Weekly Photo Challenge: Cling Tightly

The Weekly Photo is Life Imitates Art.

Mori Sosen ( 1747-1821) was a famous Japanese painter known best for his paintings of monkeys. I feel that this painting represents the love and care all mothers give to their children, but it can be dangerous when the baby is left unattended for only a minute. Notice how the baby is desperately trying to cling to his mother. Is there a hidden danger in the forest that could separate this little one from his mother permanently?

Mori-Sosen-Japanese-Painter-Edo-Period-japanese-ink-painting-japanese-animal-painting (18)Today in a restaurant, I noticed a tiny Howler monkey wrapped around a man’s neck. Upon closer inspection, the baby monkey had lost or injured his eye. I asked the man if I could take a picture of the baby Howler and he gently unwrapped the monkey clinging tightly around his neck.

Do you know that Howler monkeys are named and known for their loud, guttural howls? They are the loudest animal in the world. Well this little guy let out a howl that shook the restaurant. He didn’t like being separated from his new mommy at all.

What happened to separate this little guy from his mother? The new monkey “mommy” told me that he was walking under a tree near his house and he heard a loud howl. He looked up into the nest where the mother and her baby were resting peacefully and suddenly a huge male Howler monkey swung into the nest, grabbed the baby out of the nest, and flung him to the ground.

Apparently, when the male Howlers want to mate, they will attack and kill any males in the area…even the babies. Francisco, who is familiar with Howler monkeys, told me that mother Howlers must stay far away from male Howlers until their young are able to take care of themselves. This poor baby didn’t have a chance.

The new “mommy” was in the right place at the right time. He grabbed the baby and rushed him to the vet, where his tiny eye was removed.  Now, Baby Howler is recuperating with his new mother with hopes that he can be introduced into the wild when he is older.

There are many dangers lurking in the forest. It only takes a second for a tragedy to occur when the very young do not cling tightly to their mothers. As I watched the new “mommy” bicycle away with his baby Howler wrapped tightly around his neck, I wept tears of joy for his survival, and tears of sadness for his separation from his mother.

Life imitates art. I hope the baby monkey in the painting clung to his mother. Life can be challenging when you don’t cling tightly to someone you love.

17 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Cling Tightly

  1. Quite a story, and a compassionate rescue. We recently watched a documentary about the Flat Nose monkeys in China. The behavior of the males in that species was very similar to what you describe with the Howler monkeys. Phew… not to mess with those males, very profound and frightening behavior.

  2. Debbie,
    Thank you for the story. I find that people on the island are now more sensitive to these great creatures and are showing more respect. It was great meeting you and Ron; you are a lovely lovely couple. You have a beautiful place by the water. Los felicito!!
    If you have a chance to come by Punta Pinuela you will see lots of monkeys, they are everywhere and have been strictly protected for as long as I have been there. The Mogote, which is in the Finca is truly a sanctuary and they move freely throughout. Just yesterday there where a group of about 20 traveling just a few yards from the house, I was delighted to observe them.
    I go back to the us next Thursday and get back to only enjoying this paradise through your postings. I you and Ron can “swing” by before Thursday please call me a day ahead to make sure I am there to give you the 50 cent tour.
    Take care.

    • Ernesto, we would love the 50 cent tour. We will try to call you this week. I have been so busy with the library, and we hope to have it open on Monday or Tuesday, then we have a little more free time. It was wonderful to meet you! I really enjoy meeting my blogging friends, and especially you since you come to Ometepe Island and know it so well.
      Thanks for the donation, too. We had our big shopping trip to Rivas last week and Monday we are distributing all of the goodies we bought the students.

  3. Loved hearing the howler monkeys in Mexico and several countries in Central America as well. I remember running into several families on a walk by the butterfly house on Ometepe and loved watching them (the foliage was thin in May so they were easy to see) and listening to them. How lucky the little monkey was to have a rescuer nearby! Anita

  4. Reading your post unexpectedly brought this to mind, “What am I clinging too tightly to now that may prevent me from being safely released back to where I came from?”

I'd love to read your ideas and thoughts below....

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