Monkey drive

Monkey drive

A monkey drive is where large numbers of wild monkeys are rounded up and killed in order to protect agriculture such as crops, planted rice, banana and citrus fruit trees. Monkey drives have been reported in Sierra Leone, where they were supported by the government.

In 1965, Gerald Durrell organised a monkey drive in Sierra Leone during a collecting mission for Jersey Zoo. The monkey drive was out of season, and not to exterminate monkeys, but in order to capture Colobus monkeys. In his book on the expedition, published in 1972, he writes that 2000 to 3000 monkeys are killed in monkey drives in Sierra Leone each year, including the "two species" of Colobus monkeys (now considered genera: Black-and-white and red-and-black), which do no damage to cocoa plantations, and were theoretically protected by law.

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