As you might be aware, we are currently in birth season. However this year, we have got a quite strange birth season.
First, the birth seasons in the previous years used to occur at the end of March, around the 20th. This year, the first birth in the tourist group occurred the 5th of April, two weeks later. That’s not too worrying as several factors such as environmental, social or physiological conditions might influence the delivery period.
Within a month, we had the great chance to welcome 6 newborn infants. Unfortunately, wasabi lost her newborn after 3 weeks for unknown reasons and Windy had a dead newborn infant the day she delivered. This is sadly frequent for the first newborn infant; there is a higher percentage of death.
And that’s it! Out of 11 adult females, only 6 delivered. For a month, we are still waiting for an additional member in the group but nothing. We also noticed that the females were getting slimmer with no sign of pregnancy.
I know thatBarbarymacaques can still deliver in June, but as our curiosity could not wait any longer, we decided to buy some pregnancy tests. And here we are, in the field, trying to collect early morning urine from our 5 females. It is so exciting to discover if the monkeys are pregnant, more so than we were expecting.
Ryan and Celia anxiously waiting the result.
The first test was run on Saffron, the dominant female. As you can witness on the pictures, it was the 5 longest minutes that we have experienced. And the result falls on, not pregnant. Then few days after, we did 3 other tests on other females, all negative. Such a disappointment!
We will carry on the test on the last female and wait several weeks to be sure that no newborn infant comes. We will let you know if anything happens.
Saffron tries to cheer up with a lot of food!