Sunday, February 17, 2008

The prodigal daughter returns.

Stop press photograph. Taken this morning in Sophie's garden.(Monday 18th February 2008).
I have already posted that on the first of February, Sophie was able to free herself into the wild forest, as a result of a large tree falling on her wire enclosure. We believed that this was a mixed blessing. We were sad that she had left us but glad that she should join her family in the wild.
Sophie was handed in to us four years ago as a tiny little girl. She lived here with Sussy until adulthood and then as a wife to Totto who finally released himself into the wild last November.
On the twelfth of this month, Sophie was spotted in a tall mango tree by the gatehouse to the farm. She was slow moving and showed little intention of coming down. Dennis, one of our occasional helpers, decided to climb the tree and investigate. He found that she was considerably debilitated and dehydrated. He carefully brought her down, when we were able to take a closer look.
Sophie had been in the peak of good health when she left after the storm. Now she was very sick. We presumed dehydration and at once started a program of treatment with physiological fluids. During this time she refused food. Over the next few days she has gradually started to respond and now is taking food and drink fairly normally. We are still waiting for the result of tests to determine whether there is any other underlying problem.
She is active and appears quite strong but lacks the teasing and mischievous manner that is usual with her. Clearly she still has some way to go before we can say she is healed. Her birthday was on the fourteenth, strange that she should return two days before her birthday.
One aspect of this situation worries me. Even though we have always fed her with substantial amounts of food from the forest, leaves, flowers nuts and berries etc, she has been unable to feed herself satisfactorily when free in the forest. This underlines yet again the tragedy of separating monkeys from their proper environment. They become unable to support themselves in what should be their natural habitat.

No comments: