|A large family enjoying some bonding time|
As you stare through your binoculars, it’s hard to believe that what is playing out in front of your eyes is an actual Colobus family and not an American soap opera. There is drama, controversy, fun and games that will captivate your attention for hours on end.
|It's a monkeys life|
There are several families of Colobus that make up this `Bold and the Beautiful’ style drama that you will see on almost a daily basis. The first is known as the ‘Smugglers’ group. This is a crazy group with 4 males and 3 females. Recently we observed one of the females ‘Sallinda’ carrying a white infant ‘Luxs’ who is very cute, and from initial observation everything looked very rosy and happy. However the group is chock-a-block full with family conflict and controversy. One of the other adult females ‘Bathilda Effial’ is not happy with how her sister Sallinda is caring for Luxs, so she keeps attempting to abduct her and take her to far away branches, but this is putting Luxs’ safety in jeopardy. Without being able to climb and fend for herself, this bitter fighting has lead to Luxs being wounded and threatens her chances of survival.
|Colobus not looking too pleased to see us|
Then there is the ‘Pemba’ group. Such a fun group to do behaviour surveys on, as the youngest member of the family ‘Pembie’ is one of the cutest black and white infants that you will ever see. Hoping endlessly and swinging from branches for hours on end with his two other older juvenile cousins, he keeps all the older members of the family on their toes. That is until he finally runs out of energy and retires to his mum’s arms for an afternoon nap.
There is never a dull moment in the canopy of Shimoni Forest.
Abby Thomas – Forest Volunteer