Wildtracks: Conservation, Research and Education

Wildtracks blog

Molly returns...Izzie and the nursery babes


I cannot describe the feeling of returning to such a special place as Wildtracks and being received with open arms. Thinking of the reunion with Izzie and all of the babies made my heart flutter and as I walked through the car park back into the house I was nearly bursting with excitement. After catching up with all the news here, debuting the new Wildtracks t-shirts and having a lovely meal I went happily to bed wishing for morning.

Waking to the breeze of the lagoon and sun dappled palms I practically sprinted to the house waiting to see Izzie. A sleepy monkey emerged clutched to Zoe and as we walked into the side room, Izzie threw herself off Zoe sniffing me and chirping happy sounds. Although a bit bigger I knew she was the same beautiful, courageous girl I had left over a month before. As I watched her fly across the screens, launching herself into the plants, dangling from vines and leaping across the table, it was hard to believe that this was the same frail baby that had come to us broken and traumatized mid-October of last year.

Quickly I settled back into the routine of things here, when we were contacted by Dr. Maas who gave the go-ahead to take her through for a final x-ray. After a quick stop in Belmopan to confirm future monkey confiscations with the Forest Department we reached Central Farm. Due to so many vet visits, the process was quick and Izzie was under anesthesia and undergoing a routine physical in no time. When the x-rays developed there was momentary panic with the formation of a bone spur, but we were assured by Dr. Maas that everything looked excellent, was healing well, and the bone spur would gradually re-absorb. Her next check-up will be this time next year, and I’m sure Izzie will not miss the car rides and anesthesia despite occasionally getting extra treats throughout the day. For now she will be developing superior climbing skills in the malley apple tree out front, exploring the foliage around the bunkhouse and zooming around the browse garden sampling a delicious variety of young shoots and enjoying the sun. But, there will always be time for an afternoon nap, softly twittering hopefully dreaming of her release and gallivanting through the forest with her very own troupe of spider monkeys.

After being back for a month and a half now and spending countless of blissful hours with Izzie and the seven other nursery Howlers, I couldn’t be happier with the progress that has been made. We now have a fully integrated troupe of the original five Elliot, Sam, Pebbles, Polly and Peanut. Despite the occasional squabble you can usually find them piled on top of one another in a single hammock, five sets of sleepy eyes peering over the edge. They are also enjoying a remodeled cage, and with continuously growing monkeys they now have twice the amount of room they had previously, and are utilizing every inch of it. Their daily trip to their outdoor cage is always a highlight, beginning with fifteen minutes of sunbathing followed by a raucous extravaganza of tail-biting, hair pulling monkey games.

They are developing social and climbing skills every day and provide endless hours of entertainment whether it be Peanut plastered to the veranda door looking longingly at the food bowls with whines of exasperation, Sam diving headlong into the milk bowl desperate for yet another sip, Elliot sneaking onto our shoulders hoping to lick an ear or chew on a nose, Pebbles biting ankles or helping us sweep up, or Polly endeavoring a skillful aerial attack to crawl onto our backs hoping we don’t notice her. The larger of our babies have similar antics as they grow more independent daily, you can still find Little P hovering just overhead waiting for an opportune moment to leap onto your poor unsuspecting head, and Jaz is always dutifully holding our hands as we give him the milk syringe so he receives it at just the angle he likes it.

The nursery unit is progressing every day and soon enough we will have the long awaited and essential area the babies need. Until then we will continue our daily routine hoping to build the confidence and skills of each individual to one day create a thriving, healthy troupe of wild monkeys.

Also for future reference, blogs should not be written in the presence of a baby spider monkey. Izzie was ever so helpful that this is now the third version! Who would have thought she knew where the delete button was... We will keep updating everyone and lots of love from all the babies!


Published by: Zoe Walker at 2013-04-20 16:49:33   [Link to this article]

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