A suc­cess at the Zoo

Stabroek News Sunday - - WORLD NEWS -

mon­keys. In ad­di­tion the mu­ral of the eight pri­mates is be­ing used as a train­ing tool by groups of stu­dents led by their teach­ers.

Two weeks ago it was brought to my at­ten­tion that some of the ropes in the mon­key en­clo­sure needed re­plac­ing. This led to a do­na­tion from Kevin Granger. To add a lit­tle colour and stim­u­late ac­tiv­i­ties in their cage, we bought bright green ropes, three red buoys and other mis­cel­la­neous items. It is a joy to see kids watch­ing the mon­keys swing­ing and hav­ing fun with their new toys.

Two years ago I had the priv­i­lege of ob­serv­ing two wild ca­puchins liv­ing in the va­cant lot be­hind my house. One day I gave them two half co­conut shells which they loved. They would use their sharp fin­ger nails and teeth to scrape out the thick jelly. This kept them busy while adding to their diet. As a re­sult I be­gan pick­ing up co­conut shells from a local ven­dor and car­ry­ing them to the Zoo. The mon­keys re­ally get ex­cited when they see me pass the bucket of co­conut shells to the cage at­ten­dant.

Over the past few months sev­eral wild mon­keys have been res­cued and re­leased on Zoo Is­land where they can be ob­served (by visi­tors) car­ry­ing out their daily ac­tiv­i­ties. To my way of think­ing this is what the Zoo should be: a sanc­tu­ary for Guyana’s wildlife where our an­i­mals can be ob­served in an al­most free en­vi­ron­ment.

These and other such ac­tiv­i­ties can be im­ple­mented at rel­a­tively low costs. All it takes is peo­ple with good ideas, some free time, com­mit­ment and good co­or­di­na­tion by gov­ern­ment de­ci­sion mak­ers.

In clos­ing I would like to thank, Prince Dry­den, su­per­vi­sor of the Guyana Zoo, Zoo em­ploy­ees, and man­age­ment of the Na­tional Parks Com­mis­sion for help­ing to im­prove con­di­tions for our wildlife.

Yours faith­fully, Syeada Man­bodh

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