Sunday, August 03, 2008

The little boy that Santa Claus forgot.

Marco came to us when he was only 500 grams in weight. He was dropped off by a local farmer who told us that he found him alone on his land, in an area that had been attacked by forest fires. Since that time he has had a varied history. At first, whilst he was very small he lived with me. We had an idea that Sussy might be a suitable surrogate mother and we decided to give it a try. Sussy was a very experience mother, having brought many very fine and powerful monkeys into the world. As it happened she took him as one of her own and we breathed a sigh of relief. He traveled everywhere on her back and shared her house during his adolescence. Everyday they were together, and every day Sussy taught him how to choose his food and how to negotiate the ropes and complex walkways in their enclosure.

Finally he grew too active and boisterous to continue living with her and it was necessary to think of another arrangement.
At that time we discovered that Gabriela's young lady 'Vicky' was looking for a partner and we decided to give this idea a try. It was an immediate success. Now Marco and Vicky is an inseparable and happy pair, living free in the trees. We are sure that sometime there will be a baby Marco or Marca. This is a wonderful transition of which we are all very proud. To move from waif and who I once described as 'the little boy that Santa Claus forgot' to his successful relationship and life with Vicky at the home of Gabriela, is a miracle.
Our pictures show him as a young man in the fields here at Canaote to a photograph taken during the last few days. Look at the difference in size. When you see that cute little ball of red fur at the roadside, remember how they look when they are a few years older. Average life span of Howlers in captivity is 25 years.
I am grateful to Gabriela for this remarkable new picture of Marco which I received today and which I now treasure.

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