Werribee Open Range Zoo

Vervet Monkey

Observing the complex interactions between these highly social animals is one of the highlights of a visit to Werribee Open Range Zoo.

Vervet Monkeys are found in many parts of Africa. Vervet Monkeys have a number of predators including leopards, servals, caracals, crocodiles, baboons, pythons and large eagles. In human inhabited areas they are in danger from electricity pylons, vehicles, dogs, pellet guns, poison, and bullets and are trapped for traditional medicine, bush meat and for biomedical research.

Despite these dangers, Vervet Monkeys are not thought to be a species at risk. They are classed as ‘least concern’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (on the IUCN ‘red list’). 

While Vervet Monkeys are not under immediate threat there other primates such as gorillas that are on the brink of extinction. One of the biggest threats to primates in the wild is the illegal mining of coltan, a mineral that is used in mobile phones and is found in gorilla habitat. By recycling mobile phones thruogh They're Calling on You you can help raise important funds for gorillas in the wild and give these phones a second life.

Vervet Monkeys are found in the northern and southern savannahs, ranging from Senegal to Sudan. There are about 20 sub-species in these areas. Their preferred habitat is acacia woodland along streams, rivers and lakes.

Males vary in size from 45–85cm and weigh between 3.5 and 7.5kg, while females range from 40–60cm in size and weigh between 2.5 and 5.5kg. Vervets are small and slender with a long tail. Both sexes have sharp canine teeth. 

Vervet Monkeys eat a wide range of fruits, figs, leaves, seeds and flowers. They also eat birds’ eggs and young chicks, and insects (grasshoppers and termites). In human inhabited environments they will eat bread and various crops, especially maize.

Vervet society is built on complex but stable social groups (called troops) of 10 to 50 individuals: mainly adult females and their immature offspring. There is a strict social hierarchy among troop members: a mother’s social standing predetermines her offspring’s, and even adults in a family must submit to juveniles of families with higher social status.

Meet the animals


Born 2007

Elle-Jay is one of the more dominant females so it’s her job to keep everyone in line – a job that she takes very seriously!


Born 2000

Mbozi is tall and thin, making him look quite distinguished. He is a very relaxed individual and takes everything in his stride.


Born 2007

Despite being the youngest, Kay-Gee is the dominant female which makes her the boss of the troop.. 


Born 2007

While Funky is ‘in’ with the dominant female Kay-Gee, she gets along well with all of the monkeys and is very friendly.


Born 1999

Kipili is quiet, relaxed and gentle. He does his own thing and stays out of trouble with the troop.

Monkey Play Tent

First look at Monkey Play

Monkey Play opens today on Saturday 27 June at Werribee Open Range Zoo!

27 June 2015
Monkeys love their swinging new pad

Monkeys love new home renovation

The Vervet Monkeys are swinging from the treetops over their extensive new home renovations.

The zoo's 18 monkeys now have more floor space, more swinging space and much more foliage to play in, following a recent exhibit upgrade.

16 July 2012
Slumber Safari - couple

Slumber Safari

Enjoy an overnight experience at the Zoo in our luxury safari camp. Your stay includes amazing close-up animal encounters, drinks and dips at sunset, a sumptuous dinner, unique night-time activities and breakfast overlooking Australian Journey. 

Did you know?
  • The Vervet Monkey uses different sounds to warn of different types of predators
  • They have distinct calls to warn of the sighting of a leopard, a snake or an eagle
  • Vervets living near areas inhabited by people can become pests, stealing food and other items and raiding crops
  • Also is known as the Grivet Monkey or Green Monkey