26 September 2011

Virgo the macaque joins the family in Ciapus

IAR vet Sharmini updates us on the latest news from our primate centre in Ciapus, Java, home to hundreds of slow lorises and macaques undergoing rehabilitation.

Virgo the macaque in quarantineIAR Indonesia received its newest member of the team on September 12th, when a female pig-tailed macaque (Macaca nemestrina) arrived at the centre in Ciapus. The female, whom we have named Virgo after the September horoscope, was originally found in a local park, before being taken by the BKSDA to the Animal Sanctuary Trust Indonesia, who transferred the macaque to us.

On arriving at the centre, Virgo was placed in to quarantine and underwent a physical examination. As pig-tailed macaques are not native to Java, we were worried about her condition, but our tests showed that she is in overall good health. Although small at just 2kg, her fur is of a good quality, her body seems healthy and her eyes, ears, nose and mouth are clear. The only sign of any physical damage is a small indentation on her tail, but this doesn’t seem to be affecting her. We also tested her for TB, and her first test came back negative.

Virgo will spend a further period in quarantine, before being introduced to Julia, a pig-tailed macaque who had been kept as a pet and arrived at our centre in March. Since her arrival, Julia has made enormous progress and is in a socialisation cage with adult male Rambo, with whom she gets on well. We will separate Julia and Rambo and introduce Virgo to Julia privately, monitor how they interact with each other, and then, over time, decide whether to move them both back in with Rambo.