2017 Babies

Spocky ♂

DOB: around 05/05/2017
Mother: Dolly, the popular girl always gets it first !
Father: no doubt it’s Grandee as he had been seen tending to him on several occasions to give mum Dolly a much needed break !
Characteristics: Spocky’s eyes are enormous, they’re some of he biggest I’ve seen so far ! His ears don’t stick out like his brother Baty’s but they aren’t far behind ! He has inherited Grandee’s prominent philtrum and notched upper lip too ! All in all he’s one good looking boy and you’d see that when he even’s still crinkled and wrinkled just a few days old !

He’s a looker early in life !

Baty & Spocky – the resemblance isn’t that apparent immediately…

Spocky could almost walk right away the day I first met him, a bit unsteady nonetheless impressive at his tender age of only about 48 hours ! He was curious too and was eager to wriggle free from mum to explore this exciting new world surrounding him !

Let’s go baby !

Wow isn’t he amazing !?

Just a tumble, no big deal !

His growth spurt came in early too he was big boned at birth but boys he really did beef up quickly and became a big boy. By 6 months old he’s almost as big as Dopey and could tackle him and win 50% of the time too ! He’s almost unmatched in his agility for his lots born in 2017, Spunky came second but the gap’s huge !

He’s big boned !

and certainly fearless too !

Spocky & Spunky – Spocky comes out on top !

Stocky’s both the brain and the meat !

Dopey: ” Are you sure ? “

Dopey – never underestimate your challenger !

He’s really good for his age !

He must be special too as he’s among only a handful of babies that I saw paternal care happening ! Grandee absolutely loves him and you really could feel his adoration for his baby son ! I suspect he’s also Baty’s dad but not once did I witness that special chemistry between him and Baty !

Grandee: ” I love my son 🙂 “

He’s destined to become an alpha and it’s the first time that I could say for certain !

He’s getting there – give him a few more years !

Spunky ♀

DOB: around 08/05/2017
Mother: Sally
Father: no idea at all
Characteristics: Spunky probably has long tailed macaque blood in her as her face resembles one – eyes closer together than other babies and a longer, slender face ! She’s almost an exact equal of Spocky in the agility department and she’s just as fearless too ! She was seen climbing tress and railings as soon as her mum wasn’t holding her. A determined girl and mum Sally really had a hard time to stop her from running away ! She’s nosy too and loves to explore and for some reasons she’s always attracted to hang around Bessy despite Bossy’s disapproval ! She did learn her lesson the hard way but she always came back to irk Bossy moments later !

She’s a determined girl and always wants to run away from mum !

Didn’t I tell you she does run away !

Uh oh Spunky you’re too near Bessy again !

Bossy : ” I’ve told you not to bother Bessy, haven’t I ? “

Here we go again !

Bossy holding Spunky by her neck….

and toss her away from Bessy !

I really don’t know much about her family except her mum Sally and sister Spanky had appeared in Dopey’s video once with the latter as the main antagonist 🙂 I do think nowadays Sally is probably one of Bossy’s older daughters which makes Spunky Bossy’s granddaughter and perhaps that’s why Spunky’s fascinated with her baby aunt early on !

Dopey vs Spanky, Spunky’s lil sister 🙂

The family of Sally – they’re actually very sweet !

They must be related otherwise Bossy wouldn’t have tolerated them at such close range !

Bessy could be Spunky’s aunt !

Spunky grooming Bossy ( her grandma ? )!

Bossy grooming Spunky ( her granddaughter ? )

Spunky’s life would have been unremarkable had it not been for the obsession of aunt Dy on her – whom I think is closely related to both Bossy and Sally ( perhaps another older daughter of Bossy – no wonder Bossy is so powerful, in keeping with her status as the matriarch ! ).

Dy, the ” kidnapper ” – she’d be doing so as a very aggressive form of aunting !

Shary holding Spunky as ” captive ” !

According to the literature rhesus macaques, unlike their relative long tailed have not been reported to kidnap but with Dy ( and to a lesser extent another female called Shary ) doing it on Spunky I think we could say kidnappings do occur with rhesus too but they are very rare – at least I hadn’t seen one with the babies born in 2016 at all ! ( Aggy was really only trying to aunt Dopey in my opinion ! )

Is Aggy really another kidnapper ?

Nevertheless Dy’s kidnappings have so far been pretty tame – they were more like long sessions of grooming Spunky against her will 🙂 Had it happened with other less strong-willed babies we probably would have thought nothing of it at all ! With Spunky always struggling to wriggle free from Dy’s grab things sometimes could go horribly wrong !

Dy holding Spunky captive !

Was it an accident ?

Fortunately these ordeals for Spunky went as suddenly and mysteriously as they first appeared. Dy’s craving was really short-lived and her obsession on Spunky only lasted about a month or so. She hasn’t bothered Spunky since !

Spunky at 1 year old now ! She will hang around mum for life !

Charly ♂

DOB: around 08/05/2017
Mother: Lucy, Lizzy’s oldest daughter
Father: unknown
Characteristics: Charly has the darkest coat of all the babies born in 2017, just like his uncle Mickey. It seems all babies from the Lizzy clan have really dark coat ! If you look closely Charly really takes after his mum and he’s really another cute-looking baby to be honest.

He has a very dark coat doesn’t he ?

That’s his mum Lucy – see the resemblance ?

Too bad he’s actually very shy and the fact he’s almost always found glued to mum’s breasts ( until he’s almost a year old ) means there hasn’t been much footage of him doing adorable things like baby-walk or exploring his surroundings and the very few I have are invariably of him crying or demanding to be breastfed no matter he had only been seen to be momentarily off the milk bar seconds ago ! By no means though he’s been pulled back in his development he must have been playing and learning just as hard behind the scene as his development seems to have been just as normal as the other babies, at least physically 🙂

Too bad he’s a mama’s boy 🙂

He’s seen either well tuck up and sleeping…

or dreaming…

and he seldom wanders away from mum…

even when he’s almost a year old….

but he must be doing something too….

Charly: ” Mr. you only see a fraction of my life every week … with all due respect ! “

Oi, be a bit more respectful will you ?

Unlike other babies who mingle with others his best pal seems to be his uncle Mickey and lately if he’s not suckling he’s seen wrestling with Mickey. And he’s grown big, just like his uncle !

His uncle Mickey, now a big boy !

I love a good game with my nephew Charly !

Wow, Charly looks a bit like Richard Gere nowadays !

The Lizzy clan churns out boys who are big but a bit dim so far ….

Milly ♀

DOB: around 20/07/2017
Mother: Lizzy
Father: unknown
Characteristics: Milly inherits a similar darker coat like Charly’s and others’ in Lizzy’s clan. She never really wanders far away from mum at all and the only few times I’ve seen her I could only say for certain that’s Milly, Lizzy’s newest daughter by virtue of her association with mum. She looks a bit like Sally her big sister and I have yet to tell what her character is like – but one thing I’m sure is she loves Lizzy’s milk bar and at the time of writing she’s still nursing like a newborn.

My first impression of Milly – she’s cute isn’t she ?

She looks a bit like Charly and Sally too !

and she’s never far away from mum Lizzy…

but grow she does…

and she looks like a lighter version of her brother Mickey nowadays !

Milly ( L ) and her nephew Charly ( R )

The Lizzy clan is a close-knitted family and they keep to themselves – the only one member from them that we know any better is Mickey and that’s because he was more extrovert and enjoyed being Dopey’s sidekick when he was still a baby 🙂

Those days – Dopey & Mickey were best pals !

Don’t you hate they all grow up ?

Bessy ♀

: 23/05/2017
Mother: Bossy
Father: Cocky
Characteristics: Bessy is Bossy Jr. reincarnated without her flair for mischief and fondness for twigs 🙂 And yes she doesn’t have the weird y-shaped crown parting of her hair nor the long face either – in other words Bessy is actually prettier than her deceased sister but yet we want to see Bossy Jr. in Bessy because we all sorely miss her. It’s kind of unfair to Bessy as we seem to ignore who she actually is, not a substitute….

No Bessy doesn’t have that y-shaped parting of her hair…

nor her sister’s longer face….

she certainly doesn’t seem to like to carry a twig in her hands all the times…

and she certainly isn’t as feisty….

Coz’ she is Bessy, not a substitute of Bessy Jr. !

Had Bossy Jr still been around she’d have loved her baby sister dearly and would have taught her one or two of her tricks 🙂 – I bet the two would really click. Sadly the early demise of Bossy Jr. had left such a sense of insecurity in Bossy’s heart she seemed to have changed in her approach to baby care. Gone was the free rein she had given to Bossy Jr. and in place was an iron grip – and literally so as she would grab her either by her tail, hand or foot at all times and never let her out of her sight 🙁 It seems she wouldn’t let her wander for a feet lest she ‘d disappear !

Bossy kept to herself in the early days when Bessy was born…

Bossy wouldn’t let her guard down…

And kept Bessy close to her at all times…

And she kept a tight grip on her  !

Bessy surely meant everything to her then…

Holding Bessy with her foot...

Holding Bessy by her hand…

Bossy did lose out on a lot of the fun….

While most of her peers could explore freely by 2-3 months old Bessy was still held captive by her mum so much so Bessy’s developmental milestones were seemed to be delayed too ! Bossy didn’t even allow her older siblings to approach her let alone any other outsiders ! Babies who wandered close by would be reprimanded by Bossy right away – a smack and sometimes a toss, quite forcefully too ! Spunky did learn it the hard way but undeterred she kept on coming back until Bossy finally relented a bit 🙂 Kudos to Spunky and true to her name for her indomitable fearlessness ! Still she was awkward with her peers and didn’t really know what she was supposed to do when Bossy finally cut her some slack !

Spunky trying to break down the wall….

Even facing the wrath of Bossy !

Finally she got a bit more leeway…

By then she’d found hanging around with mum to be more preferable…

and it certainly seemed more comfortable too !

But she did eventually find her place and learn the necessary etiquettes quickly. It’s also about the same time when Bossy finally reverted back to her former self with a more conventional approach to baby care. I suspect that Bessy becoming a brat and a cry baby who couldn’t keep away from Bossy’s teats did play a large part and here also came Dy who seemed to have played a pivotal role in curbing Bessy’s bratty behaviour by ” kidnapping ” her and keeping her away from Bossy. Bossy certainly appreciated such breaks and was not in too much of a hurry to claim her baby back !

Thanks for dropping by – Dy’s the Brat Squad !

A rude awakening for Bessy that Bossy might not answer to her at all….

and Dy wasn’t uncaring….

and in time she got used to be “aunted”…

Bessy has come a long way to become who she is now. She’s not mischievous and feisty like Bossy Jr. but she is just as courageous and independent and certainly lives up to Bossy’s expectation to become an heir to the matriarch throne !

It’s time to grow up….

making new friends and allies ( here with Vivy ! )….

to prepare oneself as the rightful heir to the throne…

Larry ♂

DOB: 26/05/2017
Mother: Lancy
Father: unknown
Characteristics: Larry has a bright auburn coat just like Spocky’s and the two have very similar facial features so much so I have often suspected that they might have the same father i.e. Grandee but not once had I observed the same attentions that Grandee has yet to showered Larry with like he had done with Spocky so perhaps they aren’t half-brothers.

Larry with mum Lancy 🙂

Larry is inquisitive by nature and I still remember vividly how he wanted to squirm free from mum to come to look at my camera on several occasions- but Lancy just simply wouldn’t allow it and as soon as he even had made the slightest move she would go grab him and run. She seems to be over-protective and I wonder whether it’d be due to the loss of her girl Lanly last year….

Lancy: ” You’d look but don’t go on your own ! “

Lancy: ” You’d touch but don’t do anything else ! “

Larry: ” There’s not much I’m allowed to do ! “

On rare occasions Larry’s allowed some freedom….

But things seem to have got better lately and Larry is seen often playing with other babies in the trees ! As I only get to see Lancy and her family fleetingly each time I visit and sometimes not at all Larry’d remain one of the lesser known babies to me 🙁

Finally he’s given full rein now he’s one year old !

Spotty ♀

DOB: 12/06/2017
Mother: Stacey
Father: unknown
Characteristics: Spotty is easy to recognise – she has that prominent bald spot on her forehead the day she was born and thankfully that spot has stayed with her ever since. It might have filled up with a bit more hair now but for some reason that circular tuft of hair has a lighter colour and that really makes her stand out !

With mum Stacey – Spotty must have inherited that bald spot from her dad 🙂

From certain angle the bald spot isn’t as obvious….

But it’s there 🙂

Stacey seems to be very confident with Spotty and let her run amok as soon as she’s steady with her legs ! I’d have thought being her first born she’d be more careful with her baby ! Anyway I don’t see much of her because she’s a truly wild girl and she’s always out playing or exploring on her own as mum is often seen by herself alone ! A testament to her adventurous nature was how early she sported scrapes on her forehead – she must have had quite a few tumbles out playing even at that tender age of only a month or so !

She’s already very curious from an early age…

She’s so damn cute with those scrapes on her forehead 🙂

But a naughty girl still wants mum’s grooming ! ( the baby on the right is Charly )

She’s best friend with Vivy and the two are often seen playing together ! Another tomboy Vivy and Spotty are made to be friends for life I think !

With best pal Vivy 🙂

The two are often seen together !

Yeah that spot has got filled up but it still stands out !

Toby ♂

DOB: 24/06/2017
Mother: Tabby
Father: unknown
Characteristics: Toby is one of the cutest babies born in 2017. His big round eyes and round face seem to stay with him even when he’s nearly a year old now !  He’s also very well behaved too and not once had I seen anything bratty from him at all ! He doesn’t pester mum for extra nursing session and seemed to have weaned very well. Kudos to Tabby who’s also first time mum too !

Doesn’t Toby looks angelic ?

He loves his mum, Tabby….

and he’s well behaved from a very early age…

and certainly Tabby has also taught him well !

He’s certainly popular

His mum Tabby is probably related to Gypsy – in fact I suspect she’s Gypsy’s oldest daughter as she seems to be taking a lot of interest in grooming Gypsy and keeping an eye on Knitty too ! It may also explain why Toby loves to hang around with Knitty, his baby uncle ! He certainly loves to play with Knitty and he seems to be a good influence on his uncle too – trying all the time to distract Knitty from getting to nurse and helping to save Knitty’s hair in the process !

Toby with mum Tabby – see the resemblance between Tabby & Gypsy ?

I could see a family connection there !

Tabby certainly cares for both Gypsy & Knitty !

Knotty & Toby – uncle & nephew there ?

Knotty could learn some good behaviour from Toby for sure !

I wish I could see him more often but he is meek and hides in the trees when he sees humans, a bit like Knotty his older uncle !

Toby is nearly one year old now and a bit less shy too !

Nibby ♀

DOB: 28/07/2017
Mother: Haggy
Father: unknown
Characteristics: Nibby like his brother Nony has all inherited mum’s sad eyebrows 🙁 and in all likelihood her prominent high forehead too  though it’s a bit too early to tell !  Big eyes, small face she actually turns out to be the best looking girl, prettier than Vivy and Bessy. I have high hope for her if there’s ever a Miss Monkey Hill contest !

On the day I first met her !

I know she’s cute already 🙂

Her sad eyebrows aren’t as apparent as her brother Nony’s though !

Her brother Nony….

but there’s a hint of those eyebrows here…

Even though mum Haggy has a big family with quite a few grown-up daughters she never seems to be comfortable with the idea of delegating the job of looking after Nibby to them. She is very much a hands-on mum and you’d see how well Nibby has turned out to be.

Haggy does share food with Nibby….

and Nibby’s quite confident from an early age…

Nibby doesn’t mingle as much like Vivy or Bessy with other girls in her year but she certainly is not socially awkward. I think just like the Lizzy and Lancy clans Haggy just likes to keep to themselves too and that must be something Nibby has also learnt.

The Haggy clan also likes to keep to themselves…

Poor Nibby had the most horrible accident of the lot – just before she turned 7 months old she must have caught her arm on a barded wire or a very sharp tree branch in a fall and almost torn away completely the skin on her left arm in the process ! Poor girl didn’t wail nor made a fuss of it ! She’s just so stoic about it ! A testament to their resilience her big gaping wound healed almost completely within 10 days and if I hadn’t told you you wouldn’t even have noticed a scar there !

Poor girl, look at that avulsed skin flap 🙁

Mum Haggy knows the benefit of antimicrobials like defensins and lysozyme in their own saliva…

Libby is amazing !

Look at her left arm – almost scarless ! She’s still a looker !

Knitty ♂

: 23/07/2017
Mother: Gypsy
Father: The Interloper
Characteristics: If monkeys could ever self-propagate by cutting a bit of themselves off and plant it like we could do with cacti I ‘m sure what we end up wouldn’t even come close like an exact replica here that we have with Gypsy and Knitty – my first thought as I laid my eyes on that lil wrinkled thing was : ” Has Gypsy been time travelling – she’s holding her baby-self there ! ”

Yeap, that’s Knitty age @ 24-48 hrs !

You know instantly that he’s Gypsy’s son ! No doubt about it 🙂

It came a bit of a surprise as his father the infamous Interloper  ( yeah that one who swaggered in one day and stole Reddy’s heart last year ) didn’t look like he carries genes that would smothered in silence ! Gypsy must have super strong genes that trump everything !

Gypsy’s travelled back in time !

He looks more like Gypsy than Knotty does !

but he bears no resemblance to his dad the infamous Mr. Interloper at all !

who had a fling with the gullible Reddy in 2017 as well !

But appearance could be deceptive so we’ve learnt. Knitty might not have inherited his father’s striking features ( don’t discount the sudden surge of male hormone yet as we all know what puberty could do to a boy’s appearance ) he has at least his strong-will and boldness. I had thought that we would be witnessing history of his brother Knotty replaying itself again but no it didn’t happen – Knitty is no timid little boy he demands and would never give up until his wish is granted – and in this case unrestricted access to Gypsy’s milk bar and attentions and oddly enough he has succeeded so far 80% of the times ( and I suspect that the better food provision in 2017 also played a part in her apparent change of heart ). Gypsy has found her match and Knitty has so far rewritten the script in Gypsy’s book  – let’s hope it’s permanent for I can’t stomach another Knotty story ever again !

Gyspy could only put up with a baby’s incessant demand for milk for 1 month only…

after which she’d begin to restrict access and …

dump the baby with Aunty plus others to do her job…

It must have come as a shock to Knitty initially…

and he began to cry his heart out for….

mum, mum where are you ?

This is Aunty, she’s Gyspy’s official babysitter…

She’s one of the kindest and most helpful aunts around…

but unlike Knotty Knitty wouldn’t stop crying until mum comes back…

and eventually Gypsy’s learnt she can’t just dump Knitty like she’d with Knotty…

He’s definitely bolder and a lot more strong-willed than Knotty…

Knitty’d have his way with Gypsy… can’t remember seeing it with Knotty at all !

Knitty has more or less a more normal childhood as a result….

He and Knotty often play together….

and he’s known his baby cousin Toby very early on…

From left to right, Toby, Knitty and Knotty 🙂 They play together often too !

But everything comes with a price – Knitty has to repay her milk with his hair. It’s kind of funny to gauge Knitty’s milk intake and frequency by how big and new he sports his bald patches on his scalp 🙂 Gypsy’s the only monkey with trichotillomania that I know  of and her pica for hair means her stomach must be able to digest trichobezoar or else she would have been dead from gastric outlet obstruction years ago !

but everything comes with a price….

Knitty might not be a pretty boy but I have found myself drawn to him more and more. The Gypsy boys are all special in their own way 🙂

Soon Knitty will be 1 year old and by the look of it there ‘ll be another sibling coming too !

Let’s hope Gypsy has changed forever….

Vivy ♀

DOB: 23/07/2017
Father: Grandee
Characteristics: Vivy has really strong facial features and her eyes are dark and piercing too ! She has inherited her mother’s prominent eyebrows and Grandee’s deep philtrum and notched upper lip too. She’s a unique look to her but she’s still a looker !

The day I first met Vivy – she and Knitty were born within hours of each other…

but her strong facial features ‘re apparent early on…

Mum Ridgy is probably high ranking too… but I hadn’t noticed her until Vivy was born 🙁

Those eyes and eye brows !

She’s since caught my attention right away !

You’d see she has a unique look to her 🙂

She’s born about the same time as Knitty and as such she seems to have a special bond with Knitty and she’s often seen trying to comfort him when he’s upset that mum’s milk bar isn’t open to him again ( but of course he always manages to get it open for him eventually, time after time ! )

Vivy is a really good caring girl !

and she really cares about Knitty !

I hadn’t realised she’s also Grandee’s daughter until I saw him shower her with the same love and attention like he did with Spocky on at least two occasions – I have since drawn this logical conclusion that Grandee knows who his kids are and he ‘d seek them out to help with the chores – like babysitting to give their mum a well earned break !

Grandee with her lil girl 🙂

He’s such a good dad to all his kids !

Now you’d see her resemblance to both mum Ridgy and dad Grandee !

She must have inherited the same good genes from Grandee just like Spocky had – she’s as advanced as Spocky and no less as at home with trees and other acrobatic feats !  Extrovert like Spocky she has many playmates – in fact all girls in her year look up to her, including Bessy too !

With Spotty ….

and Bessy ( right )…

but actually all the girls are getting along well with one another !

She’s a very likeable girl and I bet she would be a good sister too ! We’ll find out as mum Ridgy is expecting soon !

I have confidence in her – all Grandee’s kids are decent !

How many babies will Grandee sire this year ?

It will soon be the time of the year again with new members arriving in droves in Monkey Hill.

Last year we had a boom of baby girls 🙂

Indeed the first baby will probably arrive in less than 4 weeks’ time but the baby boom won’t start until a month or so later between June and July.

Baty born in May 2016

My bet again this year is that Dolly will pop the first baby and I’m pretty sure that it will look like either Baty and Spocky again with those big bat ears !

Spocky, brother of Baty born in May 2017. Yes, they both have big prominent ears 🙂

All rhesus macaques are promiscuous and one would assume that a male which plays no part in the upbringing of his offspring would probably has minimum bonding with his babies – but I was pleasantly surprised to find one exception and that is Grandee, one of the co-dominant alphas in our gang who took time to care for his babies born last year – Spocky and Vivy on several occasions. He’s probably better than some human dads and put them to shame !

Grandee with son Spocky
Grandee with daughter Vivy

Grandee is just one exceptional alpha male !

It’s always difficult to know who a baby’s father is – except those of Grandee. This year I’m preety sure though that Taggy, one of the lesser alpha males is the father to Gypsy’s baby if she’s indeed pregnant ! For the others I think we’ll never know 🙂

Got caught together Gypsy & Taggy on several occasions 🙂

We need names for our characters :)

Thank you for your participation and I’m quite overwhelmed with all those names, honestly !

For those who have submitted a list of names without specific instructions I have to make a painful choice to only include those that seem more suiting 🙁

The choice is yours and the polls will decide the names for our characters when I come back next week to check their outcomes 🙂

By the way even though I have included those names that are rather long here but I plead with you not to choose them as they’ll take up a lot of valuable space in my snippets 🙁

Here’s reminder of the characters that need names 🙂

Dopey’s aunt

Which name do you like the most for this rather careless aunt of Dopey ?

Bossy’s sweet son

Which name do you think suit this rather friendly son of Bossy most ?

Knotty’s really loving sister

How about a name for this caring sister of Knotty ?

Stumpy’s matriarch aunt of Ragtag troop

How about a name for the matriarch of Ragtag troop ? Incidentally she's also Stumpy's aunt as well.

Her son now 1 year old

How about a name for her son, a baby cousin of Stumpy ?

The beauty mum

How about a name for this beautiful mother, one of the high-ranking mums in Skull Head's troop ?

and her pretty daughter 🙂

And a name for her cute little daughter ?

The matriarch – she scratches and attacks !

She's feisty and very protective, she's Lil Prince's mum, matriarch of the troop, how about a name for her ?

The grandmother who loves babies 🙂

She adores babies and always tries to help out. She's the granny to all the little ones in this troop 🙂

Don’t feed the baby monkey pet trade !

It’s not just cruelty, it’s an affront to decency. Enslaving an animal to perform against its nature is already shameful enough but this plunge it to a new low .

A nursing monkey begging for money ( picture from JAAN )

Could you imagine the stress to the mother and its infant ? This is not a rare happening, it’s not freak and it’s actually a practice to prey on our heart. It’s an insult to motherhood.

Just a click away and you’ll be aghast at the horrid images of “ Topeng Monyet “ or Dancing Monkey in Indonesia. The practice has no cultural element in it at its present form as it is nowadays a largely unregulated commercial enterprise being run by gangs who rent out to street children, heavily indebted ( hence they work for free ) to perform the monkeys at traffic intersections or along the roadsides. Any money gained for the most part will be taken away by the gang. The kids will learn nothing useful for themselves and will never be able to extricate themselves from their debt, so in a way they are just as unfortunate as their monkeys, those who enslave are themselves slaves as well.

The traditional method to force them to walk upright…. no doubt causing early arthritis to the axial skeleton and related joints not designed to handle the weight of the body this way 🙁

A grown-up monkey cannot be trained. To make a monkey stand upright and learn to perform humanly-like antics the trainer has to start with a baby monkey fresh – each one is ripped from its mother in the wild forest by the poachers and bought from the infamous animal market in Jakarta by the trainer. They are best to train between 7-8 months old for they are more or less developed with good muscles yet still pliable with their joints and ligaments. Nevertheless about half of them still perish during the training to make them walk upright, against their nature. Only successful monkeys could then be rented out but once they hit adulthood many of them will become too aggressive and uncooperative and have to be put down. Some may even end up in restaurants specializing in monkey cuisines. One way or the other their demises are ensured. As their working life is not long, the business relies on the availability of baby monkeys in the animal market to be trained constantly to replace those no longer able to perform. Thus it’s a all about supply and demand.

Monkey babies languishing in a cage waiting for a buyer …

Seeing and experiencing enough cruelties themselves day in and day out I could imagine everyone involved in Topeng Monyet will more or less be despairing at humanity themselves. Cruelty begets more cruelty, it will never lead them out of poverty.

Thanks to the work of JAAN ( Jakarta Animal Aid Network ) this practice of Topeng Monyet has now been banned in Jakarta, the capital as well as in the provincial cities of Solo and Bandung. For instance, the city government of Jakarta launched raids back in 2013 to take and buy back all monkeys ( 90 USD for each confiscated ) used as street buskers and shelter them at a 2.5-acr preserve at Jakarta’s Ragunan Zoo. This is a first step in the right direction. Topeng Monyet even if it is a cultural heritage has to be regulated and definitely not be left in the hands of gangs which think these monkeys are expendable commodity, not life.

Keeping monkeys as pets in Indonesia is not against the law and most Indonesians do know they make bad pets and are only cute for a few months – and above all it’s a 20-year commitment to say the least. Once they are no longer easy to keep and become unruly most are either abandoned or locked up in cages and never be looked upon as their dear babies ever again. As pets they are hard to sell ( hence they only sell at like 6 dollars each ) and it’s only people in the business of Topeng Monyet help keep the baby monkey trade afloat. Now that Topeng Monyet is banned I think this illegal trade won’t be able to sustain any longer.

A life like this is already cruel enough…..

But not indoor Topeng Monyet.

There are now individuals from Indonesia trying to parade their “ pet “ baby monkey on Youtube to make money. Some are even unscrupulous enough to spin sobbing tales about themselves all in the hope of bringing in unsuspecting viewers to ” aid ” them financially. One common ploy is to pretend that they have to sell their beloved pets as they are too poor to keep them any longer – but remember a monkey baby only costs about 6 dollars each in Indonesia and no one in the right frame of their mind there will buy it for more than that ( not at least a few thousand dollars in the States or other more affluent countries where the viewers come from ). After all wouldn’t it be easier that an interested local buyer get one themselves, cuter and younger and moreover not-yet-bonded with its keeper from the animal market ? If merely 6 dollars will keep the owner afloat financially I think they might as well sell the laptop or mobile that they have been using to upload their videos of their beloved “ pet “ they find hard to separate first. I’m pretty sure those gadgets will fetch them more money in ebay there.

They could be have for so cheap – it just doesn’t make sense. Life is worthless 🙁

The story just doesn’t add up if one examine logically but unfortunately there are still plenty of people fallen for it and give crooks there easy money.

If more people catch wind that they could make easy money by parading their baby monkeys on Youtube or other similar platforms I fear the market for baby macaques will ignite once again as there will be many copycats to follow the act. After all it’s a small investment ( 6 dollars for the baby and upkeep is pretty cheap at least for a baby ) that could potentially pull in money at least several hundred times over. And they are easy to get rid of once they expire in their cuteness department – remember those are indoor pets and whatever happen to them is up to its owner. No authority could have the resources nor manpower to prevent anything untoward to them. In the best scenario they may find a sanctuary where they could be released ….. but I can’t imagine what their fate is like in the hands of crooks who keep them solely for money.

Another new user name and another channel a brand new baby monkey will be paraded again every now and then for a few minutes in a video doing unnatural antics. An altogether new enterprise once again and the cycle will just continue.

There is only so much JAAN could do and it has taken them 5 years of hard work to finally bring some belated changes to the scene. They even have set up a sanctuary for these rehabilitated ex-Topeng-Monyet monkeys on an island.

But they are powerless against monkeys kept as pets.

Please don’t undo their hard work.

Don’t support any form of indoor Topeng Monyet from Indonesia.

Think twice before you part with your money.

Thank you 🙂

Dopey’s very expressive eyes

Rarely would one see a monkey baby with such expressive eyes, it’s almost like seeing a human infant in him. It fact his temper tantrum is markedly different from that of many other babies which almost always ends in just the universal open-mouth crying grimace and crawling and cowering around. He seems to use more of his eyes to show his anger, frustrations, sadness and ultimately fear. Humans are the only primates ( or indeed any animals ) to show the whites of their eyes to allow subtle emotions to be conveyed in our gaze and in Dopey I could almost see the dawning of this capability in his tantrum. Given time he and his breeds may eventually evolve just to do so, and with that the beginning of a more complex facial language. He is also one of the cleverest babies around, in a few weeks’ time there would be one episode which pits him against other babies in a crisis situation and he really shines in it. Only Knotty could match him.

There’s still crying but a lot less so than other babies. His eyes could speak !

This baby’s brain seems to be wired differently to other babies and it seems his delay in developmental milestones could also be related to this. Once his wiring was complete he has caught up with his peers in no time.

If Reddy manages to produce another baby this summer it would just be interesting to see how his sibling would compare with him. My guess is he or she will be more like an average monkey baby and Dopey is really an anomaly, truly one of a kind 🙂

The unconventional tantrum of Dopey

So what has become of the Baby-Snatcher ?

Remember the infamous Baby-Snatcher Aggy ? She’s the only female in Bossy’s troop to have been observed with “ kidnapping a baby’.

How true is this ? That the alleged victim actually survived for 2 weeks suggests to me that there’s more to it than meets the eyes. Someone must have been nursing the baby in the interim period multiple times ( my observation is that a baby would at least require 2 nursing sessions in one afternoon alone ) and that someone was none other than the biological mother herself as only a lactating female dedicated to this baby in question could sustain its life, not for a day but for nearly 2 weeks. So by all likelihood the “kidnap” did happen at least with the consent of the biological mother considering how protective rhesus macaque mothers are to their babies – even Gypsy the lowest ranking breeding female would come down to fight Cocky when the latter was lashing out at poor lil Knotty during a feeding session gone wrong. In the rhesus world hierarchy is no longer sacrosanct if it comes between a mother and her baby. Indeed we have seen how Reddy protested when the matriarch Bossy hit Dopey before. Looking back I think my footage actually caught the actions of an inept young female on two occasions trying to aunt an infant. She probably was under the influence of hormones as she had just gone into oestrus first time in her life.

It is all very interesting to see how the shrouds of mystery surrounding Aggy gradually peels away – from the alleged baby molester to one more of an overbearing young mother. The psychology involved must be fascinating to read but unfortunately we just do not know but I’m more than certain now that Aggy is never a baby-snatcher to start with. She just hadn’t learnt the etiquette to ask the permission to nurse, like Dopey’s aunt has demonstrated here.

See it done properly – but Dopey’s fussy so it didn’t help 🙂

She must have had a rather isolated upbringing with very few aunts to learn from. She did it the hard way but so far had escaped unscathed because of her inherited high rank in the troop. But she did learn with time and indeed she has never been seen since to try to forcefully aunt another baby. She is now finally getting used to be a mother herself 🙂

Youngest mother in the troop and Aggy is slowly finding her feet…

Everything should be taken with a grain of salt

Could we help Lubby & Dubby ?

Hurray ! Today’s an extra public holiday in HK – the so-called Buddha’s Birthday Holiday, arbitrarily taken on the eighth day of the fourth month of the Chinese lunar calendar which happens to lie on the 3rd of May this year.

It also allows me to clear the backlog.

As per Buddha’s teaching and compassion for all living things the episodes to be aired tomorrow and the day after will be centred on helping Lubby and Dubby to reintegrate into bossy’s troop. As drifters I really feel sorry for them and for the good of Dubby he really ought to be growing up in a more socially stimulating environment along with his peers like Dopey, Knotty, Mickey etc., to learn all the basic manners and etiquettes of living in a troop.  Knowledge of such will stand him in good stead when he has to deal with others on his own living independently in the not-too-distant future 🙁 as males are ousted by about four years of age regardless !

But don’t learn it from Dopey or else you’d be worst off 🙂

There is however an amazing similarity to our own problem in dealing with immigrants – indeed the people in the top echelon of the society hardly care about them as their privileges are rarely affected, to them life is usual as are their perks – you’ll see in these upcoming episodes that alphas like Bossy, Cocky etc., don’t really give a fuss that a new face is tagging along only those who are in direct conflict of interest with the newcomers will raise their objections – in this case, the lowest ranking female Gypsy is often hostile to Lubby and would often stalk to harass her. Higher ranking ones like Reddy, Lizzy etc., may appear to be indifferent but they do seem to have their own qualms and never want to interact with her. It’s only the babies that would welcome Lubby and her only son Dubby with open arms – there’s no conflict of interest there ( well at least Dubby won’t compete with Dopey for mum’s only tit ! ) and their inquisitive and friendly nature trumps everything ! Integration it seems to be the smoothest with kids, the same also holds true for our society.

On the surface my endeavour seemed to have worked but I really don’t know how long my impact would last – one thing for sure though I can’t really do it everyday as are most governments in the same position – the public coffer has only so much and resources are limited.

Will they ever be able to overcome the last step ?

Lubby & Dubby

Macaques are social animals particularly females as they do stay together in their natal group usually for life.

The desperate housewives of Golden Hill Road

Males however are ousted once they hit puberty by the dominant male to prevent inbreeding. As bachelors they usually linger in the wild until they reach adulthood which for rhesus it’s around 8 years of age. Before they could be re-accepted into another troop or better still lead their own troop individual bachelors may team up for various reasons, not being left alone is a good enough one for at least some of them, let alone the benefits of working in two or more for survival.

Mr Buff is a very ambitious young adult looking to form his own troop ! He appears to be doing it on his own.


But it’s often better to team up like these two young bachelors do !

Stumpy was a drifter to start with – not by choice I would guess as his disability had probably made it impossible for him to follow his natal troop closely.

With a stump like this it’s obvious Stumpy can’t catch up…

Furthermore he probably hadn’t had a chance to learn all the necessary social skills as he was orphaned so early in life which meant he was likely to appear awkward and socially unacceptable to his peers.

Poor lil Stumpy had to fend for himself too early in life to learn the proper etiquettes…

Nevertheless he still managed to go from strength to strength, first with the Loser’s group and now with the Ragtag troop of which the matriarch is likely to be related to him, a distant aunt I guess.

Stumpy with his distant aunt, now the matriarch of the Ragtag troop !

The story with Lubby and Dubby seems to be a bit of a mystery to me. Checking back some old footage from the time when I was only casually following macaques it appears I had at least met Lubby twice previously in 2015 on two separate occasions with a baby girl know as Yoda then ( as she looks like one ): once with an older female in the setting of a troop, probably Bossy’s, the other time on her own. So it did seem she was at least in some sort of stable relation with a troop.

Yoda’s actually a girl, my bad 🙁

On another occasion with Yoda, now a bit older…

Fast forward to autumn 2016, Lubby’s still around but the previous baby girl’s gone, probably deceased ( It seems a lot of the babies born in 2015 had perished, I think I have an explanation for this though ). She has appeared so far to be largely solitary and she too had given birth to a new baby, Dubby probably in October the same year. She nowadays is found hiding in the undergrowth by the road or up the slope in the trees, normally at some distance away from troops that tolerate her presence, namely Ragtag and Bossy’s on the condition that she doesn’t compete for any handouts.

The two are always sidelined and Dubby doesn’t really get a chance to play except with his mum….

She is scrawny and sparse with fur and I do feel she is always struggling to keep herself and her baby nourished and warm. Worst still as Dubby was born out of the major fruiting season he’s not going to be weaned any earlier, making things more difficult for Lubby 🙁

Foraging is difficult with a baby so Dubby has gotten used to be wondering off alone when mum is out looking for food and I’m really amazed at how robust this arrangement is as sometimes Lubby could be following me for a good half a mile on her own while Dubby is left to his own devices. Without fail she would often pop up again with Dubby on my way back often at some distance away from where she had first dropped off Dubby ! It looks as though they both have access to real-time GPS data !

Son, go and play and stay safe, mum’s just popping out for a sec …

As an outsider she is really nobody even Gypsy would leash out at her at will. She will rarely fight back and would try to lay low to stay on the good side of any challengers. The only exception happens when it concerns the safety of her baby for which she’d never flinch away from her maternal instinct to protect, even against bigger adversary !

She may be nodding off but she won’t fail her responsibility to her baby !!

Dubby seems to fare better as he could really mingle with other babies. I love seeing how he could play happily with babies of his own age. The concept of hierarchy hasn’t trumped over a baby’s playful nature yet 🙂

Playing with Mickey, the baby closest in age to him. Aren’t they cute together ?

I always hope that Lubby could be reintegrated into Bossy’s troop no matter how their relation fell apart in the first place but it just doesn’t seem to work out. Lately Lubby is found hanging mostly around with the Ragtag troop – I’m not sure whether it’s the best for her and her baby, but one thing is for sure, Dubby will be missing his occasional playmates like Dopey, Knotty, Baty, etc., as he could now only play with the only infant in the Ragtag troop – the matriarch’s only son who is a good 4 months older than him.

No luck with Bossy’s troop so it seems….

I suppose the threshold for membership is higher in Bossy’s troop…..

2016 Babies

This video will give you a general introduction to our babies born in 2016. For more detailed information on each baby please read their bio under their respective tab:)

A total of nine babies were born last year between May and September 🙂

Baty ♂

DOB: not sure, he was first spotted on 14/05/2016 probably at only a few day’s old then!
Mother: Dolly
Father: not sure, Dolly has had three different partners this season ( 2017 ) alone and all her kids are likely to be fathered by different males both within and without her troop and as such it would be impossible to say who Baty’s father is ! Indeed all female rhesus macaques are _____ when it comes to sex !
Characteristics: Bat ears and big round eyes. He has the most beautiful auburn coat of all the babies born in 2016, at one point I thought it’s bright orange !

I love Baty and I think he was the cutest baby at birth with his big protruding ears, small face and big round eyes ! He really stole my heart then as he lay so helplessly by Dolly’s feet, struggling to try to prop himself up and to cling onto mum 🙂

He was also a very sleepy baby to start off…

His first video attracted lots of heated discussion as to the cause of his possible weakness and most viewers were rooting for him despite their difference in opinions. His strength picked up pretty fast and within 2 weeks or so he was more or less on his feet, doing what most monkeys do – monkeying around !

And he’s up to some mischief at merely 2 weeks old already !

He was very clingy to start off with and was nursing almost constantly. he was just as bad as Dopey then 🙂 Dolly did try to interrupt his nursing from time to time but she normally caved in as soon as she tried it.

The trick first is to make suckling less comfortable 🙂

Dolly was a very patient mum but weaning did finally phase in by mid September ( so Baty was about 4 months old then ) and wow ! Baty threw one of the most dramatic tantrums I have ever seen ! It was funny but at the same time gutting as he was really hurt by mum’s sudden change 🙁

Poor Baty but you’ve a full set of baby teeth already !

Since then Baty has grown more independent by the day and began to hang around with his siblings more in the woods than on the ground with mum until to a point when I could no longer spot him unless he comes down to find Dolly for his official nursing session – which I have observed at least happens twice a day for all the babies. It is quite a scene to watch all the mothers in our gang nursing almost all at the same time – and visiting Monkey Hill at or after 1600 will give one a good chance to see it. It’s incredible and really heart warming to watch 🙂

Baty and Dopey together at tea time 🙂

There is something admirable about Dolly’s school of raising kids. She’s tender and kind when necessary but firm with a no nonsense attitude when it’s time to call for some discipline. Baty is really one of the first babies to learn to forage in the wild for berries and other leaves to eat from the batch !

Baty sampling some wild berries……

How unfortunate that Baty had grown out of his baby look by about 5 months of age otherwise he would still be one of the cutest babies around !

What mischief is he up to now ?

Nony ♂

DOB: not sure, like Baty he was first spotted on 14/05/2016 but he looked already about a week old then.
Mother: Haggy
Father: not sure we need to run some DNA profiling. Any volunteer to collect semen samples from all the males ?
Characteristics: He doesn’t really stand out and I know very little about him 🙁

Nony is unfortunate when it comes to fame. He was first mixed up with Baty and eclipsed by him in his very first video appearances.

Nony with mum Haggy. Sorry that I hadn’t really followed you up !

The second time I met him he’s already a bit older and had lost quite a bit of his baby charm 🙁 and at that time I was too engrossed with Baty to keep an eye on him 🙁

He’s already at least a good month old. In that encounter I did promise to bring some goodies for his haggard mum…

I had since forgotten what he really looked like and when he returned later and popped up a few appearances in subsequent videos he was heartlessly referred to by me as the unnamed baby, my bad 🙁

Nony at 10 months old.

But everything works itself out without my help especially when it comes to Haggy who’s a very experienced mum with a few older kids to boast under her belt already. Nony is now a healthy young boy and as we speak will soon celebrate his first year of existence in Monkey Hill !

Bossy Jr. ♀

DOB: not sure, first spotted around 21 May 2016 and she’s at least a few days old then
Mother: Bossy
Father: I’m pretty sure Grandee is her father. Bossy being the matriarch only takes quality males so it seems !
Characteristics: big-boned just like her mum. She also has big pointy ears as well. She is really brave and at times behaves like a daredevil. She loves to play with a stick and is often seen with one in her hands.

The earliest picture of Bossy Jr. with mum

Bossy Jr. is one of my major blunder for I always thought she was a boy ever since I first met her and thinking back I probably had mixed her up with another baby with a big pecker from another troop. Hence in all my early videos Bossy Jr. has been referred to as a boy incorrectly !

See Mr, my eyes are really too beautiful and my face too sweet for a boy !

But as she’s a tomboy I think as a name Boosy Jr quite aptly describes her. Being the youngest daughter of Bossy she’s next in line to the throne in the succession and though it may seems quite incredulous she’s actually the second most powerful female in the troop !

I just have more guts than most boys !

She’s very athletic and strong and if she really means it she could beat the crap out of even older babies like Baty or Nony. She loves to play and if no one of comparable age is around she’ll often find herself a stick and start playing with it.

Yes I suppose I’m more into mechanics and how things work 🙂

Despite her innate high status she doesn’t seem to pull rank and it fact she sometimes get bullied herself from the least expected baby – Dopey who’s tiny but maybe Bossy Jr. has taken a liking to him as he’s quite good-looking 🙂 or she just misses to have a little brother to play with ! In either case she’s really sweet and I grow to like her a lot. In my weekly hike to Monkey Hill the babies I really want to bump into are Dopey, Knotty, Bossy Jr. and Baty. I often feel something’s incomplete if I miss any one of them 🙁

Dopey taking on Bossy Jr with Bossy about to yank him away 🙂 

As the youngest daughter of the alpha female it seems Bossy wants her to be on her feet asap and in fact she’s the earliest baby to have weaning attempted in the troop at the tender age of just over 2 months ! She did put up a good fight against the attempt and Bossy did cave in !

Mum you can’t just go cold turkey on me like this >:(

As she grows she bears an uncanny resemblance to one of the alpha males Grandee and as time passes I think I really could say with confidence that Grandee is her father indeed !

Her upper lip gives it away I think 🙂

She has a good mother Bossy but I think she’s taking her on too many unnecessary adventures and I fear for her safety if she tries to imitate what her mum does with cars – she is really too young to do something that daring !

Bossy shouldn’t have taken her on such a daring feat !

Everyone in her family dotes on her and some may even suck on her as she’s second only to Bossy in status ! Her best mate is one of Bossy’s older daughter ( with an injured left eye ) who always jump to her defence !

Her siblings love her esp. her big sister on the right 🙂

Lilly ♀

DOB: not sure, first spotted around 21 May 2016 as Bossy Jr except Lilly looked a bit younger though.
Mother: Aggy aka The Baby-Snatcher
Father: god knows !
Characteristics: she’s petite like her mum and very clingy. She really has no other features that stand her apart except sometimes I could tell it’s her with her rather fluffy tail, more squirrel like than any other babies !

Compare Dopey’s tail with Lilly’s ! See the difference ?

I thought I had only met her later in life but in actual fact she was spotted a lot earlier when she was still a tiny baby.

She was probably only a few days old then 🙂

At one point I was even suspecting she was a kidnapped baby because of Aggy’s apparently poor reputation in the past. In all fairness Aggy was probably a bit too aggressive with aunting, unlike long-tailed macaques rhesus females are not known to kidnap to kill.

I wouldn’t have made those postulations had I bothered to check older footage for evidence 🙁

Lilly is known to be very emotional demanding and would coo for Aggy’s attention if she doesn’t see her around. She gets extremely jealous if mum pays any attention to other babies.

She loves to climb but seems to get herself into trouble high up in the act.

Oh shit, I’m stuck again !

Like her mum she’s a bit of a maverick and doesn’t seem to mingle with other babies. She however does take to Granny who actually has been looking after her since the very first day she was born.

Indeed, Granny has been fond of her ever since she’s born !

Knotty ♂

DOB: Knotty was first spotted on 29/05/2016 when he was only a few days old
Mother: Gypsy
Father: probably an outsider as his ears are really unique
Characteristics: those huge oddly shaped ears – they look like someone has tied a huge knot on his head 🙁 and his beautiful auburn coat, a shade darker than Baty’s. His coo is always so pitiful and so distinguishable you know its him nearby hiding in the woods.

Knotty is one of my two favourite babies. He has the saddest looking little face of any babies there and he looks like he’s on the verge of crying his eyes out all the time and I don’t blame him for he has a really disjointed upbringing so far and that coupled with the fact he has inherited his mum’s low status in the troop life must be hard on him until the day he leaves and hopefully starts a better independent life as a bachelor 🙁

Knotty’s sorrowful look, he wears it all the time 🙁:(

Gypsy’s a bit of an odd mother and sometimes verges on being a negligent one too. She really tried to wean Knotty too early – when he’s barely over a month’s old and has since been in the habit of leaving him behind in the care of the many spinsters in the troop while she is foraging, always a long way away and for a long period of time too.

Little Knotty’s always longing for his mum’s return since day 1 and you could see it on his face – it’s just pure sadness but he’s such a good boy he never makes much fuss, even when he’s hungry and above all in want of some love and security, the two things most important for any baby, and even more so for someone as delicate as Knotty 🙁 He often just hides in the corner and lets thing pass….

I suppose Gypsy’s uneasiness with nursing doesn’t help either. She probably doesn’t like much physical contact and she tries to do the bare minimum to keep her baby afloat only. Kudos to the excellent childcare service provided by the large number of spinsters and infertile females in the troop her babies have so far made it and under their belt Gypsy has at least three kids of various age. So for once the sterilisation program has an unexpected merit in it for these monkeys but at a hefty premium.

But there’s no denying to the fact that Knotty is undernourished, he’s really a bit small and too scrawny for his age and before I re-examined older footage of him popping up here and there I had always thought he was born just a tad earlier than Dopey and Mickey – and how wrong, he’s actually one of the older babies around but his statue is more like that of a younger baby 🙁 I hope this wouldn’t hamstring him in the future but it seems a baby cut off milk too early in life never reaches proper size in adulthood, one example is Stumpy the orphaned monkey who had a rough childhood and left to fend for himself – he never really quite reaches adult size and he never develops those proper deadly looking canines so important in fighting. I suppose the lack of diary calcium early in life might be the cause.

He was first captured by chance in footage from late May 2016

Nevertheless Knotty has managed to grow into a rather lively boy – and indeed another good thing that comes out from leading a very independent life so early is that he’s a very resourceful baby and smart as well. He outdoes all other babies in the IQ department except Dopey ( there will be video on this later ). I hope once he has weaned completely he will leave this pitiful chapter in his life and turn over a new leaf. He really has real potential, smart, agile and good looking ( I’m biased here ) and above all, something often lacking in most adult males – a sense of caution. He will never put himself into danger and I have yet to find Knotty being nosey enough to wander into one. He’s always the first baby to flee even before it becomes apparent to others !

At least the babies are not snobbish, despite his low status Knotty could count on Mickey, Dopey ( though Dopey bullies him sometimes, actually he bullies everyone LOL ) and Buddy as friends. I hope their friendship will remain for they would need it once they have to leave the troop in 3 to 4 years’ time. Studies have shown that bachelors will survive and do better together.

Dopey’s one of the few babies who would play often with Knotty 🙂:)

But for now Knotty will still need Gypsy’s attentions and for that he has even endured many ” grooming ” sessions of hair-plucking with Gypsy ( yes she’s rather hopeless at it ) – so as to be able to cuddle mum whom he adores and loves and if lucky enough he could get a few suckles. I just hope he won’t be left with patches of alopecia by the time he has grown out of this longing for her !

Gypsy does seem to have a form of pica….

Buddy ♂

DOB: he was first noticed towards the end of July last year and he already looked at least a few weeks old then
Mother: Dorothy
Father: not sure but could be the same as Mickey’s as they’re both born with really dark hair !
Characteristics: he’s really what an all-rounder would look like for a monkey baby. His telling features are his piercing gaze and a conspicuous small notch on his hairline in the middle.

The earliest image of Buddy I’d find. Notice the notch on his hairline 🙂

I really know very little about this baby as he’s never really been featured in any of my videos and in the few appearances he made they only last for a few seconds here and there at most.

He is however a product of miraculous conception for his mum the high-ranking Dorothy had had her fallopian tubes ligated back at the latest in 2011. I suppose the vet had botched the operation or perhaps a monkey’s prayer might finally have been heard !

See the big tattoo on his mum’s chest ?

He is unusual amongst the babies to be a regular playmate of Lilly. They are both quite fiery and I suppose they see most things together eye-to-eye 🙂 and click !

Lilly’s older but Buddy seems to have the upper hand from his bigger build !

Lanly ♀

DOB: a really wild guess here as she didn’t get noticed until late in November last year when it was a bit late….
DOD: around the 24th of November 2016 🙁
Mother: Lancy
Father: God knows
Characteristics: Big dark eyes like those aliens in Roswell. Cousin to Nony, Buddy and Mickey. One of the three girls in this batch of babies from 2016.

A rare portrait of Lanly

I even know less about this unfortunate baby girl who died probably from a fall a day or so before 24th November last year in this episode:(

Poor girl RIP, her death is a devastating blow to the survival of the troop !

Before that I had only briefly caught her with mum and Lizzy and Reddy chilling out on a table…

Do the other mothers know that the lil girl’s gone ?

She probably was about 5 months old when she died. Those dark dreamy eyes would no longer sparkle….

She has disproportionally big eyes !

Dopey ♂

DOB: 1/08/2016
Mother: Reddy
Father: Reddy is too promiscuous to tell. Alimony is out of question here.
Characteristics: Dopey has the most angelic face of all the babies born last year. Fine and well balanced his facial features are really quite human-like to me. His big round eyes were sort of cloudy bluish green to begin with and now they are more of a dirty green in colour but exceptionally clear and reflective that really stand him out in the crowd ! He still is a bit small for his age and as we speak at the age of 9 months is just a tad bigger than a medium-size ( 500 ml ) can of soft drinks only.

Dopey struggling since day 1

Dopey is not stupid, he just seems to doze off readily ever since he was born. Reddy’s milk seems to be laced and when he has her teat in his mouth his eyes would cross and he would lose consciousness in a tick 🙂

He’s probably the clumsiest baby in the batch – all the other babies could begin to walk after a few days ( Mickey could walk unsteadily on day 2 of his life ) to a week ( Baty took a bit longer but could walk more or less after week 1 ) but poor lil Dopey took almost 3 weeks to finally graduate from crawling to walking on all four but then he still wobbled a bit and fell easily until he’s about 6 weeks old ! His disproportionally big feet might have a part to play in this as he seemed to step onto himself often 🙂 and this had gotten him into a lot of silly mishaps too especially he is nosey as hell !

But walk he did and finally something must have flipped !

Dopey also seems to tire easily ( though less so nowadays as he has moved to a more solid diet and spends less time nursing ) as he is often found more than the other babies in a state of stupor with Reddy’s sole working teat in his mouth. His longest milk coma during daytime lasted for a good 30 minutes on record and as it seemed at one point he wasn’t getting any better with it many viewers began to worry too and it soon transpired that Reddy had actually lost two babies back to back as I was alerted to examine some previous footage that had Reddy in it.

An early tentative postulation….

If the cause is genetic it looks more likely to be a form of muscular dystrophies like Duchenne to me ( not Gaucher or other forms of lysosomal storage diseases as I had suggested on the spur of the moment ) but as time passes I don’t agree with the conclusion as much as I used to and I think his condition reflected more of the plight of babies born outside the major fruiting season – he’s constantly teetering between starvation and getting nourishment – he couldn’t be weaned early as food is hard to come by even for Reddy but the amount and quality of milk available to him was simply inadequate. He just got himself worked out often trying to get what meagre there was from Reddy’s sole working teat, no wonder he’s not as energetic as other babies in the batch and being one who’s clumsy and late in development didn’t help either to stay ahead of the game.

But he’s blessed with a very loving mum Reddy whose patience and legendary tolerance has paid off.

He is still around with us as we speak ( forget all those malicious rumours ) and he has grown out of all his clumsiness to become one lively boy, albeit still a bit on the small size, just like lil Knotty.

I don’t know but you humans’d be nasty just for fun….

Dopey is clever ( only Knotty is comparable ) and some even think he’s manipulative at times when it comes to Reddy but kids all do with their mum, right ? And Reddy having a very insensitive ( the constant stretching can’t be good ) nipple invites her baby to take advantage of it and I hardly think Dopey’s the first one nor the last one to do so.

but his good time won’t last for long 🙂

One thing that has surprised everyone is that Dopey doesn’t conform to the hierarchy. Small in statute and hardly high ranking he constantly bullies ( in a playful way ) and try to domineer ! Not a single baby hadn’t had a run with him and the list includes Bossy Jr, Buddy, Lilly, Mickey and even some older kids who are bigger and a lot higher in ranking than him ! It seems there’s no such word as fear or respect in his book and if there is a game changer in the monkey society that would be our little Dopey ( provided that he didn’t get killed ! )

He’s fearless and fights well !

Well I think that’s enough about our lil Dopey for now !

Mickey ♂

DOB: exactly on the first of September 2016
Mother: Lizzy
Father: I suspect it’s the same as Buddy’s but in one word, god knows !
Characteristics: Don’t let his big frame fools you – he’s actually the youngest baby in the batch. He is easily distinguishable by his dark coat, almost like a chimpanzee’s ! The other give away is he loves to hang around with Dopey and if you see either one you know who the other one is 90 % of the time !

The first encounter between Mickey and Dopey !

Mickey is so called because he looks like a mouse when he’s born. Like Buddy he has inherited some good genes to start off with – strong and agile, he could almost walk the day he’s born and outdid Dopey in every motor development by week 4 ! He’s the ultimate survivor in the batch !

Mr, my features are not murine !

Despite being born also outside the major fruiting season he seemed to have no problem getting nourished whatsoever. I suppose having a high ranking mum ( who could serve and lay claim to handouts as well as any finds first ) and at least four older siblings do help as well as access to two large jugs of milk !

Mickey, nice jugs there hey ?

But he isn’t as big in the cerebral department – he seems to be a bit thick at times and he certainly doesn’t have as much tricks up his sleeve like Dopey does. But he’s powerful and there’s no denying to this as he could dislodge bigger and older babies like Bossy Jr. easily and I suspect he’s probably the strongest baby in the batch despite being the youngest !

He is quite a brute !

He and Dopey seems to have been made for each other – Dopey has the brain while Mickey has the strength and I very much hope so they’d remain best pal together and help each other out the day they have to lead an independent life outside the troop !

Bossy’s Troop

The Alphas

There are about 40 to 50 individuals in this moderately-sized troop, including babies. They are led by a matriarch and a few ɑ males who wield absolute power as they live in an unfortunately despotic society, a bit like the Chinese and North Koreans.

The matriarch is Bossy , she is strong, big and bossy and a real daredevil. she is fair in disciplinary matters as far as macaques are concerned. She would readily lash out at anyone who try to come too near to her troop members, particularly the juveniles and the babies. At times she would intervene if a baby is being neglected by their mother. She is over 15 years old in my opinion ( in the wild macaques could live up to 20 to 25 years at most ) and has many offspring. Her youngest baby is Bossy Jr. whom for some reason has been mistaken by me to be a boy from the very beginning. As the youngest female in the matrilineal line she is the next most powerful female in the troop after Bossy 🙂

Bossy, the strong matriarch with a body to match her reputation !

There are three ɑ males in this troop and they used to be more or less co-dominant but nowadays it seems the younger one of them has finally outdone the other two by his sheer strength and has become the de facto ɑ. He is buff, proud and really full of himself. He will readily leash out at anyone, including a baby who is in his way ! His name is Cocky for he sure looks like so 🙂

Cocky is young, fiery and impatient. He is second to Mr Buff in the looks department in my humble opinion !

The next in line is an older male with a rather long face and a prominent and notched philtrum. He also has what looks to me like a right wrist drop and a middle finger on that hand that is permanently stuck out. He is kind to babies and I have yet to see him being nasty to them. He probably has mellowed in his older age and as such he will be known as Grandee from now on !

Grandee, older, wiser and tolerant he’s one decent geezer. He still loves to hang around with ladies though ! I suspect he’s Bossy Jr’s father too !

Below him is another male with similar facial features and abnormality of the right hand. His mouth is always slightly ajar and he always looks a bit spaced out to me. He’s probably related to Grandee and I suspect they were brothers and best pals since day one and had been fighting and working together to get to where they are now since they had left their mother’s troop to become independent many years ago. He will be known as Bleary.

Bleary, he’s younger and a bit shy and has a good appetite for goodies !

We had seen him in my early videos before I got to know this troop. Yes, he’s the one with the radio collar, poorly fitted on his neck and he always looks uncomfortable with it. He’s very gentle and never bothers any babies. He always tags along with a younger petite female and they are probably lovers. For those who has been following my videos for a while he’s sometimes been referred to as Taggy and so be it for his name !

Taggy, he ranks below the other three males and he doesn’t do a lot of fighting. I think he’s been hamstrung by the cumbersome radio collar 🙁

There are some drifter males who sometimes tag along with our gang but they almost always disappear when there isn’t much happening 🙂 or they just fail to sneak in for a quickie during the mating season !

The lesser mothers

There are about 20 odd adult females of reproductive age forming the backbone in Bossy’s troop. As they all rank below Bossy I’ll conveniently lump them together as the lesser female group.  I don’t really know all of them and the ones I know better are all mothers except a few. They will be listed in descending order of their ranking within this group in the troop.

Aggy was once known as the Baby Snatcher for she was seen holding onto a baby against its wish on two occasions over a period of two weeks in late fall 2015. Thinking back she was just aunting quite aggressively then as she was probably about to go into heat. She’s the youngest mother ( I think she’s just over 5 year’s old ) in the troop with her first baby, Lilly born around late May 2016. She’s extremely fit and agile but she doesn’t seem to lead nor mingle too much and when she does so She seems to upset more by trying to grab and aunt their babies ! Her best pal is one elderly spinster, Granny.

Aunting : aka alloparenting is the provision of childcare by a member other than the biological mother in a group of animals.

Her aggressive aunting did lead to misunderstanding in the beginning. Unlike long-tailed macaques which kidnap to kill to maintain superiority of the dominant matriline rhesus have not been reported to do so.

Aggy with Lilly. She’s the most energetic female around and is always about to spring into action ! Gravida 1 Para 1

Gravidity and Parity – just a nerdy way to denote obstetric history – Gravida, the number of times a female has been pregnant; Para, the number of times a birth has resulted from such pregnancies, viable or not.

Dorothy, as her name suggests ( Δωροθέα (Dōrothéa) meaning “God’s Gift” ) is blessed with something she is entitled to and she manages to keep it – her fertility. Indeed she was sterilised quite a few years back but somehow the vet had botched the operation and she has at least given birth to a baby boy, named Buddy between late June and July 2016. She resembles Bossy and is just as big boned. I guess she’s quite old and if she’s related to Bossy she would be at least 16 years old ( in most macaque society the younger female ranks higher than her older sibling ).

Dorothy is a big female and mother to Buddy ; Gravida 2 Para 2 at least

Lancy, a slender elegant female whom I know very little about even now and I only came to notice her first following the death of her baby girl in autumn last year ( 2016 ). Suffice to say she’s a high ranking female in this group of lesser females and if any female is going to become a mother again this year she’s well poised to it.

Lancy lost her baby girl last autumn 🙁 Gravida 3 Para 3 at least

Her baby died probably from a fall 🙁

Lizzy, mother to little Mickey, the youngest baby from 2016 in the troop is probably related to Lancy as they both look quite alike. She is a very successful mother and had at least raised four older kids already !

Lizzy is probably an older sister of Lancy ; Gravida 5 para 5 at least

Mickey was born exactly on the first day of September last year !

Haggy, so named as she always looks haggard to me, poor old girl. She is mother to another baby whom I know very little about and has always been referred to as the unnamed baby all the time. I suppose it’s fair to give him a name as he can’t remain anonymous all the time. I suppose Nony would do then ! If you examine her face she probably is an older sister of Lizzy hence Lancy too and in real life they do like to hang around together.

Haggy, mother of  Nony is likely to be a big sister of Lizzy and Lancy ; Gravida 3 para 3 at least

Reddy, she’s one of the most loving and caring mothers I’ve ever seen and she also takes to other babies readily. She is one of the younger mothers around and I think she’s between 7 to 8 year’s old. She had lost two babies previously back-to-back and now she seems to be taking extra care towards Dopey, her baby born last August ( 2016 ) and sometimes she seems to be even too doting on him and giving in to his needs too readily. Rest assured, Dopey is beginning to wean as we speak and we’ll see less of Reddy’s sole working nipple being stretched all the time by Dopey 🙂 Yes, it does need a rest too !

Reddy, a young mother who had lost 2 babies previously ; Gravida 3 Para 3 at most

Dolly, she’s an older sister of Reddy I think as they resemble each other. She is a very experienced mother and has at least raised 3 kids already. She is mum to Baty, the very first baby born to this troop late last May. She is always rather fluffy but in her summer coat you’d see she actually is not as chubby as she appears to be !

Dolly is one experienced mother ; Gravida 4 Para 4 at least

Gypsy, the lowest ranking mother in the troop. She’s a bit like an untouchable as she not only gets bullied all the time she is not allowed near any goodies before others and by then there is normally none or only scraps left for her and other similarly lower ranking members of the troop. She is mum to Knotty who was born in late May last year and she has been trying her best in my opinion to care for her baby given her circumstances. But there is no denying to the fact that she had weaned little Knotty a bit too early though 🙁 In all fairness she does care about Knotty as I had seen her fighting Cocky for trying to bite lil Knotty before !

Gypsy is often disliked because of her apparent callousness towards Knotty but I think she has done her best given her circumstances ! Gravida 3 Para 3 at least 

She did seem neglectful but she’s hungry herself as the registered old man who comes to feed them regularly had gone missing for a few weeks in a row !

Fringe players

These are some females whom I had introduced before in my videos, all are spinsters they are all low ranking but still rank higher than Gypsy ! Now you know her plight 🙁

Nellie is an old-timer with her cataract-induced iritis in her left eye but she’s not as ancient as she appears to be as I still see her flirt with Grandee during the mating season which falls between December to February every year. She however appears to be childless and I suspect she probably has problems conceiving. Like Gypsy she’s also low-ranking she just doesn’t get picked upon as often by others.

Poor old Nellie, childless and without company most of the time…

That’s how I first met old Nellie, deserted all by herself on the road….

Tammy, She is the only monkey who sidles up to me voluntarily and lets me pet her ! She’s also childless and she hangs around with a group of spinster who aunt and look after other babies in the troop.

Like Nellie she’s also a spinster and provides an invaluable service of babysitting !

Aunty, she’s a bit of a mystery as she seems to keep her distance from Bossy’s troop but does get involved a lot with babysitting. She is Knotty’s no. 1 aunt especially when he’s still very little. I really like her as she seems to try to answer to Knotty’s distress call if she happens to be nearby ! Another spinster she also appears to be childless.

Aunty, a kind-hearted old female who always try to care for Knotty 🙂

That’s how I first came to meet her !

Granny, she recently came to my attention as the oldest female on Golden Hill Road as well as being a drifter almost all her adult life so I was told. Checking back some old footage she did appear to pop up from time to time with Bossy’s troop and she is especially associated with Aggy now that I make an effort to notice her though I see no resemblance between the two. Blinded in one eye and childless she is a bit slow but still agile enough to get out of any trouble. She ranks higher than Gypsy probably through her connection with Aggy !

She holds the record of being the oldest female on Golden Hill Road as well as being a drifter until recently !
Granny, Aggy and Lilly in their fluffy winter coat together 🙂

The winner takes all and no descent is allowed. It’s unfair, it sometimes seems heartless and plain wrong but that’s the way it is and there is no point to get too upset about how their society is run !

Their world evolves around the matriarch Bossy and the troika of ɑ males !

For more information on the batch of babies from 2016 please follow this link.