Its times of plenty for the resident monkeys as the many IAR volunteers who walk or swim with them most afternoons now bring up more treats than they have ever seen before. All these are put in empty plastic water bottles, or packed into a series of empty cardboard boxes, supplied by some of the local shops, so that they have to go to a lot of time, effort and thought to get to the food.
Ruby, who is probably the most mentally damaged monkey here, paid a surprise visit to the kitchen with her volunteer during the packing process. The result was massively stuffed cheek pouches, but not of the nuts, seeds or biscuits but of one of the volunteers lunch of potato salad, which we now know is her favourite food item. Ruby has a very short fuse, so no one dared to explain that it wasn’t one of the items intended for the monkeys! Ruby has improved a great deal since she has been walking out with other people and although she normally has to be kept away from women, as she has always only tolerated men, she even got over this phobia and was actually grooming the hair of one of the ladies this week.
Ruby has a hard life in captivity by the time she came to us had been owned by many people, but obviously never met another monkey. At some stage she must have made friends with a cat and still relates better to cats than anything else.
A small step forward in the local market where IAR has left cages in the hopes that animals will at least be put in them, rather than just dumped. This week there were 2 five week old kittens in a cage, but I found another 3 of the same litter wandering about elsewhere in the market. This means somebody must have noticed and picked up two and many animals now do get put in a cage which is a help.
Pixie is now sleeping out in one of the pens from late evening to 6 am. This is a big step for him but he does still have his dummy bottle to suck and does not seem to mind too much, although he is always ready and keen to come back indoors at first light. A new toy he enjoyed was a large canvas shopping bad hung up in his pen, which gave him hours of fun.