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Way Downstream …

Hit by car, protected monkey healed by strangers

        The new issue of the journal Primates has a monkey tale that has experts shaking their heads.

            It’s the story of a Barbary macaque named Pipo, who was hit by a car in a Moroccon national park. Given that there are only 10,000 of these creatures left, the people of Monkey Watch keep an eye on them.

            Pipo was in bad shape after he was struck, bleeding from the head. Other macaques happened along, upset and screaming at his misfortune. They let no one near him.

            Pipo managed to scramble up a tree. He seemed to be passing out, but a male juvenile macaque climbed to his side, grooming him. When the other monkeys left, that good Samaritan stayed at Pipo’s side. That was a Tuesday.

            On Thursday, again alone in the tree and screaming, Pipo was joined by another young monkey and an adult male, who was observed carefully inspecting the injury. They took Pipo with them. He stopped screaming.

            For four months, Pipo stayed with the monkey clan. The sojourn was unusual as macaques are territorial. They nursed him back to health until he could return to his family.

            “He seemed to be socially well integrated in the foster group and was often seen grooming, playing and socializing with others,” the journal reports.

            Zoologist Liz Campbell, who wrote the paper, says the story of Pipo is important because macaques often get poached in the illegal trade of endangered monkeys.

            “Rehabilitation and release into wild foster groups … is a promising strategy,” she wrote.