Approximately three years ago I was given a donation to help animals. The decision was made to repaint the Spider Monkey cage with forest scenes, replicating the home they once lived in. This was funded by Pritipaul Investments, dentist Dr. Theodora and Bumper to Bumper who donated the paint. In addition, a mural of the eight primates in Guyana was painted by Colin Nedd on the outside wall of the monkey building. After three years I am pleased to say that all the paintings remain in good condition and seemed to have made for an improved life for the spider 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.