News from around the world

The Wannabe Idol

Hello, my name is Atlas and I am a white-handed gibbon. If the judges at IDOLS could hear me sing, I’d be offered a recording contract straight away.

Toxic Food And Harems

Toxic food AND harems OR ‘male-hems’ – that’s our thing!   I am a leaf-eating monkey, named Callac.  I am one of the largest primates at Monkeyland. I am mostly dark grey-black in colour with lighter grey on my chest and the top of my head.

Proudly South African

I am a vervet monkey named Bhalloo, and I was born in South Africa. I call this country home.    Did you know that I can swim? Vervet monkeys are the only species at Monkeyland who swim. Swimming is a rare behaviour for a non-human primates, so this makes us vervet monkeys special.

Too Clever

My name is Houdini.  I am a capuchin monkey. Did you know that capuchins have a reputation for being the most intelligent monkeys, since they are very easily taught tricks. This is why they have been trained as movie stars, pickpockets, organ grinders and even to nurse quadriplegic humans.

Just Like Us

In South Africa just outside the holiday Mecca Plettenberg Bay you’ll find the world’s first free-roaming multi-specie primate sanctuary.  It is aptly named Monkeyland.  At this sanctuary the primates are free roaming.

Bradgelina But Not For Long!

Did you know that at least 50 species of fruit trees in Madagascar depend on black lemurs to distribute their seeds? This is a vital contribution primates make to their natural habitat – without them; many seeds would not be removed from their tough husks. Furthermore, some seeds can only grow after they have been through the digestive system of a primate! Just like bees, black lemurs are also responsible for pollinating some plants.

The Worm That Went To Madagascar

Mealworms are small spaghetti-shaped nutty-tasting worms about 3cm in length and about as thick as an earbud. Fortunately mealworms don’t smell at all, so there is no fear of detection from our scent.  We do however let most primates salivate at the mere thought of munching us to pieces. You need to know this to understand why I am under such great stress most of the time.  Hiding has become my second nature.  I AM a mealworm.

Black Lemur

Eulemur macaco

Black-and-white Ruffed Lemur

Varecia v. variegata

Madagascar's Lemurs

Most of us probably didn’t know about lemurs till we saw the animated movie ‘Madagascar’. These cute and cuddly looking animals really are the natives of the island of Madagascar. They can also be found on the nearby Comoro islands. The word ‘Lemur’ is derived from the Latin word ‘Lemures’ which means ‘spirits of the night’ or ‘ghosts’. This is probably because many of the species of Lemurs are nocturnal.

The Dove Who Spoke The Truth

by Abbie Farwell Brown The Curious Book of Birds   The dove and the wrinkled little bat once went on a journey together. When it came toward night a storm arose, and the two companions sought everywhere for a shelter. But all the birds were sound asleep in their nests and the animals in their holes and dens. They could find no welcome anywhere until they came to the hollow tree where old Master Owl lived, wide awake in the dark. "Let us knock here," said the shrewd bat; "...

The Boy Who Bacame A Robin

by Henry R. Schoolcraft The Myth of Hiawatha   Once upon a time there was an old Indian who had an only son, whose name was Opeechee. The boy had come to the age when every Indian lad makes a long fast, in order to secure a Spirit to be his guardian for life.

The Bird

by Count Lyof N. Tolstoi   It was Serozha's birthday, and he received many different gifts; peg tops, and hobby horses, and pictures. But Serozha's uncle gave him a gift that he prized above all the rest - it was a trap for snaring birds.

How The Wren Became King

Adapted from a Manx Folk Tale   A long while ago when there were not so many people on the earth as there are now, and the birds and animals had things about their own way, a Cuckoo gave a tea party.

The Quails, A Legend Of The Jataka

From the Riverside Fourth Reader   Ages ago a flock of more than a thousand quails lived together in a forest in India. They would have been happy, but that they were in great dread of their enemy, the quail-catcher. He used to imitate the call of the quail - and when they gathered together in answer to it, he would throw a great net over them, stuff them into his basket, and carry them away to be sold.

The Pride Of The Regiment

The Pride of the Regiment by The Recollections of a Drummer Boy   "Old Abe" was the war-eagle of the Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers. Whoever it may have been that first conceived the idea, it was certainly a happy thought to make a pet of an eagle. For the eagle is our national bird, and to carry an eagle along with the colors of a regiment on the march, and in battle, and all through the whole war, was surely very appropriate, indeed.

The Nightinggale

Adapted from Hans Christian Andersen   The Emperor's palace was the most beautiful in the world.   In the garden were to be seen wonderful flowers, and to the costliest of these silver bells were tied, which rang, so that nobody should pass by without noticing the garden. It extended so far that the gardener himself did not know where the end was. If one went on and on, one came to a glorious forest. The wood extended straight down to the sea, and in the trees lived a Nightingale. ...

The Magpie's Nest

by Joseph Jacobs English Fairy Tales   All the birds of the air came to the magpie and asked her to teach them how to build nests. For the magpie is the cleverest bird of all at building nests. So she put all the birds round her and began to show them how to do it. First of all she took some mud and made a sort of round cake with it.

The Owl And The Birds

An owl, in her wisdom, counseled the Birds that when the acorn first began to sprout, to pull it all up out of the ground and not allow it to grow. She said acorns would produce mistletoe, from which an irremediable poison, the bird- lime, would be extracted and by which they would be captured.

The Squirrel And The Bird

A father squirrel was teaching his son one day how to forage for food. He showed him how to find the best seeds, nuts, mushrooms and pinecones. The little squirrel enjoyed all these foods, but found the seeds most to his liking. His father cautioned him: "Son, don't let your hunger run away with you. Never venture beyond the edge of this forest for food, or you will be sorry."