Off the Streets and Back to the Forest
September continued as a hot month with cold days so we continued the live insect and iced food enrichments this month. Femke from JAAN came on September to observe the monkey group and evaluate their readiness for release. There were three reported sightings of Topeng Monyet this month and also a report of a monkey that was going to be eaten which was investigated by one of our senior care workers Anun.
Pre-release observation report:
Date: 29/9/15 Observation Officers: Femke De Haas from JAAN
The group is already at a good stage of readiness. All monkeys are healthy and active. Louise’s submissiveness is not a great concern as there is a natural hierarchy within a monkey group. However there must be a protector for the submissive one and in this case Mario is Louise’s protector.
Mario is still showing stress related behavior (over scratching/grooming), probably due to the construction on the other side of the fence from the enclosure. To reduce stress, enrichments must be improved and increased in frequency, including ensuring there are always tadpoles in the water bowls, and perhaps widening the bowls so the monkeys can swim or get inside.
Food is already very good but the monkeys need more live insects for added protein and also quail eggs at least once a week. If possible, it would be better if there were fruit trees growing within or next to the enclosure so the monkeys can pick fruit and bugs straight from the trees. Unfortunately, at this stage to plant within the enclosure is not feasible unless a full grown tree is transplanted as the monkeys would pull them up. However, it is possible to try planting passionfruit vines or other fruit trees next to the enclosure though they may also be pulled out by the monkeys, there is more of a chance they might survive.
The primary issue is that there is no clear alpha male in the group. It should be Mario but he is not confident enough. Oscar is still too young and hyperactive to be an alpha male as the alpha male is generally calmer, only acting when necessary, for example if a fight among other monkeys gets out of hand, the alpha male will get angry at them so they stop. An alpha male will have fans/followers within the group that are generally younger males who will be more hyperactive (similar to Oscar) and will take over as alpha male when ready.
There is already an alpha female which is a very good indication.
Recommendations for follow up:
- Observations of one continuous hour or more must be done frequently and reports written on the new forms (photocopied from JAAN)
- Endeavor to improve Mario’s confidence by providing better enrichments as suggested above.
Documented Monkey Performance/Captive Monkey Sightings September 2015
10 Sept 2015 : Workers at the cat house DN3/368 Macanan hearing sound of a topeng monyet go past took a video but were unable to leave to track the performer. (see video by Elly)
15 Sept 2015 Topeng monyet sighted at Jangkang Housing Estate, Nogotirto, infront of the reporter’s house at 11.30am. The monkey and the box were the same as the last time she reported in July but she is not sure about the man. (emailed report by Dian Hapsari, no photo/video AFJ could not follow as it was not reported immediately.)
20 Sept 2015 Topeng monyet sighted on bike and followed from Jl Patangpuluhan through the laneways behind Kapten Pierre Tandean. The man realized he was being followed and turned down a lane but I was on motorbike and had to cut engine. By time I came out of the lane, the monkey performer was gone. I asked the people in the neighborhood but no one admitted knowing where the man lived. As there are often sightings here, I suspect the man lives in the vicinity and AFJ will continue investigation to locate him. (Reported by Monique)