Monkey foundation is a real eye-opener

MORE AWARE: Sarah Ludlam spent three months with the Velvet Monkey Foundation in South Africa.

MORE AWARE: Sarah Ludlam spent three months with the Velvet Monkey Foundation in South Africa.

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A TRAINEE barrister has been experiencing life in the wilds of Africa as part of a volunteer wildlife project.

Sarah Ludlam has just returned from a 12-week stint with the Vervet Monkey Foundation in South Africa – a long way from her home in Lavenham Road, Great Waldingfield.

Sarah, pictured with orphaned vervet baby Ayla, heard about the project as she searched online for a volunteer animal project after she graduated from Nottingham Law School in June.

“I really fancied working with monkeys and wanted something that was hands-on and where I felt I could make a difference,” said the 22-year-old.

For three months, Sarah lived a simple life in a wooden cabin and helped to care for the monkeys at the foundation.

Some were orphaned while others were ex-pets, ex-laboratory animals or had been found injured.

“I gained a lot from the experience,” said Sarah. “I am now a lot more aware of monkey behaviour and the need for conservation.

“It has made me want to educate people about vervet monkeys and not only have I learnt a lot about wildlife, I have also learnt to enjoy the simple things in life.

“By this, I mean not having access to my favourite television programmes and therefore enjoying being outside.”

She said she would thoroughly recommend the project to others.

“It just opens your eyes to what else is out there and makes you feel like you are achieving something,” she said.

Now back home, Sarah intends to obtain a one-year pupillage at a barristers chambers before becoming fully qualified.