Settling In and Moving On 3rd February 2014

Dixie the new baby macaque and Silva the little Langur rescue, have been using up all our time, but are at last getting over all there problems and making progress. Both have had a long battle with diarrhoea, due to stress and dietary changes, but are now on the mend. Dixie had to be rushed to the vets a few days after arrival due to a prolapse, and we then had the nightmare task of stopping her from removing her stitches, but at last she is fully healed. They get on well together, as long as Dixie always gets her own way, and are still living in Johns “bedroom” although it now more closely resembles a monkey pen with just one addition, a bed! Dixie has been slowly introduced to going out for walks and has quickly gained in confidence outside, even to seeing off the little dogs if needed. Silva, being a lot older and also of a more timid and sensitive species has taken much longer to get used to being handled, but had her first and successful trip out on a lead today. This was due mainly to the long hours of care and support she has had from Celine, a volunteer who unbelievably has spent every afternoon with the babies since there arrival. In fact the babies tend to look on the other volunteer baby sitters, and even John and I, as a poor substitute for there chosen mum, Celine!

Celine with Dixie and Silva Dixie, although she likes to sleep in her soft blanket cuddled up to John, will leave several times in the night to give Silva a comforting cuddle up where she sleeps, on the high window ledge. Its not all nicey nice however, she is after all a macaque monkey and so has no hesitation in snatching any item of food that Silva particularly wants, straight out of her hand or even mouth, even if it’s only to drop it on the floor a minute later. Langurs are fussy and delicate eaters compared to the macaques and Dixie will also stuff her cheek pouches with the surplus stolen items she hasn’t the room or appetite to eat, Langurs don’t have them, so Silva has no place to hide things. To get a fair share to Silva, Dixie often needs to be distracted with a special treat she likes, or a walk outside.

As they get older the differences will get more apparent, and although they will probably remain friends for life, as with the others we have raised together, they will need to live with their own species to avoid fights, which eventually Silva would win, due to her superior size and teeth.

Alsatian Cross – Blossom, an added difficulty to the work load of the two babies, has been the arrival of a new dog at the tree house. This time not a small and easily sneaked in one, like Bunty and the pug, but a large, noisy, bouncy, wolf like, Alsatian cross called Blossom. She had been at the rescue centre for some time and had proved totally impossible to home, despite her friendly nature, due to long term mange having left all but her head, neck and tail totally hairless. Much to the horror and disgust of all the resident monkeys, John bought her home. Initially, so great was the opposition to such a dog in there territory that we had to keep her hidden from them as far as possible, but just the glimpse of her being taken down the drive for a walk was enough to set off an outcry from all the monkey pens. It took about two weeks before they could see her without the noisy protest. The Langurs are even more sensitive to such a change and none of the young troop could be tempted to come out for a walk for about a week, even though she was shut away. Thankfully everyone is now getting used to her at last, and she only needs to be hidden for the duration of the Langurs exercise time. A special bath every three days and a selection of tablets have begun to improve her condition and she now has little fluffy patches of hair appearing on her body.

Pugwash has regrown almost all of her hair and has a good home waiting for when she has been spayed. We shall miss her jolly, happy nature but don’t really have the time to give her all the attention she would love. Her potential new owners have two young girls who can’t wait to make a big fuss of her.

Kia, the young rhesus macaque had to go to the vet for stitches when she was found with a wound. Presumably she had a fall out with Nora, her adopted mum, over something, but both cry piteously when separated and Nora couldn’t wait to cuddle her on her return from the vets.

Whatever the argument was, it was soon forgotten.


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