Erica, our orphaned monkey here at the Colobus Trust, has been spending the vast majority of her two months here in the company of humans. Now that she is getting bigger and more independent it is important that she spends less time with humans and more time with monkeys.
As part of the process or her being released into the wild, Erica has been spending more time in the rehabilitation cages with our older rescued Sykes monkey, SF1. They get on very well and so far have been happy to spend a few hours or more in each other’s presence. They play, jumping around on the ropes and branches that are there as part of their enrichment, as well as learning how to groom.
Above: Erica and SF1 eating in the cage
Our eco-volunteer Becky has been working on Erica’s tree-climbing skills and ensuring that the orphan has confidence in her abilities so that she climbs higher and more independently. Becky is also finding ways of introducing Erica to the food that she would eat in the wild, such as neem fruits.
We will build up the time that Erica spends in the cage and in the trees over the next month or so, in order that she relies less on human contact. The whole process of her release is likely to take up to a year, after which she will hopefully be fully wild.
Keep checking the blog for more updates on Erica and SF1!
The Colobus Team
The orphaned baby Sykes monkey that Andrew reported on back in July is doing very well. After finding out she is in fact a girl, not a boy, the monkey has been renamed Erica instead of Eric!
After her initial struggle to survive, Erica has been going from strength to strength. In her first few weeks at the Colobus Trust, Erica was only drinking formula milk. However, in the last month we have added non-acidic fruits and vegetables to her diet. Her favourites are definitely mango and cucumber! What’s more, Erica has been venturing out into the trees at the Trust, exploring what she likes to eat in the wild. She was timid at first when it came to venturing on to the branches, but with a little tree-climbing on our part, she was soon clambering through the vegetation. The volunteers at the trust all enjoy being surrogate mothers to Erica, and take it in turns to have her sleep with them in order that she doesn’t become too attached to one person. In spite of this, our volunteer Michaela always gets preferential treatment from Erica!
Erica gets acquainted with the trees
Whether she is leaping around playing, suckling on an earlobe or lip, giving warning calls when there are baboons in the garden or even when she wants someone to groom her, Erica ensures that life here is always entertaining!
Watch out for an update on Erica’s next steps…..