New Skills and Companions 7th April 2014

The recent sad loss of Basanti, one of our older macaque females, from a sudden heart attack has left Rolo, our most aggressive and difficult to handle male, on his own. We are trying to get him into a pen with two more older ladies, Aaji and Tansy. Tansy in particular has never had time for the bossy and overbearing ways of the males of her species and has always only shared with females because of this. At present we have them in adjoining pens where they can meet and greet each other without being able to bite. But as desperate as Rolo is for new female companions, Tansy has yet to see any redeeming qualities in him.

The three babies continue to make good progress however and Dixie is now happy to go for a walk with any of our female volunteers, and if they are going for a dip in the pool she will often join them for a swim as well.

Dixie Swimming in the pool it is interesting to see her learning to cope in her life skills without being able to learn by example, as she naturally would from her mother. She has always caught and tried to eat ants but has only just clued up to the required procedure for a tasty ant meal. She used to spit them out reluctantly after trying to eat them, as they were clearly bitter, now she does as all the other monkeys do, and rolls and rubs them on the ground first, to clean away the nasty acid of the stings. She also now knows to leave the big matt black ones with the most painful bite, well alone. Since she learned the rolling trick, she has applied it to other foods with a bite, with less success. A piece of fresh baked ginger cake got the same treatment to try and get rid of that nasty ginger flavor, then a pinched piece of someone’s samosa, with too much paprika was rolled and rolled, much to our amusement, but to no avail!

Another dash out for a Langur in trouble, this time an adult female, caught and attacked by a large dog. Onlookers saw her drag herself up into a tree out of its way, but then she seemed to collapse. They called the forestry dept who asked us to go and check it out. John soon arrived and she could be seen lying half way up the tree and well out of reach but barely moving. Long ladders and ropes were sent for and were put up so she could be reached. No sooner was this done however than she started to come round and then gradually moved further up and on to the next tree and away. She was obviously suffering from shock initially, but we are hopeful, with the monkey’s good powers of recovery her wounds will heal o.k. Her troop stayed in the area waiting for her.

Pugwash with her new family Pugwash happily trotted off to her new family home, and we hear she has settled in well. Our main concern was that she would be stolen, as small pedigree dogs are the must have, and in thing here. All the stars have one and they feature in several TV advertisements. At her new home she has a safe compound to play in and a police officers family as her new owners!

She was wearing her new sleek and shiny, black fur coat when she left, in complete contrast to crusty grey skin she was dumped with. Once her hair had grown out it could also be seen that she was also sporting a white bib. In the eyes of the kennel club and pug breeders this makes her ‘miss marked’ and unacceptable, there recommendation is that such puppies in a litter ‘should not be reared’. Her mange was a direct result of the inbreeding used to get a black pug, as this has meant many of them have a weakened immune system and are prone to develop mange and other conditions.

All round, many a lucky break for this particular pug.


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