Friday, June 20, 2008
Chippy looks for new friends.
It wasn't really a secret but people do change their minds sometimes between asking for a place here and actually arriving. This young lady (she won't mind if I tell you that she is four years old) arrived here today but not for the first time. Over the last few years 'Chippy' has visited us with her owners, several times.
This is how it came about. At the beginning of the week we received a call from Gabriela, asking if we had a place for Chippy. We replied that we had. We have come to love this little lady on her visits here so there was no hesitation when we were asked to take her. We arranged to meet yesterday in the shop of a friend in San Carlos. We cause a scene in the shop as Chippy, somewhat unwillingly was transferred into a carrying box.
Quite a problem faces us, in as much as, Chippy is used to 24 hour a day contact with her human family. Frankly she is going to miss them. Typically she will only eat a little and will be very sad.
We counter this by giving her compatible friends to play with. Our options were (1) She might like to become mother to our two babies, Chilin and Eric. (2) She might enjoy the company of the 'boys' in Lucio's garden, Schatov, Lucio and Moñito. Option one was quickly disposed of when the children became frightened of this large lady. An embarrassing scene brought an end to this experiment. Chippy was on my left shoulder and a very nervous Eric on the other. Simultaneously they defecated. Many species of monkey do this when they are angry or scared. I stood still for a moment, completely shocked by what had happened but I stoically carried on. My pants and shirt were covered and the smell was rather unpleasant. Clearly they were telling us something. They did not want to be together, at least for now.
We picked up Chippy and moved her over to the enclosure 'Lucio's Garden'. Schatov immediately showed and interest as well as little Moñito. Lucio on the other hand did not want to know her.
Our pictures show 'Chippy' within minutes of arrival in the new location and a shot of Schatov sitting alongside her. They sat closely together, Chippy's back was often towards him but she leaned gently on him to indicate that his interest was not being rejected. He was aroused and paid her close attention. We will watch this relationship over the next few days. It may be that they will bond and become a couple.
Just like human people, howler relationships are complicated. You cannot predict their interaction, literally you have to wait and see. We did not expect Lucio to be anti. He may feel threatened in some way. She is a big monkey and he is quite young. I will bring you reports and pictures over the next days, so that you will be able to follow her progress. First we have to deal with the grief of loss of human family.
One reader guessed that our new monkey was Ramona, the street monkey we often visited in Tinaco. Sadly we have lost track of her in spite of some serious efforts to find her. She bit a passing child and was sent to a new address in Topo but we have been unable to find her.
Posted by Philip Cordrey at 2:15 AM