Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Dynamic Society

In these notes I have several times said that our Howler monkey society is dynamic. When Schatov and Emma lived together we thought they were young lovers and their marriage was made in heaven. When Schatov became unwell they were separated for a while but once reunited their relationship had changed. Now Emma was very antagonistic to Schatov. He was the younger and recovering. He tended to run away when Emma was aggressive. Recently that has changed. He is now stronger. He has established himself as a male. It is Emma that runs away when there is a conflict. He is growing in size and mental stature. The same is true of Maniña. When we first set up this household of Schatov with Maniña, MonaLisa, Emma and Rosita and Nancy, there were fairly frequent altercations. Always with Emma on the attack. Now the situation is reversed. She has learned that there is no advantage in bad behavior. Their quarrels were either about food or position. The sudden flare ups very quickly subside and no one gets hurt. Basically, this is a happy group. They spend their day playing on the ropes, walkways and hamocks with a lot of attention to their tree house. The dynamics currently show that Nancy spends time with Schatov. He is also liked by MonaLisa. Maniña is also favored by Nancy and Rosita and MonaLisa. Emma and MonaLisa are like twins, where you see the one the other is almost always there.
In the other enclosures, Totto and Sophie are the perfect pair. They are always together. Totto is by nature a stern fellow, but he shows deference and love for Sophie.
At this moment Sussy is alone in a very big enclosure. She is so happy when we visit her. We do this every day, taking her fresh leaves and other goodies that she likes. But she is lonely. Formerly she has attacked other monkeys that have been placed in her vicinity. But remember that she has been a mother many times and has the maternal instinct. She adopted Marco and did a fine job of bringing him up. Remember he was a mere 500 grams when he first went to her and travelled everywhere on her back. Even though towards the end of his stay with her he was a little boisterous. I am planning for her to meet with Negro. I wonder if she would like to adopt this little fellow. More about him shortly.
Our photograph was sent to us by Gabriela and is of Marco at his new home in Manreque. I was so sad to loose him but now I see him free in the trees with a lady that he loves, I am happy at his fulfilment.

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