Tuesday, March 31, 2009

I don't know what happens to injured monkeys in the wild.

A Japanese proverb says, "Even monkeys fall from trees," and I mentioned this the other day; what does happen to monkeys in the wild, when they fall? Monkeys break bones, as this article discusses; in the wild, however, surgeons aren't available to repair useless arms.

Nature's brutal, of course, and the obvious answer is that any serious injury shortens a wild animal's life considerably. But we think of monkeys and other primates as being more like us, so I'd like to know: do monkeys take care of each other when they're injured? Do they accommodate their weaker companions, or do they abandon them or prey on them? Anybody know?

Dizzy and I are back in Washington, still waiting to hear about the next step in this process. Frustrating beyond words. I'm working, but feel disconnected and disoriented, distracted by anxiety.


Michael Schwartz said...

Apparently, according to The Monkey Wars by Deborah Blum, wild monkeys "care for each other, grooming, cleaning each other's wounds, babysitting children." I'm guessing that extends to broken bones, too.

AnswerGirl said...

I find that reassuring -- and now I will have to find that book. Thanks, Mike!