Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Rare monkey born at wildlife park after op to save mother's sight

tolkein monkeyThis remarkable photograph is something that keepers at Port Lympne thought they would never see.

Until recently this proud mother was totally blind – completely dependant on her keepers for her needs. There was little hope that she would ever see her own hand – let alone her own baby.

Tolkein the six-year-old howler monkey developed cataracts in both eyes as a juvenile.

Eighteen months ago, staff at Port Lympne wildlife park near Hythe, decided to try an operation in an effort to restore her sight.

The procedure was a success and after a period of recuperation she was introduced to Clyde, a male who had recently arrived from Singapore Zoo.

It was literally love at first sight for Tolkein and the pair are now parents of this beautiful, as yet unnamed baby.

Headkeeper Simon Jeffery: “We are all delighted and excited by this birth.

“Tolkein is a kind and gentle character and a real favourite with all of us.

“At just a week old the baby seems strong and healthy and is very interested in its surroundings and so far Tolkein is being a perfect mum.”

Story here.

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