We had a really busy January and February. First I had to finish classes at the university, then on the 8th of February my father came to Lima and took me to Chile for 2 weeks of holiday. We visited the highlands and the Atacama desert, which was quite a change from the Amazon!
At the beginning of January we were called by a fishermen who had captured a manatee—last year a politician had asked them to do so and promised he would buy it. But that man, the regional president, lost the election and also the intention of buying a sea cow. The fishermen had caught the manatee and put it into a little hole in the mud-too small for it, so the tail remained outside. When they called us, it was to tell us that they had a sick manatee.
We had no intentions of buying the animal—but they wanted to sell it—telling us that the politician had offered 1000 soles, which is about $300 US.
After several days the men called again telling us the animal didn’t want to eat anymore. It had been in the mud hole about three weeks before we transported it to Pilpintuwasi. One photo is of its injured tail/fin.
Some friends from Germany, who visited Pilpintuwasi in 2005, helped pay for the transport and gave some money to the fishermen who wanted to get at least some recompensation for having it kept.
In honor of those friends—Marion, Sabine and Klaus—the manatee is now called Marbino. Klaus didn’t get a part, but the “o” is because the Manatee is a male. At first Marbino was very shy, but is now fine and losing his fear a bit, although we still don’t see any more of him than his nostrils when he eats. We usually don’t even tell our visitors that there’s a manatee in the pond so they won’t be disappointed because they can’t see it.
We also have another newcomer—a baby Saddleback Tamarind. The little monkey was left on New Years’s Eve by a little girl from Padrecocha. She told us that her brothers had killed the parent who had been carrying it, and she didn’t know how to feed it. The first weeks Wicky, as we called it, stayed inside the house because she needed food every 3 hours. She is doing very well. Now that she doesn’t need as much milk, and we also want her to get more independent, she is outside and she has two stepmothers! Tony, the pickpocket, and Zecke the female Sakimonkey, take turns in carrying Wicky around and teaching her what to eat, how to climb etc.
I have to go to see our veterinarian. Lola has problems. She had an operation ten days ago, but she isn’t healing well. We are quite worried as it would be very difficult to sedate her again. We hope she gets better soon.
Best wishes from all of us.
PS: In this month’s edition of the German magazine GEO, there’s a report about red Uacaries, and almost all the pictures in the magazine show our Chavo. There’s also a picture of little Pauly. Maybe one can see it on the internet too.
The Saki Monkey is one species of the New World monkeys, which is a part of the genus Pithecia. These monkeys are recognized by their small size and their long bushy tails. They are also distinguishable due to their furry but rough skin, their grey or sometimes reddish brown coloring, their naked faces, and their hooded heads. Saki Monkeys are quite serious looking.