Problems in finding Indian staff to work with the animals continues, the last boy who came, moving on to a much desired government job with all its built in benefits ,after just a few weeks. He did in fact take one or two of the easy monkeys out for a walk by the end of his stay, although initially he had no particular interest in animals.
It is a pity we can find no young male Indian staff , generally all the monkeys respond better with men, with any ambition or interest in working with animals at all, although some do get won over by our wonderful monkeys after a while. In the UK, it is usual to have many applicants who apply as they love animals and want to work with them, what a wonderful bonus for us that would be!
The collection of damaged or surplus fruit and vegetables from the markets, that over several years has been efficiently organised for the monkeys, on some days has been very successful, and at little cost to the charity, and we even sometimes have more donated than our monkeys need, so can pass that on to other local animal charities, for their cows etc.
With the busy holiday season here in Goa in full swing, the help of our regular long term holiday volunteers, in showing around the invited visitors interested in our work, is invaluable, as it is an important part of our work and generates further support for the charity. Some visitors also bring and donate the baby and toddler toys we have appealed for from the UK for our residents, and these are always well received by the monkeys, who love to investigate any new toy. The holiday season also means more one month resident volunteers, coming again to help with the monkeys and their care, so it all adds up to a better time for all the monkeys, and those long lonely monsoon months are now just a distant memory. The elderly Raj in particular loves it when any visitors appear, and will look out for anyone arriving who he might get a cuddle from, and the youngest residents, Kochi and Dixie, are always keen to give a demonstration of their swimming skills, and revel in the OOhs and AHHs this often generates.
Kochi , as the baby, still gets his special treatment, as being in a pen with 4 older monkeys, and no mum to establish his status, he always comes at the bottom of the pecking order with them, and has to give way on the best food items or toys to his “superiors”. This is still reversed for him, for a few hours in the evenings however, when he comes up stairs to the bedroom, for his own bowl of all the choicest foods, and cuddles with his favourite fluffy blanket. Although he enjoys this special break, he is none the less soon keen to find out what his friends are up to without him, and to happily join them again for the night.