1st March 2010

Elfin continues to make good progress, and would now like to make friends with Pixie, our original langur monkey. Pixies behaviour however has not improved; he clearly has no knowledge that he is in fact a langur or indeed a monkey, and has none of the correct behaviours when with her. He does try some clumsy mounting attempts, but this gives us no hope as it is also a response he often has to a soft toy! Other than that, he either ignores her and her tentative friendship attempts, or treats her as a new toy to be thrown about. Its early days of her being well enough to really take an interest and with frequent meetings things may yet improve.

Some of the monkey groups are getting too clever for us, and Snatch and his group run rings around the staff. Every day they have to all be shut in one half of their pen while the other part is cleaned and toys and branches changed. They used to all come just when called from one part to the other, then they would oblige for food, now they have learned that they can snatch a food item and run back out, always leaving one member of the group on either side. There is really no hardship to them in moving and it really does seem to be just our frustration that is the payoff for them, and the daily battle of wits is usually won by monkeys. My new ploy is to get a small tape recorder and then play back to them the alarm rallying call, this is frequently given and they all respond and come to it immediately. Its used by them if a monkey spots a strange dog, bird of prey or similar possible trouble and it will be interesting to see if I can outwit them and if so for how long!

At the entrance to monkey rescue, some time ago we installed a metal IAR cage, this is because previously many people were bringing their unwanted puppies and kittens and just dumping them in the road by the gate. At least if they are in the cage they are safe until we can transfer them to the main centre. This week a dog was put in the cage overnight. He had clearly been someone's pet being quite old and well cared for, apart from a large maggot infested bite wound on his neck. This sort of injury is quite common in tropical climates and these are not the 'helpful' maggots that are sometimes deliberately used to remove the rotten flesh from wounds. These are flesh eating killers that burrow and eat deep into living tissue. The dog was quickly transferred to our vets for assessment and possible treatment. However, the damage was too extensive and sadly he had to be put to sleep.



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