Whew, What A Scorcher!

7th May 2016

As the weather heats up prior to the arrival of the monsoon rains in June, 34C at times, the holiday season ends, and only a few hardy volunteers remain.

Mapusa Market
Saleem the melon man at the market

Vegetable and fruit supplies dwindle too, as the weather is too hot for many of the green and salad crops to be grown. Competition heats up for items like cauliflower leaves as both cow and goat owners search them out to feed their livestock as natural foliage shrivels in the heat .An early start is needed if enough for our monkeys needs is to be met. Along with the shortage of greens however comes the beginning of the mango crops, and although all the rest of the year, the monkeys look on them as a treat item, it doesn’t take long for them to get to the stage of “not mangos AGAIN” as more and more boxes are donated of damaged or substandard fruits, as this is a major crop here. Captive monkeys these days, in most of the world, get fed every day only standard food pellets, so ours have no room for complaint!

tom repairing pool
Tom working on the pool

With few visitors, time for some much needed and overdue repairs o the pool, before the rains fill it up. New tiles have had to be bought to replace the broken and chipped ones from 10 years of mainly monkey activity, and although an unwelcome expense, repairs were much needed.

Tom, a long term volunteer here has taken on the task, before his return to the UK. The monkeys have still been able to use the depleted pool for swimming and exercise on most days, even if restricted to smaller sections. At this time of year, just like humans, they love to take a break from the oppressive heat with a dip in the pool. They of course don’t mind that due to the work the water is now a murky green mess, and Tom has also had an increase in visiting snakes in the water, due to its pond like appearance.

Kochi , our youngest now happily spends most of the day with Dennis and Dixie and friends , although he still comes in for a lunch break and at 5pm for the night. He plays constantly all day and I have never caught him having a nap, having no mother who would surely insist on some rest time. By the time he comes out, he is completely exhausted, and will quickly stuff himself with choice food items as he is bottom of the group at feed times, before overpowering tiredness takes over, and he falls into a deep sleep. For him it’s like an unsupervised trip to Disney land. I am sure the other monkeys are pleased to get some rest when he is gone!

sleeping baby monkey kochi
Total Exhaustion

The new monkey pairings are still a work in progress, with Nora still subject to bullying from Rolo, but she quite happily goes back to him after his bad behavior, and pacifies him with grooming. Monkey society it would seem has no conception of the female’s rights, although in Macaque troops, as with humans, it is really the women that are in charge.

monkeys grooming
Katrina Grooming Raj

Raj got fed up with Katrina bossing him about and started answering back, with attacks, shouting and the odd throwing of his sweetcorn at her! Then miraculously overnight peace arrived and Raj has started accepting grooming sessions from Katrina and now can’t seem to get enough of being fussed over!

Tansy has continued with her improvement, and can no longer be left to roam freely in garden, as she can get too far!

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