Baby Monkey Rescue

Jungle Friends' youngest have the sanctuary staff scurrying! On Oct 1, 2010 three baby monkeys arrived with a group of brown capuchins rescued from a bankrupt roadside zoo.

We knew the group included a nursing mother with an infant, but they were part of a family group occupying a single habitat, so it sounded like a simple rescue. Then things got complicated! First, the monkeys had to be "packed up" for the drive to Jungle Friends. The local animal team handling this had trouble capturing the capuchins, and finally resorted to using anesthesia. When the monkeys arrived after their cross-country trip, we were horrified to learn that when mama monkey woke from the anesthesia, she would have nothing to do with her baby.

Mimi bottle-feeds the babiesThe simple rescue became a crisis intervention as staff rushed to care for the dehydrated infant. At the same time, we learned that two other juvenile monkeys also needed to go into the "nursery." Monkers and Zumie had been human reared and attempts to reunite them with the group at the zoo had not gone well. Nine-month-old Zumie ended up with a wounded foot requiring stitches. Upon arrival at Jungle Friends, it was looking pretty bad. In minutes, it seemed, the rescue changed from transferring a single, pre-socialized group into an intensive schedule of bottle feeding and medical care!

Fortunately, these kids are bouncing back. The baby is a resilient little guy! With some nourishment and loving care, he soon began to thrive. Zumie responded well to her antibiotic therapy and is healing nicely now.

We situated the babies next to the adult group, hoping that mama Elizabeth would reclaim her baby, allowing him to be reared by his natural mother. No such luck. Elizabeth has shown no interest in the baby - but someone else has. Little Monkers, the oldest of the youngsters, has appointed herself as his new little mom - carrying him, grooming and playing with him. It is wonderful to see the loving bond grow between these two young monkeys. Watch the video now! So, with Jungle Friends staff to provide the bottles and baby food (twelve times a day!!) and Monkers to supply the monkey nurturing, baby monk is on his way to a healthy, happy childhood.

October 21, 2010