Getting Monkeys Together

28th August 2015

Sadly the latest little langur baby did not make it, and has left all at the Tree house devastated at her loss.

Despite the sadness, the other monkey residents are still in need of our time and efforts and thanks to the presence of volunteers this month, much progress has been made on several fronts. Firstly, Raj, the elderly male macaque, after 25 years of isolation and cramped conditions is at last making giant strides. After learning to accept a collar and lead and going on tentative walks in the garden, when he often simply repeated his stereotypical behaviors in a new setting! This has now progressed into his actually asking to go out.

Raj sitting pretty in the trees
Raj sitting pretty in the trees

Thanks mainly to long term volunteer Tom and his patience with the old boy, he now has begun to forage outside and even climb a little. This is a great improvement on the behavior of the past he was seemingly locked into. We are all thrilled with his progress and all the staff and volunteers can’t wait to watch what he learns to do next!

More possible progress, again thanks to the persistent efforts of Tom, on the Nora front. Nora, an adult female macaque has been living on her own due to her failure to relate properly to other monkeys, she gives out the wrong signals, and always ends up getting bitten and bullied by her cage companions.

Nora and Tilly have a friendly hug
Nora and Tilly have a friendly hug

Tilly is another difficult ex pet macaque, presently living with two young males, Sundance and Cassidy who she dislikes and finds very annoying. Tom and Nagesh, our monkey man, tentatively tried them together when out for a walk, and we were all surprised when they immediately went into a hug! Tilly however is a feisty character and does not even tolerate women or cats, so it is early days yet , but we are keeping our fingers crossed that they will grow to be good friends and even share a pen eventually.

Having three volunteers staying this month has also bought about a good supply of monkey toys and entertainments, with lots of innovative ideas of new things for monkeys to do. One new idea, much loved now by all the macaques, is also a use for some of the banana stems that are discarded at the fruit market daily. We have used these in the past for making temporary ladders and climbing frames for the pens, but our volunteers came up with a winning idea for them.

Bella and Zoe creating the sweet Banana Stalks
Bella and Zoe creating the sweet Banana Stalks

We are now collecting them regularly and they are drilled with holes, which are filled with honey via a syringe. The macaques then take on the long task of shredding them to a pulp to suck out every bit of sweetness that has soaked into the fibers. The langurs however, can’t find the motivation or enthusiasm to bother.

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Allan Davies

It is wonderful that the girls have come up with such a lovely idea to keep the monkeys amused.



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