We have been pushed to cope with 3 new arrivals in a short period bringing our resident monkeys up to 20. Luckily we have also had Steve, an English volunteer return from his wanderings in Nepal to lend a hand. Two Rhesus macaques, both female came in from Panjim, Goa’s capital. Although they came on the same day they had never met before. One was a “pet” about 3 years old and had been turned in to the forestry department voluntarily after biting its owner. The other is a youngster, less than 1 year old, also an abandoned or escaped pet, who was found just wandering through the streets. Rhesus macaques don’t naturally occur at all in Goa or Southern India and only arrive here through the illegal pet trade. We already have one, Pani, a 2 year old male who John confiscated from his potential seller as a baby. Both the new arrivals were put in single cages, for health checks.
The older one Heidi, was covered in parasites and is still being treated for lice, she has a bad skin infection and loss of coat because of this and a poor diet has undoubtedly contributed. Because she has not been in contact with other monkeys, she has had no grooming which would normally remove any parasites. Monkeys in groups are usually totally free.
Kirsty , the baby, is very timid of humans but was very keen when she saw there were other monkeys to get to them. Because of this, after initial health checks we introduced her to Daisy who couldn’t wait to mother her, and we hope that being with Daisy will also teach her that humans can be O.K.
The other arrival was bought into the centre by two small boys. They said they had been looking after this very young baby bonnet macaque for an unnamed friend when a dog attacked it. We believe this is a monkey that we have been trying to track down and confiscate for some weeks, in Anjuna a holiday resort area. Several reports had come to us of a baby monkey being used for begging from tourists, but every attempt to find it had been futile.
Luckily he had at least been bought to us, if only because they were hoping we would give them it back after we had treated it. Had he not come in, he would have died within a short period and at the time of writing, may still succumb to his injuries. He has many deep puncture wounds around his neck and back and is virtually unable to move still. John has been giving him 24 hours care and has still only managed to get him to take a little fluid and food as yet.
He has been mainly sleeping, due to shock and this is probably the best thing for him at this stage. His wounds have to be dressed of course and he is very tolerant of the discomfort this must be causing him. He is still very trusting of humans despite what he has been through and can’t wait to be cuddled when he wakes up, giving the monkey greeting of lip smacking to everyone who gives him attention. Monkeys are remarkably hardy and generally heal well so we do have great hopes that he will eventually make a good recovery.