I was almost, but not quite, witness to a very happy event in Don Chao Poo Forest yesterday. I was near the third gate at 6pm watching the troop we call Troop 3 preparing to go to roost in the trees. Most of them had gone already but about 50 remained. Emerging from the undergrowth and sitting on the edge of the little road that runs from our bin to Gate 3 was — little Humpy! I first posted about her HERE last November and then on 12 December I was proud to announce HER PREGNANCY along with this photo:
So, last night she sat herself down on the roadside, legs even further apart than in the pic above. She seemed unconcerned that I was taking a close interest in her, but I don’t think she had the strength to move away anyway. After a few minutes she was convulsed by what looked like a silent hiccup but was a contraction, I guessed. And then another. Then she lay down. Over the next 15 minutes or so she sat up three times but each time she keeled over again, rather than lay down. Sitting up, she let out little whinnying noises but no other monkey came to her aid; in fact, they seemed to be deliberately ignoring her (unlike me). I supposed that perhaps she was calling out something like “Leave me alone! I’m having a baby!”
The fourth time she got up she moved towards the further side of the road but only made it to the middle. She stayed there for about 5 minutes, by which time there were only two other monkeys which had not gone up into trees for the night. They went, and Humpy slowly made it across the road and into the undergrowth. It was 6.35 pm and fully dark now so I left her to get through the night as best she could.
This morning I was back in the same spot at 7 am and so were about 25 monkeys, but no Humpy. And then at 7.32 I saw her sitting in the middle of the road again. CLUTCHING HER LITTLE BABY! Not very scientific of me, but I almost had a little tear, I was so glad the two of them had made it.
And here they are:
It was noticeable that she soon found some company, unlike the previous night:
So this is one monkey whose date of birth we will always know. I just hope that the baby is a female and so will stay with her mother.