Noddy’s return and Neo’s lost weekend

Noddy’s Return

Some months ago the Green group lost two of its members. Larsson and Noddy, both adult males, left the group to go on their own adventures. Where they have been wandering and what they have been doing is a mystery and we can only make guess to as what they have been up to. But for one of these macaques there is a simple answer that will almost certainly be true, Noddy caused havoc. We can be sure of this as that is just about all that Noddy ever does. But now Noddy has returned to his friends in the green group to cause mayhem with them once more. Noddy is a perplexing monkey. He seems to have the boundless energy of an infant and is almost constantly on the move, this hyperactivity can get him into plenty of bother. If he is not found sandwiching with other males, or irritating females then you can pretty much guarantee he’s socialising with the infants. There is nothing better for Noddy then giving piggy back rides to the youngest members of the group all over the forest.

Noddy and the Infants at play

These little guys can match Noddy’s energy and seem to enjoy being carted around the forest as a backpack. But for the older group members, as much as they like him, he can get too much and inevitably tempers bubble over. When a fight kicks off and Noddy’s around it will have either have been caused by him or he’ll get himself involved. He gets into trouble with the males, the females and has even been known to get into scraps with juveniles!

Click here for a video Noddy and Mac embracing from Tom Smith on Vimeo.

Although he’s a handful and increases our workload we have all missed Noddy and are welcoming his return. Now we are eagerly awaiting the return of our other lost male Larsson, we all hope he’ll find his way back to the Greens soon.

Neo’s lost weekend

One Friday our research team became very anxious at the fact that a female member of the green group was not seen all day. Every time we meet up with the Macaques we take a head count of all monkeys to make sure everyone’s present but on this distressing day another monkey was missing…

Neo resting in the sun

Neo is one of the lower ranked females of the green group and is sometimes subjected to bullying from the other members of the group which means she only get any peace when shes by herself. She can be often found on the periphery of the group but at this time she could not be found anywhere, perhaps she had been forced away and had become lost? What made the situation worse was that bad weather was forecast for the next few days. Where was Neo and how would she survive these cold winter nights on her own?

Fresh snow fall in the forest

An agonising weekend passed and the first true snow of winter came, with great difficulty we trekked into the forest to find the Green group and hopefully with Neo amongst them. But after a tentative search we had failed to find her anywhere. The monkeys seemed at ease as if nothing was amiss but we were all worried, hoping that her fluffy head would soon pop out from the snow covered trees.

The day carried on and it wasn’t until the afternoon when the monkeys suddenly stopped feeding on acorns and dragged themselves from their  sun bathing to create a great commotion. Yelling and screaming was heard coming from one corner of the group and they all converged on an open area on the edge of the woodland. All the researchers had little idea as to why this had started and what the reason was until a distant cry was heard from afar. The silhouette of a monkey was spotted amongst the trees on the other side of the opening and after a dash across the snow covered glade it was confirmed to be our lost Neo. After some very relieved yelps were passed between her and the distant greens she calmly trotted back to the monkeys she knows as her friends and family.

Neo's crossing the snow back to the group

How Neo was lost and where she had been on her lost weekend will remain a mystery but we are thankful that she was strong enough to survive the frigid mountains and find her way home.

Tom Smith

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