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South African Urban Monkeys Relocated May 18, 2007
Photo of vervet monkeys.
Pretoria's famed vervet monkeys were moved to a rural preserve due to loss of their urban habitat.
The last members of several monkey troops that had roamed for centuries the area that became South Africa's capital were relocated outside the city after development encroached on their only remaining habitat.

Pretoria’s famed vervet monkeys were well known for communications skills similar to humans, and for their unique facial expressions.

The relocation came after recent construction of a shopping center cut the monkeys’ last surviving habitat to just 3,000 square yards (meters).

Most of the last of two troops, totaling nearly 70 monkeys, were captured and released on private land about 25 miles northeast of Pretoria.

The vervet was classified as vermin in South Africa after one bit the daughter of the country’s finance minister in 1937. But the species was listed as threatened in 1976 by the Convention on International Trade and Endangered Species.

Photo: Laila Kazakevica