“Oh isn’t he sweet”, say visitors meeting Dennis for the first time, and “Id just love to take him home”. This is why babies are stolen from the wild here, their mothers are killed to get them of course, but you could say that’s only the start of the horrors of a pet monkey.
Spend more than an hour with Dennis, and even at only 3-4 months old, you soon discover how unsuitable he is as a pet!
Being very intelligent is just one problem; others are his agility, sheer sense of mischief, not to mention uncontrolled bladder and bowels!
Dennis can, and will, scale walls to remove first the light shades, then bulbs followed by plastic fittings as well, each step in just a few unobserved seconds. Electrical equipment of any kind receives the same diligent destruction. The T.V remote buttons take one second, the knobs on the T.V. itself, maybe two. You get the picture, which is more than my T.V. does anymore! It’s no surprise that the pet monkeys that are kept, are inevitably dumped, caged or chained up within a short time of arrival. Rearing three babies is a lot of work, but now at least they have a pen I can use, even though I still have to sit with them. At this age they still need a mum to run to at all times, but along with the invaluable volunteer baby sitters, it is some added relief from the strain..
The tourist season means more volunteers, which means more walks for the monkeys and a live-in volunteer ‘Tom, has proved invaluable as most of the Indian staff are on holidays now, due to festival of Diwali.
The pair of rare Giant Hornbills have returned and shown much interest in the nest box, and are still visiting regularly.
Hobo, who fell out with Butch is now also no longer on his own as he has taken to one of the females ‘Rosy’ and they are successfully sharing a pen.