Issue 21, October 24
October 15: Little Monster
The family slept in a little on this chilly morning, and was still in the box when the watchers arrived at 7 a.m. Eduardo and Laranja came out of the box at 7:07 and the others followed a few minutes later. They foraged around the exhibit before crossing to Holly Hill at 7:50. They settled into the bench holly, sitting in the highest branches where the sun could warm their golden fur. They spent a few hours grooming and playing at the top of the tree.
At 10:30, they moved down toward shed holly, foraging along the way. At 12:15 they headed back toward the low black walnut and crossed back to the main exhibit at 12:30. They foraged in the exhibit and at one, the kids played inside the next box, wrestling in front of the camera. The babies was seen trying to nurse at 1:45 and even Moe and Mara investigated it. They all moved about the hemlocks for a few hours.
A large flock of black birds flew through, stopping in the trees above the main exhibit to eat. Mara took full advantage of the spectacle and climbed high up into the branches; chasing the birds and watching them fly away. Baby 2 played rambunctiously in the hemlock to the left of tree four. He repeatedly ran out to the end of the branches by the fence, standing up on his hind feet and holding his mouth open to show his big, scary teeth. He is quite the little monster!
Shortly before four, the kids climbed low in the trees and ran across the ground from tree to tree. They played this way for about an hour, chasing each other from trunk to trunk. As if on cue, the monkeys headed to the nest box at five, moving between the platforms for the next few hours. By the time the watchers left, Eduardo was the only one visible sleeping above the platform.
The family once again came out of the box shortly after 7 a.m. They foraged around the main exhibit for a little over two hours. At 8:40, the babies went back into the box and played inside for a few minutes. They all crossed to Holly Hill at 9:20 after eating from the food tray. Moe gave Mara a hard time, chasing her from the food again and again but she settled in to eat as the family trailed off toward the low black walnut. They foraged in the bench holly and settled high into the branches for an hour.
At 10:25 a huge flock of grackles landed in the trees around the holly and the monkeys moved onto the branch of the high black walnut and watched them for a while. Moe and Mara played and wrestled and he mounted her, holding onto her back for a few minutes. Shortly after 11, they settled back into the top of the bench holly until 1:15. They headed down toward the shed holly, foraging along Holly Hill but turned around at 1:45 and headed back to the low black walnut.
They crossed back to the main exhibit at 1:57. Mara and Moe jumped onto the fence and ran along it toward the hemlocks. They jumped onto the path and briefly explored the bench before continuing on. They all foraged throughout the hemlocks for much of the afternoon, playing in the branches, and grooming one another. By 5 p.m., they were all back at tree zero and moved in and out of the box. By 5:45 they were all in the box and disappeared below the platform except for a few glimpses for the rest of the evening.
The family was up and moving about the trees behind tree zero at 7 a.m. They foraged around the main exhibit until 7:45, when they moved to the low black walnut and crossed to Holly Hill. Everyone took the ropes except for Eduardo who went up tree five and into the top of the low black walnut to follow everyone across. They settled high into the sunny branches of the bench holly.
At 9:30 they headed down to the shed holly and foraged through the top of the trees. About an hour later they moved back toward the bench holly and crossed to the main exhibit. There were deer moving through the area and the GLTs stopped to yell at them for several minutes before moving to the food trays to eat. After a few minutes of eating, they crossed back to bench holly once more and settled into the bench holly and foraged. They crossed back to the main exhibit once more at 12:55 and moved into the hemlocks.
They spent the afternoon playing and foraging around the main exhibit. At 2:48, Moe and Mara were seen play copulating. Mara fell several times as they played in the trees through the afternoon. The babies spent some time chasing a squirrel and they all made a family affair of chasing a blue jay at 2:52. They headed back to tree zero and into the nest box at 5:30. They came back out to eat at 5:45 but were all in the box and settled below the platform by 6 p.m.
The family came out of the nest box at 7:10 and foraged about the exhibit area. They crossed to Holly Hill over the low black walnut at 7:50. They moved high into the branches of the bench holly, grooming each other and playing. At 9:30 they headed down toward shed holly and into the trees past it. They jumped down and played and foraged on the ground under the trees by the path on and off for a little over an hour. They played on top of the shed at 11, scent marking the shingled roof.
At 11:23 they crossed back to the main exhibit. They ate briefly from the food tray and then crossed back to Holly Hill once more, settling high into the bench holly. They stayed in a monkey ball until around 2 when they moved to the neighboring trees and then crossed back to the main exhibit at 2:10. They foraged about hemlocks for the rest of the afternoon.
At 4:40 a hawk flew over and the family predator called to each other. By 5:45 they were moving back to the box and popped in and out of it until 6:15. By 6:30 Eduardo was resting above the level with Baby 2 and Baby 1 was restlessly playing around them.
Eduardo was just leaving the box when the watchers arrived at 7 a.m. The rest of the family straggled out after him and were all foraging in the exhibit by 7:18. Laranja, Mara, and the babies crossed to Holly Hill over the low black walnut at 7:57. Eduardo started to follow but Moe was nowhere to be seen and Eduardo went back to the main exhibit to look for him. It was a few minutes before he appeared but eventually he climbed down from high up in tree zero. He and Eduardo climbed up tree five and approached the crossing point into the high black walnut over the path. The branches there have lost their leaves and it must have looked more intimidating because they moved down and used the low black walnut instead, crossing at 8:05. They joined the rest of the family high in the sunny branches of the bench holly.
At 11 they crossed back to the main exhibit and moved into the hemlocks. They foraged and spent a good deal of time grooming each other. At 11:51 Mara crossed into the Red Light District (the area of trees between the bathroom and the exhibit area). Moe and the babies followed her quickly and they foraged through the trees. Laranja and Eduardo hung back but eventually crossed as well, Eduardo took a very thin branch that required special maneuvering to make it over.
They all foraged and Eduardo crossed back to the main exhibit at 12:57. Laranja, Mara, and the babies crossed back and Laranja long called to Moe. He answered and then quickly followed. At 1:30 they all moved into the box and the kids played inside for half an hour. They spent the rest of the afternoon moving through the hemlocks, grooming and foraging. At 2:38, Laranja yelled at the crowd from her perch on the ropes despite being a good distance away from them. They all moved back to the box at five, and were in and out until six. By 6:30 they were all settled below the platform for the night.
The family was up at 7 a.m. on this wet morning, grooming each other in the hemlocks. The heavy rain of the night before had weighed down the ropes so much that the metal hook holding up the rope between trees three and four had snapped. Laranja climbed to the ground twice to eat from the fallen food tray. They all moved to tree five and investigated the bromeliad at 9:15 and then crossed to Holly Hill over the low black walnut. They settled high into the sunny branches of the bench holly as usual.
At 10:21 a large bird flew through and landed near them and they all called to each other and scattered. They settled back into the tree and stayed there until they crossed back to the main exhibit at 12:30. They foraged through the exhibit, moving into the trees behind tree three and eating the berries that grow there.
At 1:30 they made their way back to the low black walnut and crossed to Holly Hill again. They spent an hour in the bench holly before crossing back to the main exhibit once more. They moved about the hemlocks for the rest of the afternoon, foraging and grooming one another. At 3:55 Baby 2 chased a bird out of the hemlock to the left of tree four. At 5:15 they headed into the box and were soon not visible for the rest of the evening.
The GLTs slept in until 7:10 a.m. before exiting the box and moving about the trees near the tree zero. By eight, they had moved to tree five and foraged for a few minutes before crossing to Holly Hill. They followed the sun to the top of the tree and stayed there for a few hours. At 10:20 they crossed back to the main exhibit. They ate quickly and then crossed back to Holly Hill once more. The babies played rambunctiously, chasing each other through the branches.
At 11 they all moved into the black walnut and the white ash to forage but by 11:15 they were back in the bench holly, resting in a monkey ball. At 12, they woke up and moved into the trees over Elephant Walk on their way to the shed holly. Halfway there, they turned around and crossed back to the main exhibit. They ate from the food tray at tree five and then rested in the hemlocks.
At 1:50, Baby 1 attempted to ride Eduardo, much to his father’s dismay. He was quickly kicked off. At 2:21, one of the branches that Mara was playing on snapped and she fell about five meters to the ground. She jumped right back up the tree and sat on a branch for a few minutes before going back to playing like nothing had happened.
The family moved back toward the nest box at four, and Laranja and Eduardo scent marked all over tree zero. They moved into the box at five, resting closely together on both levels. They came back out at six to eat briefly but were back in and not visible for the rest of the night at 6:15.
October 23: Last Day Out
The monkeys moved about tree zero at 7 a.m., foraging. They crossed to Holly Hill at 7:44 and went straight up into the bench holly. At 9:55 they crossed back to the main exhibit to eat. Moe and Mara took the fence while the others took the rope from the low black walnut to the hemlocks.
At 10:07 Laranja led them back to Holly Hill and everyone followed her except Eduardo who went up tree five and then into the top of the low black walnut. They spent a few minutes in the bench holly and then set off toward the shed holly. They foraged along the way and into the trees all the way toward Olmsted Walk. They foraged and the kids played through the branches until 11:15, when they moved back to the low black walnut. They settled into the bench holly at 11:45, sitting high in the branches to soak up their last rays of sun in those branches.
They crossed back to the main exhibit for the last time this season at 12:40 and played around tree zero at one. At 1:15 they moved into the hemlocks and settled in to play and groom for an hour. The afternoon sun shone off their golden fur, making a serene scene beautiful enough to last the coming months. At 2:20 they came down to the scale platform between tree zero and tree five to be weighed and Eduardo and Mara jumped briefly to the ground to look for fallen treats.
At five, they moved back to the nest box and were in and out for the next hour. Two deer wandered through their exhibit and they yelled at the hoofed invaders to whom they would soon be relinquishing their territory. They were into the box by six and had moved below the platform by 6:15.
October 24: The End of a Season
In the darkness that is 5:30 a.m., the monkeys were deep asleep in their box when the nest box door snapped shut. They stirred slightly but did not wake until the box was hoisted slowly down from the tree at 6 a.m. By 6:30 they had been transported to Small Mammal House and as soon as the door to the cooler was opened, Eduardo shot out into the large exhibit. He explored the network of vines and ropes as Laranja stared out of the door. After a minute, she joined him in checking out their new territory. Moe was next followed after a few minutes by Mara then Baby 1 and finally Baby 2.
Right away, Eduardo started scent marking the branches and rocks, reclaiming his old home. They moved around cautiously for a few minutes and then Eduardo calmly ate from the food tray. The others snatched a piece here or there as they eyed their new roommates. When the prehensile-tailed porcupine started moving across the exhibit, the family all huddled in the far corner. The spiny creature must have approached a little too close for comfort because they scattered and Mara leapt from her perch, right into the exhibit glass. She sat on the ground for a second before scampering back up the vines to rejoin the family. They settled down as their nocturnal friend went to sleep on the rocks by the waterfall.
They soon settled in to groom each other, smoothing out their mussed hair. They sat in a monkey ball on the large branch of an artificial tree, resting after their early morning. During the rest of the day they explored and played, learning the ropes of their new home, literally. Moe and Mara climbed about the screen on the ceiling checking every corner of the room. They ate heartily and played in their forage tray. They adapted extremely well, showing what a wonderfully resilient family they are.
There were a few tense moments whenever the sloths moved about the exhibit. They yelled at them like they would the deer outside and it kept them occupied a good chunk of the day. The babies were especially watchful, staring at them and calling long after the rest of the family had lost interest. They all settled into the nest box shortly after 3 p.m., moving in and out to play until they went to sleep around five. So their first day inside went very well, marking the end of one season and the beginning of what will surely be an eventful winter.