Finding dead monkeys in the forest is a fairly common event. We estimate that on average 5 o5 6 monkeys are killed every month, most of them by traffic on the road outside. Newborn infants are also vulnerable and seeing a mother dragging her dead baby around is a distressing experience but one that we see quite frequently. Since the beginning of January there have been 3 confirmed deaths, one a mature female with no sign of any injury, a new-born infant that was possibly still-born, and a sub-adult male that unfortunately I found dying.
Here is how I found him:
The lower part of his rib cage was exposed and flies were already very active on his body. I thought at first that he was already dead and when I saw very slight movement of his abdomen I assumed that this was caused by flies or maggots. But then he made a small twitching movement in an attempt to brush off flies. I continued watching him and he opened his eyes and started to make an enormous effort to move. Eventually, he managed to take up this position:
At this point I left him for a few minutes in order to secure my bicycle and when I returned he had moved again:
Seeing his wound more fully there was no doubt that it had not been caused by another monkey but by a dog, and I recalled that on several recent days I had seen a pair of dogs hunting in the forest.
I decided to move him out of the sun and away from the very exposed spot where I found him. Now, on several occasions when I have attempted to move a dead monkey from the road, I have been very aggressively surrounded by many monkeys, to the point that I have always decided not to move the body until there were no other monkeys around. There were ten or so monkeys within about 5 – 10 metres but when I lifted this little monkey not one of them showed any interest at all. The injured monkey himself froze, or did not have the strength to struggle, and I carried him in this upright position and left him sitting in the shade on a pile of leaves beneath a bush. I hoped he was more comfortable there. When I saw him again a few hours later he was lying down, and by the next morning he has died in that same position. I wish I could have done more for him, but in reality I think I did all that was possible.