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Kenya...moving towards integration


Hi there! My name is Helen, and I am an Animal Behaviour student from England. I have come to Wildtracks to focus on primate rehabilitation.

Being introduced to Kenya, a 10 month old Yucatan Black howler monkey, has been the highlight of my work here so far. On our initial introduction I thought it would be difficult to create a bond. However, as my confidence quickly grew, the more relaxed she has become around me. I now know which leaves she prefers to eat from different browse (what we call the trees and plants that howler monkeys like to eat), which trees she is likely to leap on and most importantly, recognizing when she is not feeling 100 percent.

When individuals come into Wildtracks they are in quarantine for a month to check, treat, and prevent the spread of any parasites or illnesses before their eventual integration. Kenya is currently still going through the integration process and is therefore housed on her own. She therefore needs a little more care and interaction than the monkeys that are more settled. I take her out several times a day to introduce her to a range of different browse, and to ensure she has the stimulation needed to build her confidence and make sure she isn't getting frustrated.

Now that Kenya is out of her quarantine period, we are gradually integrating her with the other nursery monkeys. This has been started with Kenya's introduction to Little Bean, JW, and Hobbes in the mangrove play area, which is going exceptionally well.

It is amazing how quickly I have become attached to Kenya, knowing that she is unaware of how happy she makes me each day - I feel privileged to be able to work with her and see her progression, taking her one step closer to where she truly belong - in the wild.

Published by: Zoe Walker at 2014-04-20 20:12:22   [Link to this article]

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