IZHEVSK, August 3 (Itar-Tass) —— Local residents of the Chepets village in Udmurtia have found an African monkey specie which jumped out of a passing car which license plates no one noticed. The monkey had been at large amidst fir trees in a forest presumably for three weeks before it was turned over to Izhevsk Zoo.
The monkey habitually climbed a tree to make itself safe and did not intend to go down. It managed to find scarce food throughout 20 very hot days in Udmurtia, sitting up on a tree, but did not go down to strangers. But after the animal became hungry and fatigued the monkey gave in to two local volunteers who suffered from the monkey’s bites as they rescued the animal.
After the news about the exotic animal reached the regional head of the territory where the animal was found experts from Izhevsk Zoo were summoned. Deputy Zoo director for zoological and veterinary care Irina Ovchinnikova told Itar- Tass that the monkey proved a healthy, green monkey specie of African descent. The monkey had a good appetite and instantaneously swallowed all the ‘tasty gifts” brought from the Zoo.
Zoo veterinarians thoroughly examined the monkey which was named Vanya. Despite almost 20 days in the forest when the animal received numerous insect bites it remained healthy, with no parasites, but good teeth and good hair of olive- like color on the body. It is a male specie 60 centimeters long and presumably from three to four years old, experts said. Vanya is friendly and easy to handle, Ovchinnikova said. It is obviously accustomed to a cage. The animal was not frightened during transportation and quickly got used to its new home in the Zoo, Ovchinnikova added.
No one has claimed the lost animal yet, although police were informed about the find. The monkey will be quarantined for about a month. It feels fine, enjoys playing and is not particular about food. Soon the monkey will be moved to a separate enclosure because it is the only marmoset in the Zoo not likely to make friends with any other monkey species. Meanwhile, Zoo keepers wonder whether they should look for “a bride” for their pet Vanya.
Russia has rather many green marmoset species which are brought from Africa on a quota basis; besides, such monkeys are easily reproduced in captivity and raised at animal breeding farms to be turned over either to a circus or private owners.