The Vervet Monkeys in St. Kitts

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When staying with us at Belle Mont Farm, many guests cannot get enough of the playful monkeys that frequent our St. Kitts resort. Around here, monkey sightings are common- they love to run and play outside our Luxury Cottages and Villages, and they are also known to help themselves to the organic fruit that grows throughout our 400 acres of organic tropical farmland. Although we would prefer that they didn’t eat our crops, we will admit that the monkeys are a lot of fun to watch in action.

St. Kitts is famous for its population of wild vervet monkeys. Also known as the West African Green Monkey, these small, social primates are found by the thousands on the islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. The Vervets arrived on ships carrying slaves to supply the burgeoning rum industry on the island around the year 1650. The island’s population was established very quickly, sometimes to the frustration of local farmers who experienced crop damage because of raiding monkeys.

They are a small tan and grey primate with a dark face and long, slender tail. They stand between one and two feet tall, with males being somewhat larger than females. Vervets like to sleep in trees, but are otherwise widely adaptable to different habitats which accounts for their cosmopolitan nature and quick adaptation to their new island home.

One of the most curious features of the vervets is their love of unwinding with cool drink, so watch out for your cocktails! These monkeys developed a taste for alcohol eating fruits fermenting in the jungle heat, and are known to raid beachside tourist spots for tasty mixed beverages. Studies have even shown their drinking preferences, with groups of social drinkers, some with alcohol problems, and even a share of teetotalers!

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