Woman mothers monkey 24 hours a day
The long hours of monkey mothering don't bother the 54-year-old Colombian woman, she said, because she already raised two children.
"To me there is no difference. You have to look after each the same. When you give them the bottle, you have to make sure they don't choke," said Silva, who works with the neonatal unit of Bogota's Wildlife Reception Center, part of the capital's environment ministry.
Silva, who has children aged 20 and 30, began working at the center west of Bogota in 2000. She has nurtured species ranging from birds to turtles to primates.
"I carry them with me for a couple of months, in general, or the time that is required." Her husband and daughter help her with the household chores and cooking while she is occupied with a baby animal.
Now she is looking after the night monkey, a member of the Aotus genus, which lives in the tropical forests of South America, including Colombia, Brazil and Ecuador. Night monkeys got their name because of their unusual nocturnal habits.
Silva never gives her animal charges names so they don't become seen as pets. In the long term, the center aims to return them to the wild.
Her latest baby, a male night monkey with dark fur, beige brows and large, protruding brown eyes for night vision, arrived at the center on Feb. 4, weighing a scant quarter of a pound.
Critical thinking challenge: Why must Martha Silva tend to the baby night monkey 24 hours a day?
- Posted on February 24, 2013
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