Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Monkey Walk

In cooperation with NParks, NTU, and the Jane Goodall Institute of Singapore, Dr. Gumert and I are going to start leading a monkey walk at Bukit Timah.  The walks will be open to the public, and are intended to educate people about the monkeys- their situation as animals living in close contact with humans, their behaviors, and their individual uniqueness.  People often lump the monkeys together as one big thing, and are surprised to learn that the monkeys we study are each individuals with names, generally easily identified.  Last weekend, we did a practice run for the monkey walk, and it went pretty well.  The group is pretty lovable right now, with all those sweet little infants hanging around.  For your enjoyment, here are the seven infants of the Hindhede group.
Nad, the highest-ranking female, takes her baby on a backwards pony ride.
Motherhood makes Goldmoon tired.
Izzy's baby Ivan has grown fast over the past couple months, and spends lots of time exploring on his own now.
Julia's baby is the newest addition to the group
Sunny's a very protective first-time mother.
Penney's baby is adorable and energetic.
Keira's baby, holding on tight

And it's looking like we'll have an eighth pretty soon- Camille's baby belly is starting to bulge!  I'm happy to see her pregnant again.  Her last baby, Dora, was killed by a car and it just about broke my heart.
Preggy Monkey

The monkeys were hanging out along Hindhede Road- not the most scenic spot for a nature walk- but even so, I think the monkey walk trial run went well.  The monkeys were active and in a spot where they were easy to observe, so everyone got to see the babies, and to witness some interesting behavior, including Annette's power-line acrobatics.
Monkey Walk
Agile Annette

As a special bonus. we spotted a lovely bird flitting around the trees super fast, almost like a hummingbird.  When we got home and looked it up, we discovered that it is a crimson sunbird.  This pretty little thing is actually the national bird of Singapore!  Apparently many people thought it was a suitable bird to represent Singapore, since the country is sometimes referred to as the "little red dot." 

Adorable baby monkeys and colorful birds- not a bad day!  If you're interested in attending a monkey walk, keep checking the blog- I'll update the next time we have one!