Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Researchers Study Homosexual Behavior In Golden Monkeys

Researchers at the Shennongjia National Nature Reserve were surprised to find on Nov. 29 that there are homosexual golden monkeys in their research base.

A few days ago, researchers at the Dalongtan Golden Monkey Scientific Research Base in Shennongjia followed the monkeys to observe their social behaviors as usual. A strange scene shocked them and they found that an adult male monkey called "Da Yang" quickly walked up behind another male monkey named "Yi Zuo Mao" and tightly held his waist.

"Yi Zuo Mao" immediately gave a response to "Da Yang" just like female monkeys do to initiate mating. Then, both monkeys gave gestures that were the same as those that occur during mating.

This scene made researchers note that the behavior had happened before under a complex background. Therefore, it was difficult to identify whether it was homosexual behavior. However, a series of clear actions this time made it clear that their behavior was in fact homosexual behavior between golden monkeys.

In the next few days, researchers also observed several homosexual acts among golden monkeys and there was a higher probability of homosexual activity among male monkeys than female monkeys. Researchers studied the phenomenon and analyzed that this has much to do with the social structure of golden monkeys.

Full story here.

Thailand Celebrates Annual Monkey Festival

Thousands of monkeys in Thailand were treated to a feast Sunday as the town of Lopburi celebrated its annual monkey festival.

The long-tailed monkeys feasted on three tons of boiled eggs, fresh fruit, vegetables and traditional Thai desserts.

Tables were set up for the feast at two of the town's most sacred sites, and monkeys roamed the buffet tables freely as they enjoyed their meal.

"It's very interesting, I've never seen so many monkeys. I've never seen anything like this," U.S. tourist Hannah Aosenfeld said.

The town is known for its monkeys, who roam about freely. People who live in the town think the monkeys bring good fortune and prosperity.

Hundreds of tourists came to the town to watch the monkeys enjoy their fancy buffet.

Full story here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Rare Colony Of Yellow-Tailed Woolly Monkeys Discovered

A hidden colony of endangered yellow-tailed woolly monkeys was recently discovered in Peru.

The colony was found by a team of international researchers from Neotropical Primate Conservation, a U.K. charity. The yellow-tailed woolly monkey (Oreonax flavicauda) is native to a small part of the Andean cloud forest in northeastern Peru, and is so rare that it was thought extinct until a few sightings in the mid-1970s.

A monkey with a bright yellow tail would seem easy to find, but studying this species has been nearly impossible. Not only does the yellow-tailed woolly monkey live in the remote valleys and steep mountains of Peru, but their home is also cocaine country and a former stronghold of Communist guerrillas.

The findings represent the first record of this species in the Peruvian area of La Libertad since 1974, and the first time that it has been reported in the area of Huanuco. These areas are often overlooked by conservationists as most of the known range of the monkey is found in the neighboring areas of Amazonas and San Martin.

"This is a find of significant importance for the conservation of this emblematic primate," said Sam Shanee, study team leader. "With such a small wild population, these new areas give new hope for the species' survival. There are already initiatives under way for the protection of the yellow-tailed woolly monkeys, which we hope will now include protection of these new populations."

Full story here.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Hamilton Zoo: Suzie The Chimp Passes Away

Suzie the chimpanzee has passed away at Hamilton Zoo. She was 46 years old.

A post mortem has revealed no single factor caused her death although it is known that she had cancer and that it had spread to other vital organs.

Hamilton Zoo director Stephen Standley says that earlier this week Suzie was examined to establish the extent of the cancer to see what could be done to improve her health and comfort. The ultrasound examination was successful and she made a good recovery from the anaesthetic and was responsive when last observed at approximately 7pm, however, she passed away in her sleep overnight.

“Zoo staff, especially those who care for and work with the chimps, are quite naturally saddened by the loss but are comforted by the fact that she passed away peacefully.”

Hamilton Mayor Julie Hardaker says Suzie was much loved by the many to visit the zoo, one of Hamilton’s top visitor attractions.

“Suzie was one of the original chimps of the zoo, she will be missed by her keepers and visitors.”

Full story here.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Smoking Chimpanzee Rescued In Lebanon, Sent To Brazil

A 12-year-old chimpanzee was heading to a sanctuary in Brazil on Monday after animal rights workers discovered him smoking cigarettes to entertain visitors at a Lebanese zoo.

Omega, who weighs around 132 pounds (60 kilograms), has never climbed a tree or seen other chimpanzees and has a troubling smoking habit he maintained from picking up cigarettes that visitors threw into his cage.

"The chimp still regularly smokes ... if someone will throw him a cigarette he'd pick it up and go for it straight away," said Jason Meier, executive director for animal rights group Animals Lebanon.

Full story here.

Pet Monkey Euthanized After Biting NY Woman

A pet Capuchin monkey that escaped from its owner and bit a central New York woman has tested negative for rabies.

The monkey named Jada attacked a woman and bit her on the finger as she played with her son Wednesday in the back yard of the family's home in Oneida Castle, 25 miles east of Syracuse.

Oneida County Health Department officials say the monkey was euthanized Wednesday to test for rabies.

Police say the owner provided proof of the monkey's rabies vaccination and a copy of his exotic pet license. But under state law, the monkey had to be tested. To check the animal for rabies, its brain tissue had to be examined after it was euthanized.

Full story here.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Franklin Park Zoo Gorilla Kiki Gives Birth

A Western lowland gorilla was born Wednesday morning in the Tropical Forest Building at the Franklin Park Zoo, officials said yesterday.

The baby, born at about 8:35 a.m., is the third child of Kiki and her mate, Kitome, nicknamed Kit. The couple already had two daughters, Kira, 11 and Kimani, 5, according to the statement.

“The baby looks good,’’ said Jeannine Jackle, assistant curator of the building. “It was reaching its arms out, moving its legs, and it gave out a good cry. Kiki appeared very calm and relaxed and was doing everything a gorilla mother should.’’

The baby was discovered by Shannon Finn, a senior zookeeper, after she had fed breakfast to Kiki, Kira, and Kimani. She left for about 15 minutes, and when she came back, she found the newborn baby, according to Jackle, who said she was glad Kiki’s daughters witnessed the birth.

The gender of the new baby is unknown, because Kiki is holding it close, not allowing zookeepers to get near it, Jackle said in an interview. Sometimes it can take weeks to discover a gorilla baby’s gender, she said.

The baby, who will be named in an upcoming contest, was the first born in the indoor habitat for the gorillas, built in 2007. “[The forest] is warm, and open all year; it’s like being outside indoors,’’ Jackle said. “We want to encourage people to come and watch this baby grow up.’’

Full story here.

Monkey Catchers On Guard For Barack Obama's India Visit

Delhi's police are to build 30-feet towers in jungle surrounding President Obama's hotel to protect him from terrorist attacks during next week's visit, and also shield from an invasion by the city's most persistent threat – monkeys.

They have been asked to erect 'machan' towers for elite commandos who will use powerful searchlights and night-sight binoculars to lookout for suspicious movement and any signs of a simian invasion.

The jungle opposite the president's suite at the exclusive ITC Mauriya Hotel is part of the city's Ridge forest which is home to many of the monkeys which terrorise the capital.

Tribes of the red-bottomed bhandar monkeys regularly overrun government office compounds, bite through expensive computer cables, attack people carrying food and cause general mayhem.

Local newspapers regularly report the latest victims of the 'monkey menace' but while officials are usually reluctant to take action against them – they symbolise the Hindu monkey God Hanuman – this time they are taking no chances.

Alongside heavily armed antiterrorist commandos, trained monkey-catchers will also be deployed.

"We will deploy commandos, snipers and even monkey catchers to ensure his safety," a police officer told The Hindustan Times.

Taj Hassam, joint commissioner of police (security) confirmed the issue was on the agenda for an "all-agency" meeting held on Monday.

Full story here.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Cheeky, Missing Cross-Eyed Monkey Found Safe

A cross-eyed monkey stolen at the weekend has been found safe and returned to its wildlife park enclosure.

Thieves broke into the Nowra Wildlife Park on the New South Wales south coast and stole Cheeky, a tiny, two-year-old common marmoset, from a mesh enclosure at the weekend.

Possibly the only cross-eyed monkey in the country, its keepers feared it would struggle to survive without proper care.

The primate has spent her whole life at the park and head keeper Trent Burton told The Daily Telegraph yesterday she would find it very difficult adapting to change.

The ABC reports police discovered Cheeky at a home in Wollongong following a call to Crime Stoppers. They are questioning the residents.

Full story here.

Mandrill Cannot Help Showing "The Finger" To Visitors

He has a form of arthritis that causes him to raise his central digit when being watched having his picture taken at his zoo.

‘I was there photographing him, and a father and sons were watching him,’ said Mark Rogers, who captured the finger in full flight.

‘Jackson’s a bit grumpy and really doesn’t like being photographed, but what he likes even less is people shouting at him.

‘The father tried to make fake ape sounds and Jackson raised his hand with the finger extended.

‘The entire crowd watching him then laughed out loud and the father quickly stopped making the noise.’

Mr Rogers added: ‘I did find out later that the mandrill had arthritis in that finger. I can’t help but wonder if he used that to his advantage.’

A spokesman for San Francisco Zoo, where Jackson lives, said the baboon does not intend to offend.

‘He doesn’t usually swear at our visitors but at least he made people laugh as usually he hates the attention,’ he added.

Full story here.