Thursday, December 14, 2006

Schatov now has a wider circle of friends

Schatov came to us from Caracas, almost a year ago. Since then his caring human family have visited often and are almost in daily contact with us here at Cañaote by internet. He has had a few changes since he has been here. First, he lived with Emma in a house and garden that we built especially for him. This enclosure was outside our security fence. Because of security considerations, we decided to construct a new house and garden for them within our security fence. During this time, Emma was gradually reaching maturity, whilst Schatov is still a young fellow. He is too big for her to mother but not adult enough yet for her to consider him as a husband. Female howlers reach maturity much younger than the boys do. Girls usually mature at about three years and the boys at four to five. The new enclosure has a large garden with two tall mature trees and extends to the corridor surrounding the house. This is a large area and able to support a number of monkeys. With the emergence of Emma’s adulthood, we decided to give her the chance to foster Nancy. This has been very successful. It has also given Schatov a wider circle of friends, because MonaLisa and Rosita also share that enclosure. They interact well together, Schatov, Mañiña, MonaLisa and Rosita, Emma and Nancy. He is particularly popular with Rosita and Nancy. There are occasional squabbles between Mañiña and Schatov but that is to be expected and they are not serious quarrels. Largely the two boys play well together, vying with each other for the most daring swing on the ropes or leap onto the hammock. The enclosure backs onto the window of my bedroom and late afternoon Schatov is allowed into our house. Just before our dinner, MonaLisa and Rosita are also allowed the freedom of the house. Mañiña is allowed in much later because he is so boisterous that it would cause too much chaos at our mealtime. But he is not left out. Finally, MonaLisa and Schatov with Rosita, settle down to sleep with David. Mañiña has his supper with me and drops off to sleep across my feet.
My picture shows Schatov in the new enclosure. Examine the photograph carefully and you will see the beautiful sheen on his coat. He is a healthy and happy monkey.

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