PHOOKA GETS A FRIEND

20th April 2011


Just as Phooka, the baby langur, was becoming less of a full time job, along came another tiny baby. This one's mother was knocked down on the highway and he also suffered head injuries himself.

Two Tiny Babies Tiny Baby Monkey'Puck' is a few weeks older than Phooka was on arrival, but of course much smaller and more helpless than Phooka is now. His head injuries have caused us a lot of worries and he has had several small fits. He is still on medication and we hope this will prevent more fits. He has adapted easily to the bottle and the milk formula, already eats baby cereal and eats peeled grapes as well.

Baby Monkeys at the windowPhooka was indifferent to his sudden appearance but as he has become able to play a little he is getting more interested in him. Puck has spent much of the last few days of his waking hours calling loudly for his mother, Phooka too did this for 2or 3 days, but Puck has an especially loud call which has drawn in curious wild langurs from the surrounding area. Although they are interested in the distress call, they would not care for a strange baby although they would certainly snatch him given the chance. This means Phooka also has had to be kept inside as the wild troop took up almost permanent residence on the balconies of the house. For the first 48hrs due to shock Puck mainly slept or fed, but as he began to feel better the sessions of endless calling for his missing mother began.

As well as the single note, a loud whistle type call, the baby's instinct is always to climb up to the highest point. This is obviously an inbuilt survival strategy for a baby that's main accident potential is a fall from the trees. When in a 'find mum' mode, controlling and distracting him is difficult as although his teeth are tiny, they are very sharp and he is quite willing to use them on any fingers that get in between him, and as he sees it, the way to his mother.

Our Indian staff are convinced this sudden change in his behaviour is due to an Evil Eye having been put on him by a visitor and want me to do a cleansing ceremony, involving the use of fire, red chillies and salt and 3 Hindu blessings. Even without this he is now forgetting his loss for longer and longer periods, and I am hoping that this weeks baby sitters will be able to cope with the twosome.

If one has a bottle the other wants it, if one is playing the other is trying to sleep, so I now know how hard mothers must have to work with a baby and a toddler together!

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