The 2013-2014 baby baboons Jiroux, Essie, Rita, Jessie, Marley, Shiloh, Sunshine, Logan, Bristow, Mordecai, Ariel, Ethan, Felix, George, Wu-Kong, Lily, Bonnie and Becky have entered the final stage of rehabilitation before the baboon release this year.
On Monday at 10:50 am the door to the camp was opened for the first time. The usual trouble makers came in right away with some new trouble makers this time. These included Louis, Footloose, Duck-Foot, Josi, and new trouble makers like Jelly Bean. Some came in just to check out the new guys and to be friendly like Lana, Ocean, Sebabah, AL and Shirel. Some came in just to sit in the seldom open space - Bankok, Peter, Rachel, Jabba and other adults. The two babies born in the enclosure also paid a visit early on.
The first few minutes were as usual quite chaotic. There was heavy teasing and pulling and pushing and lots of screaming, but this died down pretty quickly. Bonnie eyed her old chums early on and high-tailed it out of the intro, over to the Jurgens side, and was hardly seen again. She was seen hanging out with many of her former youngsters that she knows throughout the day, and later in the day even with some of the adults. She kept trying to present to Peter, who was not interested and smacked her a few times. Her ego was a bit bruised but she was otherwise unharmed.
The rest of the intro group was less eager to leave the safety of the intro than Bonnie however. The first to test the waters were low ranked males Ethan, Felix and Mordecai, and middle/high ranked females Ariel and Sunshine. Ethan led the pack of low ranked boys outside with impressive confidence, considering he was such a sad soul when he first arrived. The three boys spent most of the day in the pool, spinning circles in front of the door, and making new friends, only returning to the intro when something scary happened. Mordecai was equally inpressive, as he recieved head trauma as a baby and clung to volunteers at any opportunity for a very long time. He screamed the most when it was his time to sleep outside, yet he was one of the bravest when faced with this new adventure.
Dominant male of the intro group, Jiroux, was tougher than previous dominant males. He was tested a lot by some big males in the beginning, who often go for the higher ranking ones first. Jiroux hung back a bit but once Mordecai, Ethan and Felix looked happy outside he thought it might be ok. So did Logan, Bristow, Becky and Shiloh. Lily, Jessie and Rita were the most reluctant to venture out, and Wu-Kong, George and Marley only made brief darts in and out in the beginning.
There was a lot of positive interaction between the intro group and the other more recent intro groups, including the last group (Ginger, Eric, Sophia, Mango, Joey, Noam) and the one before that (Rocky, Jelly Bean, Lana, AL, Mac, Sebabah, Ocean...). However, the babies were quick to return all at once back to the intro if there was one false move made by the established group.
It was decided by 6pm that Bonnie could stay outside but the rest would spend the night back in the intro enclosure.
We opened again at 10am the following day. By 12pm they were all our of the enclosure. But later in the day the 3-4 year old males and females started getting a bit rough. Jessie, Rita, George, Wu-Kong and Lily barely set foot outside. Ethan, Mordecai, Bristow, Logan and Jiroux were still quite happy outside and Felix was so happy we barely saw him. Ariel, Becky and Sunshine were all more reserved about going out.
By 6pm it was decided again that they would stay inside except for Bonnie but to our surprise, Felix and Jiroux refured to come back and nestled in for the night in a nearby tree.
On day three, Felix, Jiroux and Bonnie were quite happy in their new space, and the rest of the intro group seemed ready to try again. The door was opened at 11am and this time things were much better. Most of them went out right away, and at many times they were all out of the enclosure at once, more than previous days.