Kiness has lived his whole life as pet. He was a sweat little vervet when he was younger, but eventually the sweetness passed. He was living with a family with children and the formal owner told the wildlife center that he was biting the children so he needed to give him away. Although it is probably true that this vervet was biting the children, still we don’t know what the children did to him that would make him bite. It is a scary thought that these older vervets are living amongst children, since they can do nasty things if they want to. This vervet was overall a really nice monkey and was really a part of that family. However, a monkey should not be living with humans. A monkey should be living in the wild, in a group with other vervets.
Kiness arrived at the center in October 2012 and after a period in quarantine he was placed near another group of vervets in order to get him familiarized with other vervets. Since he has never lived with other monkeys, he obviously did not know how to interact with other vervet which stressed him out. He unfortunately developed stereotype behavior like pacing and sucking his forearm a lot. He even sucked his forearm so often, that he managed to get an irritated spot on his arm which needed to be treated with antibiotics.
The last couple of months we have tried to integrate him with different vervets in order to see how he will manage and to see whether he could learn any normal monkey behavior. Of course this goes in small steps. First you put another monkey in the enclosure next to him, let them get to know each other and you observe their behavior. Doing observations can be really fun, but can also be exhausting when these monkeys do not do anything. You sit in the steaming heat (if you are unlucky) watching them, getting a glimpse of any positive or negative interactions. With Kiness most of time he did not interact at all through the fence. After putting him together with several different monkeys, he is still having problems socializing with them. At the moment he is with 3 smaller vervets in one enclosure: Dobby, Alvin and Warbaton. Two days ago we finally wanted to start with Bach therapy on him. Unfortunately, something happened that day. Days can be very hectic at a wildlife rehabilitation center, which also makes it a lot of fun if you like to run around and you are fine with changing your plans every one to two hours. Kiness got bitten by probably another vervet from the outside troup since we do not suspect the monkeys that are inside could have done that. On his right hand he had a big laceration and after surgery on another monkey, we rushed to get him in as soon as possible.
There he was, Kiness, who is such a sweet monkey, lost in world he doesn’t know and now with a nasty cut on the upper side of his hand…..This is not good for him….that was the only I could think about…how will he be when he will be put back in his enclosure.
We cleaned the wound, stitched him up and he was allowed to go back in his night enclosure. Since this was a stressful day for him I decided to watch him the following day in order to see how he was doing before I start the Bach remedy. You never know what kind of impact this all have on a monkey and especially Kiness.
Yesterday I noticed that he was definitely more jumpy, less at ease then before and more stressed….This made me change the original composition I made of the Bach remedy. Today we can finally start treating him with this new composed mixture of Bach remedies. Let’s hope that it will provide Kiness the comfort he needs so he can learn more quickly and starts socializing more with other vervets instead of being stressed……