With the weather at its best for the holiday trade, this always results for us in more volunteers and visitors, to the monkeys benefit! The days for the next two months or so, are always dry and hot, without being oppressive, and the nights cool enough, so those not used to a tropical climate can sleep.
Although the beaches and bars are as far as most of the tourists ever venture, a more adventurous few do make it out to see us, and also visit the local markets, and it always seems strange to me to suddenly see so many foreign faces amongst the usual locals, when I am out collecting the monkey’s foods. A few of these market visitors do also notice the still too frequently dumped unwanted pups and kittens, although they are still collected everyday by volunteers, staff and myself.
New arrival Donna hopefully the determined drive on continuing the sterilising of pets by the new WVS Hicks ITC centre,if needed at no cost to the owners, will continue the slow but steady drop in the numbers being abandoned.
Another new cat for the tree house from the market only this week. I go there early in the mornings, and she had obviously not long been dumped, and clearly only because she was showing the first signs of a pregnancy, although not much more than a kitten herself at about 7 months old. She was sitting outside the public toilets, talking to everyone that passed and obviously just totally baffled by her strange new surroundings and situation. Luckily the resident dog packs had not yet spotted her.
She seemed to be convinced there must have been a mistake and someone would soon take her back home! At this age and only a common white and ginger colour, in fact no one would ever offer her a new home, when they can so easily get a cuter little kitten instead, so she came to the tree house.
She is now called Donna [primadonna] due to her firm belief in her value and superiority, even in such dire circumstances! She is getting to know the resident cats, and still has her complete trust, that humans will see that everything is OK.
A traumatic but successful rescue this month of a tiny baby Langur. This had got impossibly tangled in nylon fishing nets, which had been laid over a house roof to secure the tiles against wind and monkey damage. The baby had clearly been trapped in the net for some time and both it and its mother, were in a desperate panic. Luckily the house residents had heard their distress cries, and phoned for help.
The call came in unfortunately as my only driver and I were in Panaji, the capitol of Goa, on yet another trip to try and secure a visa for me to stay in India. As they were trapped on the roof in the full heat of the midday sun, and the baby was all the time struggling and entangling itself even more, we had to drop everything and dash back. Further staff were collected from the rescue centre, and so it was soon cut free, and it quickly rejoined its desperate mother. The house owners have also agreed to remove the netting.
With the help of volunteers the monkeys are now getting a good supply of things to do, with their inventive environmental enrichment of the pens, as well as a good supply of cut branches we have had time to collect from the local villages. The monkeys not only play with and eat some of these, but as a bonus, get some nice tasty insects to catch and eat amongst them, they also strip the bark for amusement or food, and what they leave behind is then taken home by our staff, for fuel for their cooking pots! So even though these trees have been cut down, usually for new buildings or power lines, full use is at least being made of them.
Two of the recently rescued pups , we extracted from the rubbish tip, have found a good home, however the last two females are Spats ,being black , the most unpopular colour here, and little Squidge ,who was still showing signs of the many sores she had, remain, with no offers of new homes forthcoming.
Both however, are totally happy with that, and have already got their feet under the table, and permission to stay from all the humans, the older resident dogs are however, not so keen on these rapacious, troublesome, newcomers.