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The vervet monkey (Chlorocebus pygerythrus, Tumbiri, tumbili or Ngedere) is readily identified from its markings: a gray coat and a black face with white-tufted cheeks. It has a long, black-tipped tail. Males have blue and red genitalia which usually get certain amount of embarrassed attention from on-looking tourists.

They are smallish monkeys, four and a half feet (1.4 m) in total of which the tail makes almost two feet (61 cm). The female is smaller. When a leopard is about the monkeys chatter loudly and often mob the cat trying to drive it away.

They are both arboreal and terrestrial and roam around during the day in large troops. As long as water is nearby, vervet monkeys usually congregate around acacia trees. They are common and widespread, especially in woodland along the shores of lakes and streams. In these and on the banks of rivers they find their food, usually fruits, grubs, birds' eggs and gum of the acacia.

They belong to a group of four or five closely-related species, in the genus Cercopithecus, comprising populations throughout much of sub-Saharan Africa.

More recently they have learned to visit hotels where they easily get lots of food. They are not as vicious as baboons and are quite tame around hotels and lodges. However, their bites can still be extremely dangerous because of various diseases they pass on, in particular some nasty viral diseases of the brain.


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