Tracy Rowles’ Vervet Monkeys Seized by KZN Wildlife – By Vaughan Jones

Tracey Rowles with some baby vervets.

The recent occurrence at Tracey Rowels’ Umsizi Vervet Rescue of sixty vervet monkeys were seized by the SPCA amidst the questionable integrity on the part of the SPCA makes me wonder whether protecting and restoring animals to the wild is their priority. It is unclear at this stage what led up to this horrible event.

It is wonderful to learn that Tracey Rowles has so lovingly cared for orphaned and injured vervet monkeys saved from the wild for many years at her reserve, Umsizi Vervet Rescue in KwaZulu Natal.  And then to learn that sixty of those vervet monkeys, who she had fully restored to health and were ready for release back into the wild, were seized by SPCA and Ezemvelu KZN Wildlife.

The KZN Wildlife staff forcefully entered the Umsizi Vervet Rescue premises on 29th March 2021, without a warrant nor any warning to Tracey Rowles, to forcefully uplift and seize the sixty monkeys. apparently in collusion with the SPCA and the Centre for Rehabilitation of Wildlife (CROW). Tracey and every person who has supported her were even further horrified when Tracey was informed that all sixty monkeys had been euthanized almost immediately after capture by Ezemvelu KZN Wildlife. Tracey has been granted an interdict to request the postmortem and the details of how they were killed.

The full details appear in the Umsizi Vervet Rescue Press Release – 31 March 2021, which is available at:

The court case in the Pietermaritzburg High Court was adjourned until 1 April 2021. Further info has not been released as yet.

Here’s the kicker. CROW’s mission statement is: CROW is committed to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of orphaned and injured wildlife and believes in action and education with regards to the protection of all natural resources.  

CROW’s vision is to be an independent, pioneering force in the rehabilitation and conservation of orphaned and injured wildlife, while promoting the preservation of their natural habitat. Their operation is said to be based on the values of honesty, integrity, professionalism, compassion, and commitment.

We also are aware that the SPCA’s mission is to protect against cruelty to animals. The KZN Wildlife mission and values would be in line with these, one would think. So, with these wonderful values in place, one may wonder what could go wrong.

Pure Innocence

This must be totally heart wrenching for Tracey, her family, and staff at the reserve. It must resemble this happening to one’s own children or family. My heart and the heart of the One Life-Love-Energy Foundation reaches out to Tracey, her family, and those who work at her reserve. We hope that the truth will emerge and that life will continue at the Umsizi Vervet Reserve as soon as possible.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Safrea or its members.


2 Responses

  1. Unbelievable….This is indeed a tragic story, Vaughan. My heart goes out to Tracey, her family, and staff. I do hope the truth emerges soon.

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