|News from the Sanctuary - December 2011|
|Written by Dr. Lorraine Docherty|
|Thursday, 29 December 2011 13:41|
by Didi Crailsheim (primate carer)
Due to the bad weather, the boys had to stay inside for several days, but they didn´t seem too upset about it. They were overly excited when the weather improved enough for them to go out and would storm out (but come in after a few hours again to warm and dry themselves). However the good thing about staying inside for them is that the volunteers and staff are spending extra time and energy in the preparation of lots of enrichment. And the result is that the cages look a little bit like an early Christmas living room. We normally clean one bedroom and fill it enrichment activities, which is full of big surprises or lots of small special little treats. However once the preparation is finished and the boys see the bedroom you can feel the air sparkling with excitement and as soon as the door opens, the boys will rush over, grunting happily for several minutes. Socially everything is going very well within the bachelor group. The situation between the higher ranked boys has calmed down and Juanito is stirring up the mood from time to time with his still childish and playful actions or when he tries to act like one of the big boys.
Winter is coming and it’s getting colder quickly. While the boys from the bachelor group are tough and hot blooded, the younger ones or older individuals of the family group, sometimes don´t feel like confronting the chilly weather outside. However when there is snow outside (which rarely happens in MONA) everyone gets excited and even enjoy the natural enrichment.
Tom: Tom has been giving us some headaches lately, because he has refused to leave his bedroom on many occasions. That is strange, because we never used to have any troubles encouraging him to move between bedrooms or to go outside. In the beginning we thought it might be because he was over stimulated or perhaps also his unpleasant encounter with Bongo. But it is more likely to be the fact that he doesn´t like to get wet or to be cold. Nevertheless we need him to leave his room and go out for two main reasons. Firstly, so he can get at least some few hours of fresh air and movement every day. And secondly, so we can clean his bedroom and decorate it with exciting enrichment. We could see that he wasn´t too happy about being outside and walking on wet ground, but once his room was clean and prepared he would nearly explode with emotion and excitement. Due to the rainy weather and his unwillingness to go outside we had to put a hold his integration process for some days. But as we didn´t want him to be alone we let Toni join him during several days and nights. This comes with several advantages: (1) during the rainy days, the other four boys from the bachelor group had a bit more space in their bedroom, (2) Toni really seems to enjoy being with Tom, (3) Tom got animated by Toni to move and play a little bit, and (4) Tom would get more accustomed to how it is living with another male. So all in all, even though the association sessions were put on hold, Tom had a bit of a stress free vacation break and spend some quality time with Toni.
Can you please help us this month?
We have had a few unexpected costs at the sancuary this month. The chimpanzees and macaques enjoy a healthy and varied diet at MONA, which needs to weighted out every day. For a long time now our food scale was giving us problems until recently when it broke completely. For the last days we head to measure the quantities of fruits and vegetables with a normal small house hold scale or even using our intuition. So we had to buy a new industrial sized food scale which cost us about 70€ (60£).
This last month has been marked by terrible rainy weather. With so many rainy days and such heavy rain showers that even British people would call it an ugly rainy month. That has meant many days were the chimps wouldn´t go out. Not just because the carers were worried about the chimps’ health but even the chimps themselves decided that on better, not so rainy days, that they couldn´t be bothered to get wet. So they were just sit in front of the open tunnels, looking from their warm and cosy bedrooms, outside with a gloomy expression without even taking a wet step outside. But that it was to get worse, because at the end of the rainy month it really started to pour down and the already drenched ground wasn´t able to absorb anymore water. So, literally within one hour everything was flooded and we had to use sand bags and additional water pumps to make sure that, everyone including the chimps and macaques would be well protected and dry inside their bedrooms. In the end, even though friends of MONA loaned us some water pumps, we were forced to buy two additional water pumps, which cost a staggering (300€ / 256£).
All those unexpected expenses might not seem too much of a burden individually, but in the end they weigh heavily on Mona’s limited resources. Any help however small would be very much appreciated. Please donate either using JustGiving, Paypal or simply text MONA42 and the amount that you would like to donate (e.g £3, £7, £15) to 70070.
|Last Updated on Saturday, 31 December 2011 11:03|