3rd December 2008

The only thing wrong with Baldrick now, apart from a slightly stiff arm, is super hyperactivity. As expected he is too much, except for short spells, for the older, and more gentle, Pixie, the langur. Indeed he is too much for most humans after a very short while!

I have been trying to poach some of the volunteer dog walkers from the main centre to come and do some 'Baldrick walking', without success so far! Both the house keeper and Johns P.A. have had to be roped in to help. Trying to take Pixie and Baldrick together is difficult, like having to walk a tortoise and hare. It is even worse at night when they never seem to sleep at the same time.

Another problem is I still have several babies from past years, who still expect a daily walk as well. One of these "Spock" is now over 2 years old. He came in as a very tiny baby and took a long time to join the troop. When he leaves the other monkeys for his daily walk around the garden, or in the pool as he loves to swim, he immediately reverts to babyhood and begins to suck his thumb, although this doesn't stop him giving me a nip if he feels like it.

For short spells Baldrick goes in the pens along with one of our other youngsters, who are always very interested in a baby and can't wait to check them out. However as teenagers themselves they don't make very good baby sitters as the games very soon get too rough even for Baldrick, and he has to be rescued.

Heidi and Kirsty continue to make some progress to joining the main troops; Kirsty is much more trusting of humans and is quite happy to sit on your shoulder now. Their experiences of humans have obviously not been good, and they haven't yet learnt to properly relate to other monkeys either.

A five to six year old bonnet macaque came into the centre that had been kept as a family pet since a baby and kept in a cage just 1 mtr. x 1 mtr. x 1 mtr. She was grossly overweight and unfit due to a poor diet and lack of any exercise.

At the time of admittance she was unable to stand and was in a serious state. She was x rayed at the centre and because she seemed to have brain damage she was taken to a local hospital for a full scan. This showed that she had a number of broken ribs and a collapsed lung. Other injuries suggested that she had suffered long term abuse.

Her condition was so serious that she slept in John's bed so that she could receive 24 hours a day attention. However after a week her condition deteriorated and as she was obviously suffering with terrible head pains she had to be euthanized. This came as a blow, particularly to John.

John has made a formal complaint to the police so we are hoping to be able to get charges brought against her owners for cruelty. We are also hoping that the Forestry Department will be charging them with the illegal keeping of a monkey. Monkeys, particularly if kept in solitary confinement become increasingly difficult to handle as they mature and inevitably end up biting out of sheer frustration. It would seem likely she was being 'punished' for her behaviour.

One of our ambulances picked up a young langur; of about one year old which was clearly still dependant on its mother. It had been caught by a dog whilst on the ground. It collapsed mainly from shock but at the centre it recovered consciousness and was sent to us for assessment. Its wounds were not severe so it was given first aid, a long term antibiotic and kept overnight for observation.

The following morning our ambulance returned to the area where it had been injured and located helpful owners of a house and large gardens which the langur troop frequently used. The baby was released up a large tree where it immediately started to cal for mum. After several tense hours of observation, the troop reappeared briefly and left just as quickly, but the baby had gone. So hopefully it was a happy ending.



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