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|My next animal encounter was a little strange. My father was working
in experimental psychology, and had his own monkey colony. Talk about stories. Most of the
monkeys were Rhesus monkeys. Sometimes when a female has her first baby, she really
doesn't know what to make of it. In those cases, the baby stands a real chance of dying.
Such a situation arose in the colony. We decided to raise the baby ourselves. This baby
boy Rhesus was born around the time of the first moon landing, in 1969. In honor of that
event, we named him Apollo. We raised him at home for months and months, before
he was old enough to join the group. I even took him to school as part of a class project.
Raising a baby monkey is not unlike raising a human baby. We had him in diapers, and he took formula from a small baby bottle. Even as a baby, he was tremendously strong. Like a human, he sucked his thumb. He got along just fine with Chan. First men on the moon, then monkeys in the house - what next? I could talk about the year we had two Madagascar Lemurs in the house, Duke and Babo. I'll save those stories for another time.
|The left picture shows Apollo exploring the living
room. Note the diaper. The middle picture shows Mater (my grandmother) with Apollo.
Notice how Apollo is clinging to her dress for security, while sucking his thumb.
The right picture shows myself with Apollo. Both of us have grown since you last
saw us. Note that I'm reading a book on evolution. I hope he wasn't offended.
A monkey is not one of the common pets, and I could not really recommend them as a pet. I was simply lucky enough to spend some time with a most incredible creature.
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Sunday, September 29, 2002 10:59 PM
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