Rare Birds And Sunshine 15th September 2017

After a couple of weeks of really heavy rains, which caused flooding and chaos in nearby Mumbai, some nice sunny days again. The monkeys and particularly the youngsters couldn’t wait to get back in the pool again, and take their garden walks, so they could strip any flower buds, optimistically beginning to show.

Exotic visitors to the tree house, early on one sunny morning, with the arrival of a pair of giant Indian hornbills, for the first time this year. Their numbers in Goa are only in single figures now, their bills are thought to be an aphrodisiac or remedy for snake bites and such by some.

The monkeys alerted me to their arrival with loud warning chatter, they have a 60 inch wing span, and are one of the 10 largest flying birds in India, so are viewed as a threat, the 6 dogs also then had to put in there accompaniment to the chorus, even if they hadn’t seen the “threat” in the tree tops. The Hornbills seemed oblivious to all the racket; they must be used to all the fuss they cause.

A sad and unnecessary fate for a baby Langur, on a rescue call out. In the busy tourist towns, a few small Langur troops survive; desperately holding on to what was their territory. A call came in from a new and large holiday complex in the tourist area, the residents had witnessed the complexes residents dogs, catch and kill a female Langur, and her tiny baby was alive and unharmed, but stunned by the attack and just sitting in full view, in the gardens. Instructing them how to keep it safe till our arrival, we dashed off to collect it.  When we arrived, it too was dead from its wounds, after the dogs had found it. Not one person had done anything to help or move the baby, or just put the dogs away, but did tell us, it had been upsetting for them to watch!

The variety and amount of food I am able to collect for the monkeys improves all the time, as new traders keep their damaged and past date items for me .Pomegranates have always been a favourite with all the monkeys ,and I have been buying them from time to time as a special treat. Because the skins mark easily, and  they then can’t be sold, there was a lot of wastage, but I now have all these donated for the monkeys by the wholesaler, so they have gone from being a rare treat, to a regular free food item. Being in captivity certainly has its advantages, when it comes to the wide variety and choice of fruit and veg , enjoyed by our residents.

Raj Enjoying the garden in the Sunshine help has arrived on the volunteer front, with the monsoon season, visitors and volunteers are scarce on the ground, but a hardy New Zealand lady has braved the rains to come to Goa and help us, so more treats and toys will be available for all the monkeys, as the staff often has little time to make these. Raj is also pleased ,as he longs for visitors to cuddle and even looks out hopefully, when the meter man or the plumber arrive here, hoping they are going to pay him attention . By October, some of the more resilient ex pats, visitors and day volunteers will venture out again, so relief is in sight now!


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