New Monkey Pen

3rd February 2009

The new monkey pen is still a work in progress despite promises that it would be finished days ago. Several Banana trees and a Pamelo fruit tree that I have been tending for years, had to go to make room for it, but the monkeys in the other pens really enjoyed the felled plants to play on anyway.

John at last managed to get a collar on Heidi and this meant that she is able to come out of her pen and have a swim in the pool. She has always shown she loves water by sitting in her small water bath. She has teamed up with Pani another of our Rhesus macaques so they went for her first swim together and had a great time. Now she has a collar on it will be easier to take her out and the plan is to eventually get all the Rhesus together in one pen. At the moment they are in with the Bonnet Macaques, which are the South Indian species. The Rhesus come from Northern India and although they get on well, they do have a lot of different behaviours and a different language which can cause problems when they are kept together.

The newest arrival is Sasha a 2 year old female Bonnet macaque being kept illegally as a pet on a short chain. She has never met another monkey but craves human company. She is terrified of all our monkeys' even baby Baldrick, so it is going to be a while before she will be integrated into one of our groups.

Linda Horton, who came to Goa for 3 weeks, volunteered at the centre, then came to see the monkeys. Amazingly she then volunteered to foster Daphne during her stay and so moved in to take her on. Not a small task as she was still on 2 hourly feeds through the night at the time. As well as caring for Daphne almost 24 hours a day, Linda has also been taking Baldrick for a daily swim, and keeping the new monkey 'Sasha' company when time allows. So I have been able to catch up on everything, and even do some cooking, shopping and gardening again, if with the help of Pixie, of course.



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