Update on Hornbills 21st December 2012

he wild Langur’s are not being so persistent at challenging Pixie and Elfin in there new pen now, but they still always visit when passing near by, just to emphasise who’s in charge.

Update on the Hornbill situation, the very rare Giant Indian Hornbill pair moved on when the berries on the banyan all got eaten, but just as exciting to us, we now have a group of Malabar Pied Hornbills here. Although more common they are just as startling as the other’s, but smaller in size. They have not only been eating the berries but are looking for nest sites in our roof! Urgent emails were sent to the experts to get the dimensions of an artificial nest box for them as there is no where they can get in to the roof. We are told the main reason for the rarity of both species is simply the lack of big trees for nest sites; these have all been felled for timber and greed. We are in a rush now to get a nest box up before January, which is when they finalise a nest site.

Pen alterations go on as does the expense, but most of the groups now have improved larger pens, and often new neighbours to get used to next door. Obviously the divisions between pens have to prevent even fingers getting into another monkeys pen, as none of them would hesitate to bite them off, if a chance allowed.

One of our 17 cats has gone missing, and a thorough search of the area has shown no sign of her. It is Pearl, who has been with us over a year, one of the market rescues that has disappeared and although it’s possible she was taken by a predator we hope that because she is white, someone has simply picked her up and taken her home. The idea of pet ownership is not really understood here, and a cat or dog that is long haired or pretty is often just “acquired” without a thought. Those who are dumping the local dogs now, in favour of a status pedigree always need to keep them chained for this reason. Research has shown that the oriental street dog has the highest intelligence quota of all the dog breeds, and many of these chosen pedigrees are also totally unsuitable for this climate anyway, being Pomeranian’s and long haired Alsatians Etc. It is yet another growing problem that the local dogs face.

The baby Langurs are still taking small steps to independence, although reluctantly. Luckily they have two devoted foster volunteers who come to give them there undivided attention and lots of new toys four mornings a week and they still spend from dusk to morning wrecking the house and tormenting me with there midnight games sessions.

Some encouraging human concern for fellow creatures was shown when a large rat snake that had become trapped in fishing net was brought to us to release. We were even allowed to cut the valued net which had become tightly twisted around it. They are not venomous and an asset to humans in keeping down rat numbers, so it was simply released into the garden.


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