Badly Injured Baby Bonnet Macaque

17th November 2008


The new and badly injured baby bonnet macaque, now named "Baldrick" is doing well although his wounds are still open and pretty horrific to see. Also because he was still not using his right arm we took him to the IAR Centre for an X-ray and found he had a bad break in the shoulder. Unfortunately it is not in a place where it can be plastered and set, so it will have to heal naturally. This may take 6 weeks.

Despite all this he is now getting around the house like a torpedo, even though he has no movement in the broken limb or hand, and obviously is in pain if he moves or twists it. Happily he is also now eating well, even by himself, though as he only has the one hand he does need someone to peel his grapes and skin the peanuts, but if you take too long about it, he looses patience and simply spits out the inedible bits.

When he first started to show an interest in food again we tempted him with a gem, the Indian version of a smartie, but he didn't realize that the sugar coating was also a food, and treated it just like a nut or seed, spending ages patiently removing the "skin" before eating the chocolate. This ignorance didn't last long however, and he now only has to see the packet to go into a frenzy and they go in whole.

At first I tried to give him milk and fluids from the baby animal feed bottles that Pixie, the baby langur still uses and his response to that was simply to chew off the rubber teat and then glug the fluid. Pixie still does not drink, except from a bottle, and is very far behind in growing up compared to a macaque.

Pixie is about 7 months old, Baldrick about 3 but they are about the same size so we have hopes of them becoming play mates. Over the last few days they have had increasing contact not always very successful. Baldrick is an out and out bully and thug compared to Pixie, a well brought up delicate flower! Baldrick just charges at Pixie wanting to play, but indicating this by jumping on him and play biting. Pixie then screams for help and runs to me for protection, pursued by Baldrick who just thinks it's fun. There has been some progress and Pixie is starting to play giving back a few bites himself, and they have had a few tussles that have not ended in tears, so may yet become friends. However, a Baldrick, with all his limbs working and wounds healed may well always be too much for Pixie to take!

Daisy and Kirsty are still in together and Kirsty will now sit on your shoulder briefly if tempted with a treat but it is still a long way to go till hopefully she will be able to go out with Daisy on her walks in the garden. Hiedi has at last had her parasites cleared and has so far met and made friends with just one of our residents, Pani, another rhesus macaque. This involved her going into the big cage where it was clear she has never had freedom of any sort, as she was literally jumping up and down with the joy of being almost free.

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