July 17: Shoo, Deer, Don't Bother Me
We may have a new pattern established. These guys seem to be pretty consistent so far on creating new routines every week. It's almost as if they are trying to make sure none of us gets too bored. It was another very early morning cross to Holly Hill as the whole family was already there at 6:53 a.m., when the first watchers arrived. They spent some time in the bench holly before making their way down to the shed holly, tree 31. again. Laranja led the way and everyone seemed thrilled to follow her. Once everyone arriving at the shed holly, the activity really began, with the kids and Laranja playing, running, and jumping all around. Eduardo was pretty low key, just chilling out, but Laranja and the kids were bundles of energy.
Laranja soon decided to alleviate her energy on the tree number, which she thought made an excellent toy for herself, as she ripped the "1" right off the tree. We think she was trying to forage for bugs underneath it and it was getting in her way, so she decided she would be better off if it was gone. As soon as Gisela and Samba saw mom doing this they became very intrigued and decided to lend mom a helping hand, participating in the destruction of this poor tree number. Way to go Laranja and the kids. Let's just make life more difficult for me.
After about an hour and a half of non-stop play, everyone settled down and rested for about an hour before heading back for a snack at tree four, just like yesterday. So they all crossed back using the low-lying black walnut, though Eduardo tagged behind a bit, but he eventually made it over for some food. The whole family stayed in the main exhibit for a while, but then Laranja began to lead the way back down to the low-lying black walnut just before 1 p.m. and the whole family followed. Once at the rope that connects tree eight and the black walnut, they all stopped for a minute and Eduardo even traveled down to tree nine to check it out for a minute. Before long, though, Samba led the way over to Holly Hill and they all crossed back to the bench holly using the low-lying black walnut. They remained in the holly as usual, until three deer ran through Holly Hill. At this rude awakening, the whole family became very upset, bouncing all around the holly, yelling and screaming at the deer to leave. Finally everyone decided that it was probably just better to cross back into the main exhibit around 2:30 p.m., so they all traveled down to the low black walnut and crossed back. How rude of those deer to ruin the GLTs' fun. It was getting late, though, and I'm sure they all were starting to get hungry again.
Once back in the main exhibit, they had some food and then retreated to the nest box and the cool nest box holder above for a little relaxation. It was mostly an afternoon spent lounging around tree zero; however, there was a trip down to the hemlocks and tree three for a little bit of excitement. The heat was unbearable by 3 p.m., so I do not blame the family for just taking it easy and relaxing a bit, especially after the energy-filled day. At 7 p.m., when the last watchers left, everyone was still awake inside the box, except for Eduardo, who was out on the perch just outside the nest box. We're not sure exactly what time the whole family dozed off, but presumably it was a rather late night again, as the heat persisted into the late evening hours.
July 18: It's a Scorcher
The intense heat of the day seemed to keep the GLTs pretty inactive today. They crossed as a family at 7:10 a.m. on the low-lying black walnut without even a small bite to eat. After crossing they went into the bench holly, where they remained for the rest of the day until they crossed back. While they did play around and forage a bit, most of their time was spent resting in the cool shade of the holly, most likely in an effort to escape the brutality of the heat. I know we all would have liked to do the same, but duty calls and we must make sure these little monkeys stay safe. Fortunately it was not too bad in the shade of Tamarin Run. The monkeys had the right idea, though: as little movement as possible and the day becomes bearable.
At around 2 p.m. it was finally time to cross back. I imagine that the family must have been starving since no one had anything to eat from the food trays, though the family had foraged quite a bit in the holly and the surrounding magnolia trees. On the cross back, Gisela couldn't quite keep up and she got left behind for a little while. Eduardo was demonstrating his excellent parenting skills. He saw that Gisela had been left behind, so he waited for her to cross. It was a trying experience for her, as it took her four attempts to finally figure out how to cross on her own, but she persevered, showing us all a very independent and brave side of herself. Eduardo stayed behind a bit after Gisela finally crossed back, almost as if he had not seen her cross. The rest of the family headed for their food tray near tree four. When Eduardo finally made his way back to the family, he used the black walnut to cross and then took the fence to get there, jumping from the fence into the hemlock, and then scurrying to the food tray. The whole family ate together for a short while before everyone went to check out the â€œhave a heart trapâ€� that I hung in their exhibit this morning.
Eduardo was the first to show interest in this device, as he knows that grapes can usually be found inside. We hang this trap in their exhibit in an effort to acclimate them to the device should we ever need to trap them for some reason. The door of the trap is held open with zip ties so that it cannot close, trapping them inside. The idea as we acclimate them to the trap is not to trap them, just to get them used to and comfortable with the trap so that they will actually go inside it if an emergency ever arose and we needed to trap them. A small bowl is placed in the back with some food in it to entice them to venture inside. Today there were four grapes in the bowl and Eduardo loves grapes, so it does not surprise me that he was the first to grab a treat.
Gisela soon followed dad over to the trap and sat on top for a while trying to figure out how dad was getting the grapes. Samba also became intrigued by the device, venturing down and briefly sitting on top of the trap. Once dad had eaten thre grapes from the trap and left, Gisela went in all by herself and ate the last grape and some scraps Eduardo had left behind. Samba was long gone at this point, as the trap did not seem very interesting to her. After a few minutes Gisela came out of the trap and sat back on top for a while before jumping to a rock below the trap. From the rock she ran across the ground and back up a tree, eventually making her way to the nest box. Laranja had been sitting on the trunk of a tree when she jumped from there to the same rock Gisela had just jumped on. From the rock she jumped approximately three feet to the top of the â€œhave a heart trap,â€� which she explored a bit, trying to get some grape scraps inside by reaching her hand through the mesh sides. She was unsuccessful, however, as she cannot reach the food without going inside, which she never did. Shortly after her defeat she also made her way to the nest box, where the rest of the family was cooling off.
The rest of the afternoon and evening was spent in and around tree zero staving off the heat. Around 5 p.m. the family took a short trip to the hemlocks and tree three before heading back to the nest box again when a deer ran through the exhibit at 5:50 p.m. Eduardo was very upset by the deer as he called and called at it trying to scare it away. Both girls jumped on Laranja's back when the deer came through and Laranja carried them to safety. I'm not sure how she was able to carry both of them, as they are getting way too big to even carry one of them. After all this excitement it was a pretty relaxing rest of the evening, though it was another late night, as everyone was still awake around 8:15 p.m. when I checked in them on the web cam, though all were peacefully inside the nest box. It must just have been too hot to sleep!
July 19: A little Stroll Toward Olmsted Walk
It's morning and where else is there to go but Holly Hill? The family crossed over on the low-lying black walnut at 6:59 a.m. and went for the bench holly. It was an active hour in the holly before Laranja led the family down to the shed holly. It was much cooler this morning and presumably the whole family had more energy today to make this jaunt. Samba quickly followed behind mom, but Eduardo and Gisela were hanging back a bit. Gisela was crying, almost as if she was protesting the trip to the shed holly. We saw yesterday how brave and independent Gisela can be, but suddenly today she reverted back to her princess ways and jumped on dad's back, insisting that he carry her down to the shed holly, which he did with very little protest.
Once everyone had made it down to the shed holly, it was an active morning with the whole family jumping and bouncing all around the branches and foraging quite a bit. After about 45 minutes everyone became a little more adventuresome and began moving toward Olmsted Walk. Most of their time was spent along the fence of the garden (marked on the maps) and even a little exploring in the garden. Eduardo soon strolled down to the horsechesnut tree, where they all spent some time. They appeared to just be foraging and exploring the area before making their way back to the shed holly. At about 10:30 a.m. the family went back to the bench holly, where they remained until about 11:30 a.m., when they returned to their main exhibit for some food, because as usual, they had not eaten before they crossed over this morning. The trip back was made across the low-lying black walnut. It wasn't a very long trip to the food tray however, as the family made their way back to Holly Hill after only about 20 minutes in the main exhibit.
When it was time to cross back to Holly Hill, Eduardo led the family up tree five, instead of to the low black walnut. It appeared that they were all going to head to the black walnut, but then suddenly Eduardo and Laranja jolted up tree five, crossing into the high black walnut on Holly Hill. And instead of taking the path where the branches overlap, they both made the big jump into the black walnut. Gisela and Samba were left in tree five, not quite sure what to do at first, but soon they both mustered up the courage to make the same big jump mom and dad had just made. So Gisela may have showed us her baby ways this morning, but here she redeemed herself as a brave little trooper because this is the first time she has made the cross to Holly Hill this way, and it is a very big jump for such a little, timid girl. Way to go, Gisela!
Once that was over, it was time for a little siesta in the bench holly, after which they all became very active again playing all over the holly before finally crossing back for good a little before 4 p.m. Just as they were crossing I was on my way out to the exhibit with their food and some mealworm enrichment. As I was approaching the exhibit, Eduardo was on tree five and he immediately saw the food, so I tried hiding the trays behind the bench. However, this did not fool Eduardo for a minute, though I must say I really thought it had. Shortly after hiding the trays, Eduardo moved to the food tray near tree four, but did not seem to want anything from it, so he made his way into the hemlock, coming down quite low and jumping onto the fence. He then headed back toward the bench along the fence, and I was a little confused at first, wondering where he was going, as I had never seen him take the fence unless he was trying to get back to the family. Quickly I realized that he desperately wanted the mealworm mop I had brought out, as he was ready to jump onto the bench. I went and grabbed the food trays and led Eduardo back inside the exhibit, where he tried to wait patiently for me to hang the mop head filled with mealworms and their food tray, but he was about six inches from the top of my head, ready to pounce on the mop as soon as it was in place. Eduardo is certainly a monkey driven by his belly.
After their mealworm snack, they all went back to the nest box, grabbing a quick bite to eat from their food tray there and then it was time to relax and cool off on top of the nest box and inside. While yesterday was a slower day compared to their adventures lately, they sure redeemed themselves today with lots and lots of activity and fun. The rest of the evening was pretty relaxed until three deer, including a fawn crossed through the GLTs exhibit. We have seen this occur many times throughout the season so far and every time there is a big commotion with lots of predator calling in an effort to scare the deer away. The deer quickly crossed though, and things soon calmed down. At 7 p.m. when the last watchers left everyone was safely tucked inside the nest box; however, Eduardo and Gisela were still wide awake.
July 20: Give Me a Little Alone Time
As usual, the family was already awake when the first watchers arrived and it was another early cross to Holly Hill at around 7:10 a.m. The shed holly was not very appealing today as the family spent all morning in the bench holly. A little before 12:30 p.m. Laranja began to get restless, trying to coax the family into crossing back for some food. After several attempts to get everyone to follow, they all crossed back in the low-lying black walnut at about 12:30 p.m. As usual, they had not eaten before they crossed this morning, so it was straight for the food tray for some lunch.
The cross back today was a bit interesting. As soon as the kids crossed, following Laranja's lead, they stopped for a minute at the rope and then began climbing down the trunk, eventually coming to sit on the fence. They both sat there for a while just looking around at all the people when Samba became frightened by something and jumped back to the rope, taking the ropes back to the food tray near tree four. Gisela, however, demonstrated some of her new-found curiosity and bravery as she began strolling down along the fence. She got to the kiosk and hopped onto it, exploring the branches there. Eduardo had crossed back during this time and he too climbed down to the fence, where he sat for a while while Gisela was over exploring the kiosk. Finally Gisela made her way back toward Eduardo and the low-lying black walnut, where she then used the ropes to get over to the food tray. Eduardo, however, decided to take the fence back, as he had done a few days ago. He walked all the way down to the hemlock when he jumped into the hemlock and made his way to the rest of the family, chowing down on the food tray. Who knows what has been going on inside Eduardo's head lately, but he does not seem to be too intimidated by the public these days. It's almost as if he's saying to everyone â€œlook at me, aren't I a beautiful monkey?â€�
After lunch, Laranja and the kids were quite content to just hang out and rest a bit; however, Eduardo had other plans in mind. He had reluctantly left Holly Hill and was ready to head back over, so before we even knew it he had taken off up tree five and crossed over without anyone even noticing. Laranja and the kids had not seemed to notice this cross either. Finally after about ten minutes Laranja looked around and realized Eduardo was not there, but she did not appear distressed at all and neither did the kids. For about half an hour, everyone was fine with being separated, there was no long calling or signs of agitation. Laranja and the kids were just lounging around in the hemlocks and Eduardo was off exploring the trees. Then after about 45 minutes Laranja hadn't seen Eduardo in a while because he had climbed very high and out of sight in the Tupelo tree he had used to cross on the ground a few weeks ago. This loss of Eduardo caused her to start long calling. Eduardo eventually revealed himself to us and started making his way back to the black walnut, where he crossed back into tree five and reunited with the family. He crossed back around 1:50 p.m.
Now that the family was all safe and content, I went to grab the food and some enrichment. We began habituating them today to come down low to a scale so that we can begin obtaining weights on them. I hung a PVC pipe with some mealworms inside it in the holly tree closest to tree zero. I hung this device on a low branch just above a little table that we place the scale on. I also placed six small pieces of banana on this small table, hoping that they all would also come down and sit on the table to eat the banana. After I placed all these items I sat in their exhibit, away from the holly and waited to see what they would do. It took them about five minutes to muster up the courage to come over and down so low with me sitting right there, but they all eventually came down to the PVC pipe and had some mealworms. They did not come over quietly, however, as all four of them predator called at me a few times, trying to scare me out of the exhibit. Eventually they all realized that I was not going to go anywhere and that I wasn't really moving, so Eduardo was the brave one, coming over to the PVC pipe first. He was followed shortly by Samba and then eventually by Gisela. Laranja, interestingly, hung back a bit in a tree near the middle of the zero-to-four rope. She seemed very hesitant to trust that nothing bad was going to happen. Finally after about 12 minutes she made her way to the PVC pipe and ate there for a while.
Only Eduardo and Samba came down onto the table for the banana pieces, but I'm sure within a few days Laranja and Gisela will be comfortable enough to come down as well. I did not bring out the scale today, as I did not want to overwhelm them all with so many different items. Tomorrow we will bring out the scale and try to get some weights. After they all had had their fill of mealworms and ventured away from the holly tree I then hung their afternoon food tray. They all ate a bit more and then lounged around tree zero and the hemlocks.
Eduardo soon became restless again a little after 3 p.m. and crossed back to Holly Hill. Again he had made this cross so fast that no one saw him. He stayed on Holly Hill for about 20 minutes this time because again Laranja and the kids wanted no part in going back over. She and the kids stayed in the hemlocks just relaxing. When he finally crossed back around 3:30 p.m., he used the high black walnut to cross into tree five, which is where we suspect he crossed over initially. The rest of the afternoon was then spent around tree zero, with a jaunt down to tree 2A and tree two. The family really seems to enjoy this stump that is tree two. They all came down to it, running and jumping all over it for 30 to 40 minutes, running all over the ground with hops to the stump every now and then. Eventually, however, it was time to head back to the nest box where they were all inside by 6:30 p.m. and actually asleep at 7 p.m. when the watchers left for the evening.
July 21: Moment of Truth: Is Laranja Pregnant?
Today was the first day that we were able to obtain weights on all four GLTs. Now I know it has been somewhat of a debate as to whether or not Laranja is pregnant and the verdict is in. At least, we think it is. Today she was weighed at 680 grams, which means if she is pregnant, she is in the very first stages of pregnancy, meaning there, most likely will not be an addition to the family while they are all still outside. We'll see. Perhaps she is pregnant and will give birth shortly after they all come back into the Small Mammal House.
As for activities for the rest of the day, it was a typical day on Holly Hill. The whole family was already over on Holly Hill when the first watchers arrived at 7 a.m. At around 8:15 a.m. they all made a break for the shed holly, where they stayed for about 45 minutes even moving slightly past the holly toward Olmsted before heading back to the bench holly. On their way back, Laranja spotted a gardener getting his tools out of the shed. They waited for him to leave (calling the entire time) and then proceeded into the shed holly and then moved on to the bench holly.
By noon, it was time to cross back for some lunch. Today ended up being a short day on Holly Hill, as the family remained in the main exhibit after this cross. Everyone just rested around the nest box, the hemlocks and tree four for the rest of the afternoon, except for a short trip to tree three and the surrounding trees for a little exploring and playing. By 4:30 p.m., they all were back in tree zero, where they spent the rest of the evening. At 7 p.m. all were in the nest box, and Laranja was the only one anyone could see, but she was still awake. It was another hot night, so it may have been a while before she finally rested her eyes.
July 22: There's a Third Bromeliad?!
Today the family emerged from the nest box a little later than usual as Laranja led the way out at around 6:50 a.m. As we all would expect, the family crossed over to Holly Hill soon after. They began in the bench holly, but soon made their way down to the shed holly where they spent approximately an hour and 15 minutes playing and foraging. At 11:15 a.m. it was time to head back home for some food. I expected this trip home to be short lived, however, the family ended up staying in the main exhibit for the rest of the day. So much for Holly Hill, it was time to finally explore more of their home turf.
Around 1 p.m. Laranja began leading the family down Tamarin Run toward Olmsted Walk. I think we were expecting them to cross back to Holly Hill on the low-lying black walnut. Instead, they all passed right by tree eight. They took the ropes all the way down to tree 13, where they spent the better part of the afternoon. The kids enjoyed themselves so much down here playing and chasing each other all around in the holly tree directly in front of tree 13. It was so fun to watch them because they just never stopped. They kept grabbing onto each other's tails and pulling them. They tried desperately to nurse from mom while in the holly and she finally gave in for a minute, but soon put an end to the nursing. While down there, Eduardo went off on his own frequently, foraging in and exploring tree 27. A little after 2:30 p.m. the clouds started to set in and it looked as if the sky was going to open up any minute and storm. The family started heading back to the nest box, possibly because they suspected they may get soaked. Eduardo led everyone back along the ropes; however when he got to tree eight he decided to take the rope up to the black walnut. Again we thought he might be crossing over, but instead he came down to the fence and Gisela followed close behind. They both started making their way down the fence and were eyeing the bench. Their food tray and scale were behind the bench, so again, Eduardo has outsmarted me and wanted to grab that food. I guess there is no more trying to hide the food there; I will have to come up with a better hiding spot. At this sighting I grabbed their food tray and the scale and headed into their exhibit to try and obtain weights again.
As soon as I stepped inside Eduardo and Gisela jumped back into the exhibit. They both had followed me down the fence and jumped from the fence into the hemlock. The whole family quickly followed me as I set up the scale and played their food tray on top of it. I then backed up and sat waiting for them to come down. I did not have to wait long, only about a minute or two, as everyone was very excited about the food. Everyone came down to the food tray except for Gisela so I was able to get weights on everyone but her. Unfortunately the weights from today did not match yesterday's, and according to today's weights Samba gained 50 grams overnight! Something must be wrong with the scale so we will try and obtain weights again tomorrow and see which they match more closely, today's or yesterday's. In any case, the girls are gaining weight—we just don't know how much.
After all this excitement, it was time to relax. They spent most of the remainder of the day around tree zero; however, they did come over to tree three and the rope from trees three to four for a little bit. Eduardo even came down to the rocks below the three-to-four rope, but only for a minute. It was a late night again, as Eduardo and Gisela were both sitting outside the nest box on Eduardo's branch at 7 p.m. when the last watchers left for the evening.
July 23: Olmsted, Oh, Olmsted
What a day it was today. It seems these little guys acquire more and more energy every day! It was a very active day that began with a cross to Holly Hill at 7:10 a.m., where the day began in the bench holly. Around 10:15 a.m. the family crossed back into the main exhibit for some breakfast, but it was a quick bite to eat before heading back over to Holly Hill. As soon as the GLTs crossed they went to the bench holly for a minute and then it was off to the shed holly, but only for a moment before they started moving past the shed and into the trees along the garden. They spent quite a bit of time foraging and exploring in these trees, frequently moving close to Tamarin Run, into the magnolia trees. Again, they came close to Olmsted Walk, spending about ten minutes in a magnolia before moving back into the trees in the garden, along the fence. While they were in the magnolia tree close to Olmsted, however, you could see the whole family very well from Olmsted at this point, which was very exciting for many of the visitors there. The whole time they were exploring this area they all were quite low in the trees, making it easy for the volunteer on Tamarin Run to keep track of them, though they were all spread out often, which made it difficult to watch them all at the same time, especially since all this activity was occurring during the 11-1 shift when the visitor flow is quite massive. Thankfully there were three of us watching them and a fourth joined around 12:30 p.m.
Around 1 p.m. the whole family started coming back to the shed holly. Eduardo soon took off toward the bench holly, though he seemed to get distracted by the visitors. He made his way into several trees very close to the path by the elephant yards. He didn't really do much, but just look at all the visitors and over into the elephant yard. Soon he moved back into the trees, giving me a moment to breathe. However, this moment did not last long as Laranja soon came out very close to the public in the same tree Eduardo had. And this is when the real fun began. There were so many people all crowding around, who were so excited by Laranja's close proximity, so the watcher and I had to go into high gear in terms of crowd control, we were so busy watching Laranja and dealing with the public that we soon realized we had lost sight of the rest of the family. After about five minutes Laranja went back into the shed holly, so we all assumed the rest of the family must be in there somewhere, but then Laranja seemed to disappear into thin air herself. For about five minutes neither the watchers nor I could see any member of the family, but then, just as we were starting to worry they all were right there in the shed holly playing and running around. We presume that they were in the shed holly the entire time. There is a spot that they can go where neither the top or bottom watcher can see them. These active little devils were certainly giving us a run for our money today!
They all spent a little more time in the shed holly after their disappearing act, but soon moved down to the low-lying black walnut, where they all crossed back into the main exhibit, led by Laranja around 2 p.m. It was straight for the food tray after they crossed and then a break in the hemlocks. About half an hour after the cross I obtained weights on the family again since the numbers from yesterday did not match Friday's and since I was not able to get a read for Gisela yesterday. The weights today still did not match the weights from either of the previous days. The weight obtained for Samba today was 322 grams, which is closer to her weight from yesterday of 348 grams, but still this is a large discrepancy. We are going to play around with the scale and make sure it gives accurate weights and continue trying to obtain them every day until we get some consistent results, which should be more accurate.
After all this excitement, Eduardo wasn't quite done for the day. He ended up crossing back to Holly Hill and just like a few days ago, he ran up tree five so fast that no one saw him make the cross. He seems to be doing this a lot lately, so our volunteer watchers are staying busy. Eduardo stayed on Holly Hill for about 45 minutes before crossing back and in those 45 minutes no one else decided to join him. The whole family does not share his same passion for Holly Hill at all hours of the day. If is after 1 p.m. and Laranja is in the main exhibit area, she does not want to cross back to Holly Hill. Once Eduardo crossed back it was time for an hour-long nap inside the nest box before becoming active again. Around 4:30 p.m. they all moved into the hemlocks where they spent some time playing, especially the twins who were so active running and chasing each other all over the hemlocks and the â€œhave a heart trapâ€� that was hanging in that area. By the way, everyone has been inside the â€œhave a heart trapâ€� or on top of it, which is a good sign in case we ever need to trap them. If you see them go into the trap on your shift, please make a note of it. By 5:30 p.m. everyone was back in tree zero were it was finally time to rest for the evening. The whole family was inside the box by 6:30 p.m., and all were down below in the bottom layer, presumably fast asleep.
Every week seems to be getting busier and busier with a whole new set of adventures every time. We saw a very brave side of Gisela this week, which is so encouraging because we can finally see that she has developed a comfort and enjoyment for the great outdoors. Practice makes perfect. Hopefully, the family does not decide to cross Olmsted Walk anytime soon, though it would be exciting to see where they would venture off to. The whole zoo is theirs for the taking and they've only discovered a small portion of it, so we will see what fun lies ahead for next week and those following. Eduardo seems to be dying to explore greater depths of the zoo, which could make for some exciting future issues. That's all for now!