Sunday, September 28, 2008

Welcome to Julian!

It's been an interesting couple of weeks...Sherri heard about an incident in the Picton area concerning the escape of a Japanese Macaque from a place that has seen better days. She reached out to those people to assist and we went to the area on a rescue mission a few times! Tracking through woods and fields looking for a medium sized monkey is not so easy. 
But that is our commitment. To make monkey lives better, every day for the rest of their lives. Period.
So, last week, Julian was captured and Sherri went on down and he was released to the care of Story Book Farm...where you may ask was he going to fit into the barn? Some construction has been necessary this weekend to accomodate George and Susie to live beside Nan and Chelsea so that Julian can live amongst Lexy, Yoshi, Sweet Pea and Pierre. He arrived on Monday and had a nervous two days of not leaving his nest box. Sherri was becoming very anxious but on wednesday morning he had come down for a big drink and eaten a bit of fruit...whew!! Now came the aggression at his new situation. He was none too happy to have new roommates! He lashed out at Pea and Lexy...wouldn't let Sherri anywhere near. 
I went up on Saturday to see what I could see and it seemed that the instant he saw me, he  thought I was okay and he started to calm down. I can't take any credit, it was just I seem to be the person for him. He really turned a corner yesterday. I spent some time in the area, talking to Pea and Julian and even Lexy and Yoshi...we had a great time. When Julian got aggressive and started Pea off, I talked quietly  to them and Pea calmed down, then he did too. 
We decided to try to shift him over to Lexy's area and it only took 15 min, which is really astounding! He was so trusting. He was scared, don't get me wrong. He knew Lexie was around and had lived with her wrath before at the other place. They are actually  part of the same family and we hope to get them together in the future.
So, Sherri put some yummy food into the shift cage and I waited patiently to see if he would come over. He made lots of good noises and peeked through the shift door and eventually came all the way over. He didn't even look at the food. I had also thrown in some peanuts, but again, pad no attention. I was amazed at his level of trust. A  little overwhelmed at one point too...I am a big softie you know! Once he was feeling a little relaxed I closed the door and we were able to clean out his area and change the water from the inside! He went right back when the door opened again...I think he has shifted before and he is a VERY smart boy! Way to go Julian! I am very optimistic that he will make more progress soon and learn to trust all the souls that are around the farm including the human ones! Sherri will try to shift him today and hopefully that will go well. 
On a separate note, little Freddy duck is changing colour and looking beautiful and is extremely happy and content. Charmaine returned from Borneo and came out to help out and went home with a kitten for Dave! Only two left,,,actually Val will be taking one so just one left...Sarah, you need to come and get it! Everybody else is good and hopefully George and Susie will be moved today and enjoy their new area...they will be able to Jenkins again, I think Jenks will like that!
Okay, that's too many words for today...thanks to everyone who reads the blog, we know you're out there now! Thanks to all the wonderful volunteers and keep in touch everyone!
See ya out there...

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sherri's now blogging!!!!!!!!

Hi Guys. This is a first!!!! So HELLLOOOOO.
Today was cleaning day at the farm so as I sit here typing I am noticing that I smell quite similar to my friends in the barn.... so this will be a short first start.
We have a new arrival, his name was Leonard but we have decided to call him Freddy. He is a baby duck. We are hoping that he will become Duck's new partner and friend. We will be taking it slow as both have been imprinted with humans. We will keep you posted on the progress. Everyone else is fine and still enjoying their access to the outdoors as summer moves into fall. I will bring my blogging to a close for today so that I can ease the noses that are in the house. Take care to all.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Thank you for a great summer

Hi folks - so here we are at September 7, 2008. Hope you had a great summer...The Vegetarian Food Fair is wrapping up, and the colours of the leaves are changing. As we look back over this summer, it has been tremendous for the residents at the sanctuary. Thank you to everyone who made this possible!

Back in May, Sherri, Kim and I sat down to plan out what the summer could look like, including the idea of the first Open House of Story Book Farm. At the time, it seemed a bit daunting - so many things to do - Woofstock, Dog Days of Scugog, volunteer days, the Open House, and then the Baseball tournament and the Veg Food Fair - phew! So many wonderful things happened during each of these events, for example, the Dog Days of Scugog brought the wonderful Val into the lives of the primates. She has been an awesome volunteer and spent her vacation days helping us getting prepared for the Open House. We could not have done it without her!

The Open House was such a success - we had over 150 visitors to the farm, including the crew of CBC Newsworld - who filmed for 90 minutes in the morning and did a great, factual story entitled "Unwanted Exotics" in the national broadcast. Rob Laidlaw of Zoocheck was also interviewed, citing the lax laws and how it is easier to own a tiger or python, than it is to get a license to drive a cab or run a hot-dog stand. We will be posting the video of the broadcast on our site soon.

As you know, we had rain almost every day, so the thought of a rain-soaked day was possible, but we had fortune smile on us and it was a beautiful sunny day. As I think back on that day, our amazing crew of volunteers is the foremost thing on my mind - so many to thank including: Laura, Sarah, Taylor, Kim, Rob, Malcolm, Cindy, Val, Lucy, Lesley, Dan, Sue and her lovely "lemonade girls", Devon, Chris, Stacey, Jess, LJ, Tracey, Jenn, Lisa, Lesley and Cam, and the whole crew who baked cookies, donated goods and helped in so many ways. We especially want to thank our "web guys" Ken and James. One of the visitors asked how we were able to get so many volunteers to help - for this we are so grateful.

It was amazing to me to see how respectful everyone was of the residents - we had small groups, and requested no talking in the barn to keep things quiet - everyone did so and was so moved by "the folks". George, Mr. Jenkins, Pierre, Razzle, Kye and Kizmet really loved the visits - Mr. Jenkins was watching down to the pasture all the time, watching the activity. Pablo and Amigo, the little marmosets just loved seeing all the new faces, running through the chutes above, checking things out. Sweet Pea was so great too. It was so important that people understand what the monkeys have been through and how they can help.

Thanks to Larry for organizing the baseball tournament - we had eight teams participate, with people coming as far away as Kingston to join. The weather held up and it was a great day too!

In the midst of all of this, we have the privilege of watching the blossoming friendship between Sweet Pea and Violet. As Kim blogged earlier, we saw the first encounters with Violet going into Pea's area. As the summer progressed, it became a regular thing, with Violet coming in to visit Pea, and Pea grooming her and carrying her as she would a baby baboon. Last Saturday, Pea carried Violet over to the water bucket and placed her up on the ledge as if to show her where the water was! Violet stayed with her a long time, and stood up against Pea's face and pushed her kitten cheek into Pea's cheek - it was so moving! In this photo, you can see Pea grooming Violet as she is sleeping. We are so thrilled that Violet and Sweet Pea have each other and have formed this very special bond. As Violet grows, we are planning to make a little "cat door" into Sweet Pea's area so she can come and go.

Thank you again to all the people who have made this summer a memorable one - Laura for coming up so often; Sarah helping with outreach; Kim with husbandry skills; Val and Cindy doing carpentry work; Leslie and Cam; Sue - raising money at her garage sale; Larry helping organizing; and the merchants and vendors who donated goods - to everyone - with thank you so much! At most of all, I want to thank Sherri and Leonard for their compassion, determination and strength to put up with all of us :), and to daily provide an example of how 'everyday' people can save the world, maybe not the whole world, but for each individual - their whole world. Thank you for allowing us to be part of this!