Monday, June 30, 2014

How do you catch a monkey alive?

Dr Abe V Rotor 
Living with Nature School on Blog
Paaralang Bayan sa Himpapawid with Ms Melly C Tenorio
738 DZRB AM Band, 8 to 9 evening class, Monday to Friday

Monkeys are clever, they just don't fall into a trap. Of course the quickest way to catch them alive is to shoot them with tranquilizer. But here is a simpler way, and humane at that.

Cynomolgus, or Crab-eating Macaques, imported from the Philippines to the US were found to be carrying filovirus.
Bore a small hole into a whole young coconut (buko), about an inch in diameter, or just enough for the monkey to insert its hands with outstretched fingers into the nut. Secure the nut with wire or rope among the trees where monkeys abound. Or any place they frequent looking for food.

A monkey comes, looks around, inserts its hand into the hole. Once its hand reaches the inside of the nut, it scoops the soft flesh and holds it into a tight fist. By so doing its hand gets stuck inside the nut. The monkey will not release its hold and will try to carry off the nut. Get the picture of a small fellow getting his fingers stuck into an oversize bowling ball.

The poor monkey tumbles, shrieks, and does everything possible to take the nut off, panicking in the process. But it can't think of releasing his fist. It soon gets exhausted.

"That's how stupid monkeys are," says my friend who has been a trapper since he was a boy. He and his father have been trapping live monkeys which they sell to laboratories in Manila. He admits monkeys are rare these days. Either they are getting few, or they are also becoming smart, too. I believe in both. The natural habitat of animals is being threatened by deforestation and pollution. On the other hand, animals, like the dog Pavlov used in his experiment, respond to conditioned learning. This is true with rodents, birds, fish - and practically all animals - probing that animals are not confined only to instinct.

Inti, the trapper, approached his catch, and with a scoop net, led it into a cage - still stuck with the coconut.

This is indeed one for the Book of Guinness. And it is a proof that the fable about the greediness of monkey is true.

How are other animals trapped alive? There are ways to trap birds, wild fowls, wild pigs, deer, monitor lizard, etc. Share with us your knowledge and experience.~ 

NOTE: DENR discourages, if not prohibits, the hunting of selective wildlife species.  It is highly recommended that conservation laws be strictly followed. DOH similarly warns of the danger of viral infection from monkeys and other animals to humans, and vice versa. Monkeys are carrier of Reston vius (RESTV), a new strain of the dreaded Ebola virus (EBOV) as a result of mutation. While pathogenecity is high among monkeys and low in humans, there is serious cause to contain the virus before it develops higher virulence. 

Here is an account of the resurgent character of RESTV. (Wikipedia) 
"Reston virus reemerged in Italy in 1992, and again in a monkey export facility in the Philippines in 1996. On 11 December 2008, pigs from farms slightly north of Manila, Philippines tested positive for the virus. The CDC and the World Health Organization are investigating. On 23 January 2009, Philippine health officials announced that a hog farm worker had been infected with the virus. Although the man was asymptomatic and the source of the infection is uncertain, this could represent the first case of pig-to-human transmission of Reston virus - a fact that could cause concern, as pigs may be able to transmit more deadly diseases to humans. The situation is undergoing further investigation.~

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