Injured Monkey

8th February 2010


While on a trip to the local market, I got a call from the centre about an injured monkey that needed collecting nearby. As usual the directions left were inadequate, none of the roads are named, districts merge into one another and there are no maps. It took almost an hour to find the little shop, some 15 minutes from the market. The monkey was a young female langur, about the same size as Pixie so probably about 2 years old. She was obviously in pain and distress and had been put on a chain outside their shop by her rescuer. Her mother was carrying her when she was knocked down on the busiest road in Goa, the Mumbai Highway, whilst crossing the road with the troop. This lady had got her husband to pick the baby up from the road side and they had then kept her overnight, hoping she would be O.K. by morning. She had also been attacked by a dog at some stage and has two large puncture wounds on the back of her neck. Nikhil, our chief vet examined her immediately I got her to the rescue centre, and she was put on a drip and given pain killers and antibiotics. She has suffered a head injury, but no broken bones. Unfortunately the equipment to do a brain scan is not easily available, so it's now a case of waiting to see how she progresses.

John had her in the bedroom overnight so she could be monitored constantly and at the time of writing she has recovered to the extent of moving around. After 24 hrs we tempted her to start eating, an out of season and very expensive mango proved too good to resist. Pixie was keen to see what all the fuss was about, but just treated her like a new and rather boring toy he isn't even allowed to play with. He doesn't really seem to realize he is a langur yet, as in contrast he is always very keen to greet and meet any new or known human.

Her future is very uncertain at the moment, and will depend on her progress and degree of recovery. She is still very unsteady on her feet, and needs continuing painkilling injections and antibiotics. Returning her to the troop she came from is still a possibility, although if the territory they live in involves crossing the notorious Mumbai road, it's not a very safe option.

There has unfortunately been no let up in dumped kittens and puppies at Mapusa market, although the number left in the cages we have provided is now a bigger proportion.

This market is famous all over Goa and in areas that our sterilization programme hasn't impacted yet. It seems to be a tradition to bring all unwanted litters and leave them here, those that are just left free soon flee into the nearest monsoon drain, rat hole or pile of rubbish they can find, and often it takes several days to retrieve the whole litter, meanwhile they are in danger from birds of prey, rats and traffic.

In addition to our normal posters advertising sterilizing, I have now drawn and put up posters around the most common dumping sites and as there are many languages used and not everyone reads either Hindi or English, I am hoping that pictures will say it all.

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