone.
“All monies raised will go towards our animals food, paying salaries, providing veterinary care to our animals. All our expenses are necessities,” said Grobler.
Those who wish to donate can do so directly into their bank account or through the BackaBuddy page.
Branch: Somerset West
Account number: 62020374302
Reference: Your name/donation
Picture: MonkeyTown/ Facebook