Sunday, February 24, 2013

Woman acts as surrogate mother for baby night monkey

Colombian mother-of-two, Martha Silva, has taken on the role surrogate mother to a baby night monkey in the neonatal unit of the Bogota Wildlife Reception Centre. Night monkeys are so named because of their nocturnal lifestyles.

Like humans, the monkeys live in a family unit, with a mother, father and any siblings. At the beginning of their lives, they live for months hanging to the back of their parents while they fly through the trees. So, if a monkey is orphaned at the beginning of its life, it cannot be released into the wild. It also cannot form a new family or be adopted by another one.

That's where Ms. Silva comes in. Like a surrogate mother, she carries the babies around in a wool pouch. He is with her for 24 hours a day, nestled inside her coat or lying beside her while she sleeps. Every three hours, she feeds the monkey with a syringe, filled with milk and vitamins.

YouTube link.

After the baby monkey grows, he will be placed in a cage with another night monkey. If they are all right staying in the same cage, the next step will be to introduce them in the wild with a monkey group. Silva says that, after she lets her monkeys go, she never hears from them again. She is okay with that though. She compares it to human children - when you release them, they are in their natural habitat.

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