Island Heritage - Green Monkey
If you are a tourist to the shores of Barbados then you are probably hoping to catch a view of the beautiful and mischievous Green monkey (Chlorocebus Aethiops Sabaeus). Indigenous to West Africa (particularly Senegal and the Gambia) the Green Monkey travelled over rough seas, thousands of miles, on slave ships to the Isle of Barbados, more than 350 years ago in the 17th Century.
Today, Barbados is said to be home to roughly 14,000 of these animals, which can be spotted in every parish but are predominantly found, leaping amongst the trees and grooming themselves, in the quiet, wooded parishes of St. Peter, St. Thomas, St. Joseph, St. Andrew and St. John.
The Barbados Wildlife Reserve and the Welchman Hall Gully are two national wildlife Reserves where Green Monkeys and other animals find sanctuary. Visitors who arrive at feeding time are in for a treat as the animals are typically quite tame and so are comfortable with humans in close proximity. Outside of feeding hours, Welchman Hall, Grenade Hall and the Barbados Wild Life Reserve are still perfect locations to spot them playing in the trees in their natural environment or to spend an afternoon in beautiful natural environments.
Feeding Times: (*info current as of March 2013)
Barbados Wildlife Reserve: 2 p.m.*
Welchman Hall Gully: 10 a.m.*
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Interesting Facts About Green Monkeys
Green Monkeys are beautiful creatures and at birth (mostly during April and May) appear furless and seem to be a beautiful blue color. As the infant ages the blue is lost, the coat thickens and changes to a brownish-grey color, with olive green and yellow flecks. Additionally, the tail tip, back of the thighs, and cheek whiskers are often a golden yellow. This combination of colours causes the monkey to appear completely green in some lights and is the origin of their name…"Green Monkey".
Adult green monkeys grow to roughly two feet tall, live in troops of 15 -20 and have a life expectancy of 12 – 17 years, in the wild. Female, adult, Green monkeys generally weigh 9 pounds, stay with the same family / troop for their entire life and move up the “troop ranks” based on the size of their families. Conversely, adult Males typically weigh up to 12 pounds, can change families/ troops frequently in their lifetime and gain their dominance or rank in the community by their size, strength and their ability to fight. Local Green Monkey also use various sounds and actions to communicate different messages. For example loud staccato barking and quick movements may mean that a predators such as a wild dog or mongoose is nearby.