Thursday, June 15, 2006

Who lives with us?

Sussy and Marco live together. Their friendship is somewhat tempestuous. Marco is very young and very strong. He wants to play all day. He is only two years old. Sussy is a grand old lady. The mother of numerous children and she is 16 years old. When Marco first came to us he was barely 500 grams and traveled around on Sussy’s back. Now he is alpha and wants everyone to acknowledge that including Sussy. His play become so vigorous at times that we have to separate them. We have built a division between the front and back of their enclosure so that Sussy can have some peace in the mornings when Marco is at his most irritating. The helper will hear Sussy cry out and shut the small gate that separates the two sections of their residence. He is not mean and doesn't actually hurt her, but he pushes and teases and he really doesn’t know his own strength. After dinner they retire to their house and sleep close to each other. They wouldn’t be separated for all the tea in China. Sussy human mother visits her often. A great friendship between a monkey and a human, full of love and respect.
MonaLisa and Sophie are a somewhat unusual couple and not without problems. MonaLisa originally came to us from an apartment in Valencia in October 2003, she was one year and nine months old. She had never seen another animal, never felt rain upon her face and had never climbed a tree. Her owner has not called even once in the time she has been here. She is very domesticated. She uses the bathroom, cleans her teeth. I have seriously thought of sending a photograph of her with her toothbrush to Colgate. Hates climbing trees and covers her head with her security blanket when it rains. She has a delightful personality. But she bit our housekeeper for no reason anyone can think of. She can be a bit of a nuisance when she is on heat as she prefers young human males to monkeys . We have tried introducing her to a fine male howler but she showed only mild interest. Sophie is a waif and was handed to us by the GN, having been confiscated from children selling her on the roadside. MonaLisa and Sophie at once hit it off and this small red bundle jumped up on MonaLisa’s back and stayed there for about a year. Surprising because MonaLisa is the only person Sophie likes. She attacks all other monkeys with a viciousness that is difficult to believe unless you have seen it. This is interesting because it demonstrates our philosophy. We decided to experiment with creating a human domestic environment combined with a monkey enclosure. We have an unused cheese making room a short distance from the other enclosures. MonaLisa cannot be on the loose as she was formally, because she really has frightened our housekeeper and Sophie wants to attack the two young howlers that that have their enclosure nearby. So we kill two birds with one stone. They both reside during daylight hours in Casa MonaLisa. Complete with dinning table and Hammock They sleep in our house at night.

Abu is a mature female Capuchin. She formally lived with a kind family in Caracas. Clearly she has wanted for nothing and has been much loved. It has been an important challenge to us to provide a home for her where she would not feel loss. Her human family have visited her since she has been here and she cried for two days after they left. Just like humans only time cures the feeling of grief or loss but it does help to have friends. We deliberately put her in an enclosure with green parrots, apparently she had two parrot friends in her former home. Additionally there are two Macaws in that enclosure and a male pheasant. Enough to be getting on with we thought. Well the idea has worked out well. She has a busy day attending to all her chores like weeding and digging in her garden and hustling the birds. Today we installed a set of children's swings and this has been a great success. We were concerned that she did not have enough toys. Difficult to find toys that cannot be destroyed by the sharp beaks of parrots and macaws. The swings, being made entirely of metal have solved the problem for us. We have also installed a double seat, so that when she entertains, her guests will be comfortable. The news is that a male capuchin will be arriving next Tuesday. We are hoping that they get on and maybe a wedding will be announced. We have heard that a young Capuchin of about 7 months is looking for a home. Do you think that Abu might like the roll of mother? We wait and see and I will let you know.
Emma and Schatov
I have said it before. The love affair between young Schatov and Emma was made in heaven. Never have I seen such a perfectly matched pair. Emma came to us after many months at ARFA. Frankly, I fell in love with her long before she finally came to live here. I made several trips to ARFA just to see her. Two groups of her former carers have visited her here since she arrived. We had early problems with her settling down here. She was attacked first by Sophie and then amazingly by Sussy. Sussy being the great mother was really a surprise to me. I really though Sussy would want to mother her. Ultimately we have solved all those problems. There is now a double wall between Sussy’s house and Emma’s domain and Sophie is now resident in Casa MonaLisa for most of the daylight hours. So Peace rains. Schatov started out with an acute attack of homesickness. For two days he did nothing but pace up and down the enclosure. He didn’t want to talk to Emma or me or anybody. He just paced up and down with a low moan almost continuously. On the third day there was a miracle Luis Angel, one of the carers put a large wad of forest leaves in his path. It stopped his pacing at once. He launched himself into the leaves and just suddenly came alive to his surroundings . I think that’s when he decided he was in love with Emma. He has gone on to success after success. He is very macho, he is the Alfa. He is bold, he is bright, he is handsome.
His family visit and care for him. He is much loved.

Well that’s the line up at present although we are expecting additions shortly and I will post you. If you have friends that you think might like to receive Forget-me-not , please mail me but essentially and firstly it is for people who have or want to bring their monkey children here. The miracle of digital photograph makes this all possible
You don’t have to be rich to help us in our work. Just getting the word around that it is BAD to buy monkeys at the roadside and subject them to an unfulfilled life. Monkeys belong with their families in the jungle. Let them live in peace.
That is not to say that donations are not welcome. Extending our facility and feeding the children as well as paying the staff to care for them is really pressing my pension hard especially since I never want to turn a child away. Even small amounts can help. Recently a friend of Canaote gave us a roll of wire with which we were able to complete a location that had been waiting for the cash to finish it. But you don’t have to give money to help what we do. Just give us your prayers and He will do the rest.
We can accept Paypal and for Venezuelan friends you can deposit directly into our account, simply ask me for account details by e-mail.

The Lord cares for and blesses those who love his small children. The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost are with you.
Allow the little children to come unto me

No comments: