With the onset of the rains, relief from the oppressive heat, but hallo mud and sometimes particularly disgusting sludge, with the added frustrations of even more power cuts than normal. The sludge on the footpaths and tracks, particularly around the markets, can be pretty revolting at times because any open ground is still used by some of the population as an open toilet, despite the provision of basic toilets by the council. The deposits made, are thankfully usually just off the well used paths, but come the heavy rains, it all ends up underfoot! The monkeys are now having there swimming tanks converted to rain shelters and additional plastic sheeting is going up where driving rains get in the pens. The macaques still enjoy a swim in the pool in the occasional dry spells, but just like humans they don’t like to sit out in the rain and get wet.
Many emergency call outs for injured wild monkeys lately, and sadly only one happy ending as most rescues were past our help, all were traffic accidents or electrocutions from power lines. Most were youngsters as they are more reckless than the adults and haven’t learned properly all the dangers of living closely with the invading humans.
The success story was a Large adult male, rescued by the forestry department after falling stunned on to the road, where he lay motionless, having touched a live power line. He was bought to us in a sack and when we moved him to a treatment cage, the smell of burning hair was overwhelming. He was examined by our vets and no serious injuries or broken bones were found, but we kept him overnight to come round from the shock. Surprisingly, when he fully regained consciousness, he was willing to take food directly from our hands and volunteers here spent time to give him all our monkeys favourite fruit and vegetables, which he really seemed to appreciate, especially grapes, which he would have been unlikely to have ever tasted before. In the morning he was returned to his territory and near the spot where he was picked up, for release. He quickly took off for a wooded area, and was soon out of sight. Great to have a success story for these much beleaguered local monkeys..
The tree house is in the territory of a large troop of these wild Langur monkeys, who take great pleasure in running races over the roofs, smashing tiles as they go. They are not too worried about coming in through an open door or window for a game if it’s quiet, particularly the youngsters, and will cause chaos playing inside, knocking over everything and pooing everywhere. This is mango season and from one of our planted mango trees we have never managed to get a single fruit, this tree rarely fruits and then only sparingly, and even when it does, the wild monkeys always get there first. Purely by chance I found the last of its 5 fruits this year undamaged under the tree, knocked down when the monkeys ate the others. I carefully took it upstairs and put it on the shelf over my bed to ripen, as it was still a bit hard for humans. The next morning after I got back from the market, and yet another unseen visitation from these young monkey thugs, the chewed stone was on my bedroom floor, and the messy, dripping skin pieces deposited on my bed, so five- nil, to the monkeys!
Snakes are more often seen at this time of the year when the frogs and other prey species are out and about more. Of the two encounters I was able to photograph, one was a freshly shed skin, some four feet long, left behind, dangling from the sitting room rafters while I was at lunch, where its past occupier had dropped into the room. The second (shown below), just by the Langurs pen, a smaller, but hungry snake swallowing a lizard. I was alerted to this, as were the monkeys, by the squeaks of the poor lizard as he was caught. The baby Langurs looked on in horror.