A busy month here looking after all the monkeys and other animals,with few volunteers to help, and yet another Indian festival occurred, this time Divali. All the Indian holiday festivals last over several days, and my staff, mainly local married ladies, have to cook for and welcome visitors, friends and relatives for festivities at their homes. They come to work to help with the monkeys at first light, and then back home for their “holiday” of work.
This month I have to go to the U.K for two weeks just to renew my visa to stay in India. Unfortunately visas are a constant problem, with many visits required to the capitols foreign registration offices, which involve masses of complicated paper work to be produced. Renewal in the UK is compulsory at intervals and even without the cost of these compulsory return flights, the visas are about a pound a day to stay here. My 16 years of residency and good behaviour, does not qualify me for any relaxation in the rules unfortunately.
Kochi has had to be weaned from babyhood quite quickly because of this, the two long term volunteers who will be taking my place, Tytti and Essa, from Finland, could not also be expected to take on Kochi all night as well! Luckily after the first few days of being returned to his outside pen at 9pm , Kochi is now sleeping happily there, as I type .
Initially he could not believe it when I woke him from sleep at 9pm, and returned him to the outside pen, and to make it worse he took a few days to learn how to actually sleep out there, with monkey company and the strange night noises, instead of the peace and quiet of my bedroom. I needed to harden my heart to put him out there, and he came in totally exhausted by the evening, with a long sleep in peace and quiet, his main goal for the evening. But now, after just 2 or 3 days, he just stuffs down the extra and uncontested food I offer in the evening, has a quick catch up nap, and then literally asks to get back to his friends. A big relief, but also a little sad to see yet another baby on the way to becoming an independent grown up, all part of the trials of parenthood of course!
Two of the resident monkeys have been under the care of the vets at the new Hicks ITC centre. Rolo, had a stomach bug which laid him low for a few days, but he made a full recovery, despite his unwillingness to eat the tablets prescribed. We resorted to every possible trick, and ended up crushing them in melted chocolate , laced with honey, but even then, after the first taste he could detect their presence and refused to be tempted.
The other case for the vet was the elderly Raj, who came to us with a kinked and damaged tail. He must have knocked the old injury and the damaged end became infected. Using a special anaesthetic, due to his age, the tip was amputated and Raj made a swift and seemingly pain free recovery not seeming to even notice his shorter tail .
High temperatures and quite humid conditions following the monsoon, mean the monkeys are all back in the pool whenever possible to cool down. We are hoping to get Tansy to resume swimming regularly, but she is walking better already, following her back legs paralysis.