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This is how baboons take care of their babies

This is how baboons take care of their babies

CLOSE your eyes then take your minds deep into the tropical savannah of Lake Manyara National Park where the following scene is unfolding itself.

A fully pregnant monkey is desperate and unable to move on with her daily activities, probably because she is experiencing labour pains.

Her face expression explains she was experiencing labour pains and according the rule of her community she must do it on her own or die, the pregnant monkey was among twenty or so baboons but none of them were seriously concerned.

Finally, before your eyes the time was up and the painful drama starts, she is forced to rest on her four limbs on an old fallen log, then she sees you but with time running very fast she just ignores your presence, from your minds what is happening tells you that she is going through pain as the mechanism starts to process of delivering her baby and finally before your eyes manage to do it.

The mother, though looking a bit tired but not quite exhausted, immediately rejoined her community of baboons who were busy scavenging the green forest for food.

None of the other baboon really cared or showed signs of serious concerns when the delivery case was in progress. Even the leader of the pack, hefty looking boss (who could have been responsible for the pregnancy), moved about searching for anything to eat.

According to observations, the reproduction process of monkeys can be full of rituals and this depends on the many species we may be observing. The baboons or velvet monkeys usually mature between four or five years of age.

The female will usually get attracted to the biggest and strongest males and readily surrender herself to the sexual whims once she is in her sexual heat. All by herself, the pregnant female monkey conducted her own delivery and it appeared to be a successful delivery case of a new baby.

As you are still standing there another mysterious scene takes place, in less than ten minutes, the monkey lifts up her one foot and with full force after several attempts, pushes the baby out.

Balancing herself carefully on two limbs, she grasps the baby with her hand, and places it against her stomach.

Surprisingly, the baby baboon, wet and with traces of blood and there, clasps intuitionally her mother tightly. While the baby was safe, the mother grabbed her own placenta and ate all of it. She reached for the umbilical cord, snapped it with her sharp teeth to free the baby.

It must have been a ritual or a traditional for the monkey to eat every bit of the bloody placenta.

The monkey’s sharp canines tore apart the placenta and gulped all that had come out from her stomach. The mouth was covered with blood and the liquid oozing out of the sack. And again she paid attention to her baby, using her tongue, cleaned the tender body of her newly born baby and made sure that the baby was clean.

She leaked the baby almost everywhere, ensuring that there was no trace of blood or impurities which could attract insects. The baby, clinging innocently and obediently against the mother’s stomach while she performed her motherly duties which normally nurses or midwives do in the delivery room of hospitals.

On the other side, deep in the savanna a female velvet monkey is able to undergo production after the age of approximately five years, mostly depending on the kind of food they manage to get in the wilderness.

In captivity, their reproductive organs are more active because of the healthy food they get from their captors.

The gestation period for a monkey is usually five and half months. Normally a female gives birth to single baby and suckle their mother’s breast for milk for almost four mouths.

Young monkeys are usually very social and playful. Other monkeys of more or less similar ages join in to play and jump about.

Within the group, sometimes it could be between 20 to 50 monkeys, male monkeys would want to quench their sexual appetite. This is where there will be plenty of conflicts and physical fights with plenty of noises and injuries too.

A male monkey may challenge the leader of the group and if he wins, he will assume the role of the dominant leader.

The loser may create his own group and detach themselves to lead a separate group. Sometimes, out of sheer rage and jealousy, the dominant male may kill the young males who may pose a threat to the leadership of the dominating monkey.

Among the group, the leader will always be ready to mate with the females will be docile in surrendering herself to the sexual act if her sexual chemistry demands.

Please observe the picture which shows the curiosity of the male who wants to confirm the female’s readiness to conduct the sexual act. The age of maturity can vary among various species but generally it is between 4 to 8 years of age. Females tend to mature earlier that males.

Once the sexual act takes place, it takes approximately 160 days (just above five months) for the arrival of the new baby. Monkeys give births every couple of years. The mother monkey is always an excellent mother in the initial stages. The male monkeys will once in a while come in to play with the young ones.

The infants may be seen to be clinging on the stomach of the mothers and as they mature they ride on the backs of their mothers. The mother takes all care to fend her and feed her and sometimes also defends her baby in threatening situations. It is common to see the process when the young ones undergo basic training under the watchful eyes of the mother. Just like humans, mothers can scold the baby if they do something wrong.

The young ones are always ready to look for food and their initiative will make them self-reliant as soon as months pass-by. There are many species of monkeys but talking about the velvet monkeys who are in plenty in the forests, game reserves and parks of Tanzania, they are normally medium sized primates with greenish or silvery gray fur and black face and black hands and feet. Male monkeys.

Both sexes have long tails which are well put to use when they balance themselves on branches or critical points. The monkeys are classified as vermins and are very harmful and destructive during harvesting seasons. They are particularly destructive when the vegetables are in their tender stages.

This is one reason why monkeys are considered as pests and do not require permits to shoot them down. It is a different story in India where, according to the Hindu Religion, the monkey “langur” is considered as Hanuman, the monkey god.

Followers of this religion consider monkeys as sacred and harming them in any way or killing them may cause serious issues. Hence monkeys in India are protected under religious laws. Monkeys are omnivorous animals (meaning they can eat plants or animals). They are very fond of tender tree barks, flowers, fruits and legumes.

Some monkeys look for charcoals so as to get away with plant toxins. In wild forest life, monkeys are sometimes prey to large animals like leopards, pythons, crocodiles and eagles.

rstanslaus@yahoo.com

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Author: REGINALD STANSLAUS MATILLYA

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