BABIES FRIGHTENED BY GIANT BEETLE

6th October 2011


The weather continues to improve, with one or two days at last with no rain. So hopefully the tourists and volunteers will soon return.

[PHOTO]Giant Beetle

Although undoubtedly totally harmless, a giant beetle caused the dog, my cat, the baby langurs and me a big fright one night. I woke to what sounded like a remote control helicopter flying erratically around the room. The cat and dog shot under the bed, the babies clung tightly to my hair, screaming their warning calls as I flew to the light switch to try and work out what it was. It looked in fact like it sounded, an out of control toy helicopter, as it crashed noisily into windows, and buzzed over our heads.

The babies were so frightened that they started to pooh all over me, their first reaction unfortunately to stress. This smelly stuff was of course then smeared into my hair and over my face as they panicked. When it crashed onto the floor I was able to see it was in fact just a giant beetle and I got a cloth over it to carry it to the door and throw it out. The resulting chaos in the bedroom however, smashed cups, spilt water, a panicked dog and cat, the baby monkeys and I covered in smelly pooh it took hours to return to clean and calm. I can only be thankful that these beetles, and their getting in, are a rarity.

Plucky our eldest rescue dog had to be put to sleep this week, following seizures. She had a bad heart and had several turns from which she had always recovered before, but she was just totally worn out this time. She had spent some time loose at the rescue center but as she got older and weaker other more agile residents began to pick on her, so John bought her home for a more peaceful life. With only one eye, and many old injuries, she always looked as if she was on her last legs, but in fact soldiered on longer than we all thought possible.

At the moment we have three monkeys in small cages that are receiving daily treatments for their wounds. This follows an episode where the gate dividing adjoining cages was somehow not properly closed, and one of the monkeys exploited the mistake and managed to squeeze through. A big fight resulted, with three of the five needing wounds stitching and all participants getting injuries in just the few minutes it took to separate them. This clearly answers the often asked question "why don't you just let them go in the forest?" The most common reason for death in wild monkeys is from wounds received in power or food fights amongst the established troops. Any strange lone monkey, male or female would be attacked and killed the moment it was spotted by the resident monkeys. If there is a sufficient food source and freedom from human persecution there will be monkeys there already and already under pressure from an increasing human population, cutting down the trees and then protecting their crops.

We hope that we can raise the funds to buy some remaining suitable land to put up new large pens, as we have really run out of space here.

Since our return we have been trying to find a fabricator (welder) locally that we can employ to work on our existing monkey pens, to enable us to make space for a pen for the two langur babies, despite many advertisements, interviews and promises to start work on a set date, now we find ourselves back at square one again with the latest candidate letting us down at the last minute, so the search goes on.

Tilly the newest arrival has made friends now with Ruby, our most disturbed resident which is nice for Ruby as she has always ended up on her own because of her behavior.

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