[monkeywire] Baby monkey saved from murderous mom
joshg1973 at yahoo.com
Thu Aug 14 14:39:57 EDT 2003
Baby monkey saved from murderous mom
August 13 2003 at 04:13AM
By Jo-Anne Smetherham
They thought the newborn monkey was dead. Only when they lifted him out of the cage, and
he moved slightly, did they realise he might live.
The patas monkey was rejected by his mother when he was born 10 days ago at the World of
Birds at Hout Bay in Cape Town.
He gained strength after being incubated for two hours. Now he has three doting humans
taking turns to care for him.
A ginger cat called Gilbert also gives him large amounts of affection.
"It has been my dream to hand-rear a primate," said Claire Louw, head curator of the
World of Birds, who looks after the monkey at home two days a week. He is cared for on
other days by manager Hendrik Louw, Claire's husband, and primate curator Yusuf Samba.
"He is so human it is uncanny, the way he touches faces and recognises me and Yusuf,"
"He screams if someone he doesn't know picks him up.
"He watches television - and our fish - with great interest. He is very alert.
"If anything is going to prepare you for parenthood, it's this. He's a little miracle,
When he was born at the World of Birds, his mother tried to kill him, dropping him to the
ground from a perch 2m high, then hopping down to stifle his screams by holding her paws
over his mouth.
She had been hand-reared, and probably didn't know how to care for her offspring.
The monkey has his own teddy bear and toy gorilla, whose faces he explores with his long
He is fed every two hours. "It takes about half an hour after feeding him to get him back
to sleep at night," said Claire.
"We are doing hundreds of loads of washing and tumble-drying. We are thinking of using
face-clothes as nappies - and cutting a hole for his tail."
Patas monkeys come from central Africa. They are the fastest of primates, and grow to the
size of a large dog.
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