Friday, April 03, 2009

Snow Monkeys!

Photos from the snow monkey corral, taken last spring by the center's photographer.

Unfortunately there aren't any good photos of my favorite monkeys, the dominant males. Next time they need to get someone out there who knows the animals. Especially because the big guys are a)very impressive looking and b) have the most personality.

My favorite snow monkeys:

Trapper. At 35 years old, Trapper is 110 in monkey years. He ambles around the corral as he likes, and whenever he plops down on the ground a cadre of middle-aged and older females gather to groom him. He has a bright-red face, ghostly gray fur, and a short, compact body with long limbs that make him look a bit like gibbons ape. Trapper was apparently the dominant male in the corral for several years back in the 1980s.

Mojo. The Big Mo is huge, over sixty pounds when we last weighed him. Built like the proverbial brick shit house, Mojo was top dog until he lost interest in fighting and mating. Food became his passion, and he now has a belly that comes close to dragging on the ground when he walks. Mo became such a gourmet that he neither seemed to notice nor care when Alphie took over.

Alphie. Alphie is proof that it's not the size of the monkey in the fight, but rather the size of the fight in the monkey when it comes to dominance. Not the biggest male in the corral, Alphie rules over the other 300 animals by sheer force of personality. Most days, however, he practices a hands-off philosophy when it comes to leadership, only periodically punking the second-tier males to remind them who's boss. Alphie has a distinctive sway back that makes us suspect that he is either Trapper's grandson or great grandson.

Bluto. B is the Adonis of the snow monkey corral. Perfectly muscled and with a silky, black coat of fur, Bluto looks like a miniature gorilla.

Post Script 4 April: Appropo snow monkeys, two coworkers on the other side of the campus accidentally released a harem breeding group of nine snow monkeys yesterday. Oops. Apparently one of the animals even left the Center, which is a first. Not a good day. Oh well, I was downtown taking care of my university application, so I missed out.

No comments: