World News

Baby monkey rescued from Tanzanian street traders now thriving in the wild

  • Marley, a vervet monkey, was saved from animal traders on the streets
  • The anonymous rescuer then gave him to sanctuary worker Brittany Hilton
  • Ms Hilton proceeded to hand raise Marley at her flat for the next four months
  • He is now living with an adopted family of monkeys at a wildlife sanctuary
  • One day soon he will be released from the sanctuary back into the wild

Corey Charlton for MailOnline

16:16 GMT, 7 September 2014

17:43 GMT, 7 September 2014


An adorable baby monkey rescued from animal traders selling it for cash has found a new family at a monkey sanctuary after being raised in a house.

Marley, a vervet monkey, was only two weeks old when an anonymous woman saw him being sold on the street in Tanzania and gave him to wildlife worker Brittany Hilton.

She then spent 24 hours a day with him and brought him up by hand in her home at the Dr Jane Goodall institute in Tanzania.

Marley relaxing at the home of Brittany Hilton after an anonymous woman rescued him from animal traders

Brittany Hilton visiting Marley at his new home at the animal sanctuary, where he moved to after she hand raised him at her flat

But he’s now been returned to live with other monkeys at an animal sanctuary and will one day be returned to the wild.

Marley was just two weeks old when Ms Hilton first met him.

The woman, who had bought him from street traders in Daar es Salaam in an attempt to rescue him, gave him to wildlife centre the Jane Goodall Institute where Ms Hilton works.

It’s not uncommon for mother monkeys in Tanzania to be killed so that their babies can be sold as pets.

The Canadian-Norwegian sanctuary worker became his adoptive mother, bottle-feeding him until he could eat fruit on his own and never letting him leave her side.

While staying at Dr Jane Goodall’s house, whatever she did, Marley did too and he spent most of his time sitting on her shoulders while she cooked, cleaned and even went to the loo.

Ms Hilton raised Marley (pictured) by hand at her flat at Dr Jane Goodall’s house in Tanzania

Monkey selfie: Marley pictured making a mess during meal times with his carer Brittany Hilton

Just four months later though, she faced the trauma of giving away the baby monkey she had now come to think of as her own.

When the moment arrived for Marley to rejoin other monkeys in the Makoa Farms sanctuary just south of Mount Kilimanjaro he was reluctant to leave his new mother’s arms.

She had to spend four days helping him integrate into the troop of rescue animals.

But now Marley is at home with the other monkeys and thriving in his natural habitat.

Brittany Hilton (pictured) said Marley was ‘an amazing little guy’ and was happy to hand raise him

Ms Hilton said: ‘Although it was heartbreaking to have to let Marley go I’m happy for him and would do it again and again.

‘Marley was an amazing little guy. He made our lives so much better. Every day I spent with Marley was the best day I had ever had.

‘He was cheeky and full of life and personality, but he was so soft and sometimes he would just be clinging to my shirt and staring up at me, and feel my face with his hands in such a loving way.

‘I am sure he’s not the last monkey I will save.

‘Marley is free and where he belongs back in the wild.

‘He is doing so well at the sanctuary that he is a perfect candidate for a full release into the wild which is so amazing and exactly what our goal is: less monkeys in cages and sanctuaries and more monkeys in the wild where they belong.

‘I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of Marley’s story and hope it serves as a lesson to anyone who thinks a monkey is a pet.

‘They are not pets, they are not ours to keep.

‘There are thousands of Marleys out there, and they all begin with a horror story.

‘The men kill the mother to get to the baby. The fear and horror that baby monkey must feel in those moments is unfathomable.’

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