Calm, before the storms 8th June 2016

The first rain storms came to Goa, along with the expected violent thunder and lightning. There is nothing gentle or languid about the monsoon in India, when it rains it is as if water was thrown on you from a bucket, and the storms are so violent and noisy they are awe inspiring. Half our light bulbs were blown in this first big storm, the water pump engine blown out along with all power gone for hours.

You would think the dogs would take this in their stride, as it happens every year, but all, even Sam , the tyrant, shoots under a bed, shaking in fear. This is Kochis first monsoon and although a little wary of all the noise and flashes, he was even more interested in why the dogs were behaving in such a strange way.  The monkeys in general cower a little and hold on to each other, but do seem to understand that they do in fact survive it, every time. They do hate however, to have to to sit out in the rain, so every year we need to replace a proportion of their roofs of corrugated plastic, where the local wild Langur troops have damaged them.  They love running and bouncing along the top of the pens, cracking the sheets, making a nice noise and annoying the occupants underneath. This year the price has risen to 10 pounds a sheet, if you would like to help by keeping one of our rescues snug this monsoon, see the special appeal on the web page by clicking here – Monsoon Appeal

The work has to go on as usual despite the weather, but everything takes longer, and driving out for the monkeys supplies gets  even more hazardous, the enormous pot holes and open drains on the roadsides become impossible to spot or avoid, and every year, like everyone else, I have to be towed out of some such treacherous trap!

The arrival of the monsoon has come at a bad time for Tansy, the previously paralysed macaque. She has been improving steadily in getting around, and just this week finally took the plunge to go swimming again in the pool. This is of course brilliant exercise and therapy for her, as it is for humans, and she immediately noticed how  mobility was easier, and swam right across the pool, several times, as if revealing in her freer movements. Unfortunately, the drop in water temperatures that comes with the beginning of the rains will probably stop her from trying again.

Also taking advantage of the pool before the monsoon, the local children have made a regular appearance. They have always used it freely when the weather is unbearably hot, and school is also out, and we fit them in around the monkeys play times. The adults, especially women, rarely go in, and with women and older girls, then only fully clothed. There is no time for any beach culture amongst the local farmers, and swimming as an activity is restricted almost entirely to small children. In the photo, Lotte, my niece, is giving swimming lessons to a group.

On a less happy note, several more call outs to injured langurs this month, and all for the usual reason, humans and their cars and electricity poles etc  All were too badly injured, and sadly, none we could help.

One contact that I get on the web site frequently, is from all over India, with people wanting to buy from me a pet baby monkey, they want my prices please! The stupidity of these requests leaves me stunned, how can they read and see our damaged , traumatised and unwanted left overs from the “pet trade” and still ask ME to get them a baby for a pet, it  is beyond my understanding. I’m afraid my replies get increasingly rude, the most recent one follows.

“It is illegal for you to keep a monkey as a pet in India and most of the world. In order for you to “purchase ” a baby monkey, someone has to go and kill its mother so you can have it. You would then show off with it till it was about 1 year old. then you would have to get rid of it, as it would start to bite the person who has taken it from its natural life and tries to bully it by keeping on a chain, and it never getting any freedom or meeting its own species. Try reading our web page on the sad ending of EVERY  ex pet monkey we have , now in captivity, mentally destroyed and with no natural life for them ever again. As you are able to email, you cant be with out a brain, try using it to understand why it would be wrong to put another wild animal through this horror, just so you can show off for a few months. Jo Hicks “


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