Taking care of the vervet babies
The morning shift is always the busiest shift when you are appointed this job. Well, I may say job but it doesn’t feel like a job at all more a privelage really. You can’t start your day without saying hello to these little munchkins of course. First we have the two tiny ones Olivia and Kuvu. Olivia we know for sure that she’s female but we still have to wait for Kuvu’s exact sex. You can’t see it until they are a bit older. That’s how little Rob in the other room has a boy’s name when in fact she’s a girl. And what a sweety!! She loves to sit with her head underneath your armpit and purs like a cat. It’s not the exact same sound but pretty close. Rob shares her room with the eldest of them all, Milo, Thompson and Gizmo. At first glans they all look alike but you can tell them apart. Milo of course because he’s the biggest and you can definitly feel the difference when he jumps unto your head or back 🙂 Gizmo is the smallest and has a face that’s a bit flatter than the others. Rob has big round eyes and she’s also the first to come and jump on me and Thompson is the one that always clings to Rob.
Once I have said my goodmornings the actual work can start. Now, I am never alone in there as we need to be at least with 2 people to do all the work.
Feeding them their milk is the first thing that needs to be done. YES it needs to be done as the babies sure let you know that they are hungry by that time (7am). The two youngsters get 15ml a bottle and the 4 older ones get 35ml a bottle. Once that is given it’s time to cut up the fruit and veggies. Again, the babies share 100g and the other’s 300g. And no need to say that they love it!!
Oh yes and if you are in charge of the 4 vervets you also have to take care of Paul.. a local bird that’s some kind of robin and well a bit of a nuisance really. We need to feed him worms and a lot of them! So worm hunting is one of your chores. Armed with a tin can, pincet, machete you go around the grounds here to collect some. Every two hours he gets about 5-7 all depending on how fat they are 🙂
Back to the monkeys.
Cleaning is the next big part of the job. You start off with scraping their poop from the floor and I am telling you.. there can be a lot of it! Here we need to keep an eye out for possible signs of illness. When the poop has a strange color or is very diareah-like it has to be reported and the amound of mango has to be reduced in their diet.
After poop-scooping we go around with the broom to sweep all their mess together: branches of the trees that they have been playing it (they are too young to eat it), left-over fruit and veggies,.. It has to be clean. And I believe every other day their enclosures have to be cleaned with detol.
In the mean time we have to start on the laundry.. African way of course. There’s no washing machine here so all the towels, and there are a lot of them, have to be handwashed. We just put them in buckets, put some detergent over it, boiling hot water and let it sit for a few hours. Afterwards we need to rinse them very well and hang them to dry. The latter not being easy as it’s the rainy season now and eventhough it’s very hot it’s also very humid and sticky. So getting them dry is a pain in the..
During all these chores we must not forget the time as every two hours there’s someone who needs milk/solids.
During all this hard work we do get to spend time with the babies of course. Especially the little once as they still need a lot of body contact.
Every time they are fed or if anything is noticed it all has to be note
d down so that the peope who work the shift after you know what’s been happening. And of course also very important for our vet Jasper.