Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Nancy graduates

I have blogged before about the difference in personalities among Howler monkeys. Nancy has been difficult to determine. At one moment, she wants to be close and resistive of any attempt to dislodge her from her perch on my shoulder. At the same time, she is terrified of any attempt to handle her. I suppose that her capture was traumatic and that she finds it difficult now to trust a human. The howler’s memory of trauma is long lasting. I mentioned the incident involving Rosita and Louis Angel in a previous posting. Rosita still screams when Louis approaches. It is a great shame because he does love her. Nancy has not bonded well with any human here. But she has warmed to several monkeys. She is very fond of Schatov and Mañiña. MonaLisa would like to adopt her in addition to Rosita. Emma, much to my surprise, has been behaving very ‘mother like’. We decided yesterday to give Emma a chance. Nancy very quickly mastered the surroundings of Emma’s enclosure and for the first time we saw her climbing ropes and walking on the bamboo pathways. Suddenly she ‘came alive’. I was doubtful about leaving her over night so late in the afternoon, I approached them intending to bring her into our house for the night. But No. She would not leave Emma. We decided to let her stay with Emma. Schatov was disappointed when she did not appear at bedtime but soon got over it. After all he had the company of MonaLisa and Rosita.
I was pleased at this result. New baby howlers are difficult to wean from their human parents. Nancy has graduated. She now has a relationship with another monkey that should last until adulthood. She is still bottle fed. I will be there this morning with the bottle but I suspect she will not need it. She learns very quickly. Last night I rested content. I had seen a very happy little girl howler.
Our picture shows Emma and Nancy together in one of their trees.

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