Thursday, December 06, 2007

When kids grow up.

Do you know what it feels like to be a parent when it comes time to let your kids go off on their own to boarding school? Or when your eldest says, ‘I think it is time I moved out’.

I feel a bit like that this week. You remember that Maniña had a quarrel with Lala and it was necessary to separate him from Lala and Schatov? I couldn’t leave him alone in that enclosure so every evening around supper time I invite him into the house. He has been sharing my quarters with Miss Billy. Early morning I have been transporting them both to the big enclosure occupied by Eslabon and Tutti. It’s a big place with plenty to do. There are lots of bamboo walkways, swings and ropes and the company of other monkeys. For the first few weeks I continued to collect Miss Billy and Maniña in the evening, bringing them back to my quarters for the night.

This week, they have both refused to be collected. Preferring the company of other monkeys to the human environment I offer in the evening. It's a pleasure to see the pair of them playing with the others and sunning themselves the way Howlers love to do.

I have been surprised by this. In particular, Maniña is a daddy’s boy and loves to sleep in my quarters. Suddenly he has grown up and moved away from home.

Those of you who have never had the opportunity to observe Howler monkey’s sleeping arrangements should know that they like to sleep in a big group for maximum comfort and warmth.
Lucio is now the sole occupant of my quarters at night time. His house and garden are almost complete. Certainly it will be ready for him by this weekend. Our plan is that he will occupy the garden during the day and come in during the night. Until he tells us that he wants to leave home. We have yet to decide who his companions will be. Sophie has shown and interest and MonaLisa has put in her bid.
I almost forgot to tell you that is Maniña in the photograph but of course you knew that.

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