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January 25, 2009 - Odin's passing and healing thoughts for Darwin

January 25, 2009

Dear Friends of Jungle Friends,

Ashley and Odin

It is with great sadness that I tell you we lost little Odin Tuesday morning. Odin and his long-time companion Ashley were retired from laboratory research and came to live at Jungle Friends in July 2008, along with eight other tamarins. Ashley was the oldest cotton-top tamarin on record (26 years old); she passed not long ago and Odin was never the same. He didn't eat well or go outside as early as he did when Ashley was at his side. Odin and Ashley were inseparable; you never saw one without the other. These two tiny monkeys had a profound relationship. His grief at her loss was painful to witness. Odin mourned Ashley's passing very deeply. The once playful Odin seemed to have lost the will to live. I believe he died of a broken heart. I like to think Ashley and Odin are now together again in death, liberated from the cages that confined them -- their spirits set free.


Darwin, who arrived at Jungle Friends last October, is having some very serious health issues. He started picking and biting at himself where he had an abrasion, which we thought had been caused by a spat between him and his companion, Dharma. As his condition worsened, we thought Darwin must be biting himself due to stress he was feeling from missing his human family of 13 years. However, our vets feel that he is suffering from neuropathy. This is a condition that causes your extremities to feel like they are filled with pins and needles.

Darwin's humans, Patty and John, were here last Thursday to visit Darwin and Dharma. Patty told us that Darwin had bitten and picked at wounds in the past. Patty also said that when Darwin was very young he got himself wrapped up in a blanket which caused him some paralysis and resulted in nerve damage.

We have Darwin on a drug regime that we hope will curb the pins-and-needles feeling and help calm him. If anyone has any insight into this condition, please let me know. We are very concerned for Darwin's health and well being. Our devoted carestaff is making sure that he is diligently and lovingly cared for. Someone is with Darwin before the sun rises until after the sun sets; he is never left alone until he goes to sleep at night. I am asking all of you to send your healing thoughts, and Patty and John ask you to keep Darwin in your prayers.

Lots of monkey love,
Kari and the monks