29th June 2011

The start of the monsoon brings inevitable flooding. Mapusa our nearest town has been hit several times. One of my tasks has always been collecting strays from the market there, which is one of Goa's busiest. Although my trips have now been curtailed due to the demands of the two baby langurs, I still go several times a week to look for them.

It is a local tradition to take any unwanted dogs or cats, often because they are ill, and litters of puppies and kittens to the markets and abandon them there, presumably because there are lots of piles of waste food dumped daily. At my request John organized for International Animal Rescue Goa to provided permanent cages for unwanted animals to be put in, but still many just get left loose, usually in the fish market or at the goat slaughterers.

On several trips the putrid flood water has been one or more feet deep and any baby Indian Cobraanimals would have been washed away, although I did this week find 5 puppies sitting on top of an island of rubbish, in the rising waters!

The rain here also brought out all the frogs, which spend the hot dry times during the day, sitting in a shady hole. Having so many out during the day also brings out the snakes. From the steps outside the front door a frog was seen exiting a hole, followed swiftly by a large cobra, and they both shot down to the garden, the snake still relentlessly in pursuit.

Pixie the monkeyPixie, the first orphaned baby langur that I reared is now three years old, but is still friendly to people and gets taken for walks in the garden twice a day. In the rains he often comes into the house for a change of scene where Angela, Johns P.A. takes him into our tiny office where he gets given treats from the store cupboard. The less well behaved macaques will crash round the room, snatching whatever they can and knocking over everything. Pixie in contrast sits quietly on the desk and awaits what ever is offered to him, from dried fruits to the occasional chocolate drop.

Monkey and Dog togetherMonkeys Sat on WindowPhooka has learnt a new skill, and has found if he approaches Urchin, a rather timid dog he plays with, in an authorative way, she will allow him to take a food treat from her, often right out of her mouth! Urchin would normally growl if not snap at any other dog or cat that tried this, but seems baffled by Phooka's confident assumption that it is his right and so reluctantly hands it over. Both the babies hate the rain, and staying in, and often sit at the window just waiting for it to stop.

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