Sunday, March 06, 2005


Monkey's Mummy

We've got a real, live baby monkey! It is a gorgeous two-month-old squirrel monkey from the Peruvian Amazon that needs foster parents until it is old enough to go to a zoo. His name is Julio (he came with that name!). He was apparently given as a present to a teenage girl, who is studying in university, by her aunt. However, the monkey acts very much like a human baby and requires absolutely loads of attention - the girl's mother thus ended up giving the monkey to a pet shop when she found her daughter was totally neglecting her studies. Tito's sister Perla is a veterinarian, and when she heard there was a baby monkey in need of a substitute mother she grabbed the opportunity for me - since I am happily unemployed at the moment! Ahh, Julio is extrodinarily cute ... he's just like a little person and has proper hands with nails, not claws. Squirrel monkeys cling to their mums from the moment they are born as a survival instinct - so it absolutely impossible to put him down for one minute. We even have to sleep with him attached to an arm, and he wakes several times in the night crying for milk and attention. This morning I awoke to him grabbing my lip and biting my nose - little monkey! For the past couple days Tito's been experimenting with nappy material - we've now found nappies fashioned from sanitary pads work best. Lovely. Julio's poop isn't too bad though - he only eats soft fruit like banana and papaya. Tito was in hysterics the first time I changed Julio and he peed, fountain-style, all over my arm - just like a human baby! Anyway, we'll be looking after Julio until we leave, at which time he will hopefully be mature enough to go to a zoo. It's a brilliant end to our time in Peru to have this experience looking after him... wish we could take him with us to London but it would be impossible.

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