Today we got a report of a baby monkey that someone was trying to sell at the bus station in Margao. Margao is in South Goa and some two hours from our base. Luckily our ambulance was passing through as we have a dog neutering project in nearby Palolem. Getting hold of the monkey and getting the seller into the hands of the police is not easy. If there is a danger of loosing the monkey, our staff and John, have in the past simply snatched it. However not only does the seller then get away free to do it again, but sometimes friends as well as just onlookers in the inevitable large crowd will join in trying to get it back for him.
To try and motivate the police to act, we have to first get the Forestry Department from Panaji to ask them to attend and arrest the seller, and all this takes time, mean while the seller has to be observed without arousing his suspicions, as he will be well aware that it is illegal to sell wildlife in India. Hopefully this incident will end with us in charge of the monkey and the seller in the charge of the police.
Baldrick and Pixie have been having some good play sessions together and Baldrick is teaching Pixie some adventurous monkey ways, such as climbing the curtains to do acrobatics on the curtain rails which Pixie on his own had not even thought of, as he’s not seen me do it!
The monkeys received an X’mas parcel of second hand baby toys from England; this was from Faye, a volunteer who stayed with us doing research into environmental enrichment for captive monkeys earlier this year. I let Pixie and Baldrick open the parcel which gave them great amusement, although they seemed to get almost as much fun out of tearing up the Xmas card.
Baldrick now spends some of each day with two other young males from one of our troops, although they are a bit rough with him, it gives him a taste of his own medicine, he likes to torment us by nipping the back of the knees , where he can get the biggest reaction. Our only way to get back at him is a tickling session which he loves to hate .Being with them is teaching him he has to show a little respect as he had come to believe he really was ‘top dog’.
Pixie developed a bladder problem this week and despite several non surgical attempts to solve it I had to take him to the capital, Panaji, to have an ultra- sound done. This showed a blockage from his bladder, which was causing him the pain, so he was rushed back to our centre for an operation to clear it. Happily this went well, Our Veterinary Director Astrid came in specially to do the operation, and he was quickly on the road to recovery. The only problem it is now causing is that he is refusing to take all his medications. Initially he would drink them from the syringe but as he clued up that they didn’t in fact taste very nice, more elaborate methods had to be employed, and now he can detect them whatever they are hidden in, and it’s a full time job trying to disguise them to fool him. But he is back to himself now, and even playing with Baldrick again, which is a big relief.