A new addition to our center in September 2005 was Bandit, a 10 month old Long Tailed Macaque. Bandit had been observed three months ago by our vet and some volunteers at the Kao Wang Mountain (otherwise known as Monkey Mountain) in the city of Petchaburi. At that stage, she was being well cared for by her possessive and very protective mother. The level of care she was receiving was all the more important for the fact that she had been born without any legs, only one arm and a stump for her other arm. On the arm she has, her hand is deformed with only a middle finger and a thumb. Most likely her deformities are congenital, since there is no evidence of any hip joints or scars, plus the extent of wounding necessary to cause her deformity, had she been born normal, would most likely have killed her from the resulting blood loss and infections.
It is common for female Long Tailed Macaques to reject their young at approximately 10 months of age, to stop them from suckling and encourage them to start fending for themselves. Unfortunately for Bandit, without continued support and care, she would not survive. She would experience enormous difficulty gaining access to the food handed out by tourists and would not be able to fight off other monkeys vying for social position. Left to her own devices, Bandit would be dead by now had it not been for a kind local who rescued her from the mountain and brought her to our center. Bandit is an amazing monkey though and has adapted well to her disability. She moves with quite some speed, having developed the strength of her remaining arm and learnt how to use her long tail as an additional limb. She climbs up her cage using both her stump and available arm and has learnt to grasp food with her deformed hand. She appears to be happy and content with life despite lacking social companions, and will hopefully live a long and healthy life. We are currently trying to raise funds to build a special cage for her where she can have some interaction with staff members, since it is unlikely she would adapt well to life in a larger social group.