Am avut dintotdeauna un drag aparte fata de maimute. Tin minte ca pe la 7-8 ani, cand ne aflam la mare la Mamaia, tata a oprit un fotograf pe plaja ca sa facem poza cu maimuta. Momentul a avut o incarcatura emotionala destul de puternica, avand in vedere ca mi-a ramas adanc intiparit in minte. E drept ca dupa aceea ma intrebam intr-una ce face maimutica aceea, cum traieste ea iarna, oare nu-i e frig? Si in acelasi timp ma gandeam ca daca as fi avut posibilitatea sa o am, as fi avut grija de ea mai bine decat oricine altcineva.
Dupa multi ani, acum vreo 2 sau 3, am vazut pe facebook un anunt ca cineva lasase la un centru de adoptie a animalelor o maimutica. Instinctul a fost sa scriu imediat doamnei ce postase anuntul si sa o intreb daca e nevoie de cineva care sa o adopte. Raspunsul a fost ca cei care au gasit-o o ingrijesc foarte bine si nu vor sa renunte la ea. M-a uimit insa rapiditatea cu care am actionat: nu am stat deloc sa ma gandesc daca e bine sau nu ce fac, daca pot sau nu sa imi asum ca voi adopta o maimuta, daca stiu sa am grija de o maimuta. Pur si simplu decizia fusese luata cu mult timp inainte, poate pe vremea cand aveam 7-8 ani.
Si avand asta in fondul existentei mele, am plecat spre Raquel’s Ark. Pe masura ce ne apropiam de casa lui Raquel, nu ma gandeam decat la emotia intalnirii cu puiul de maimuta pe care il ingrijeste. Abia asteptam sa-l vad. In cel mai recent review al ei pe AirBnb, David descria ca Raquel l-a asteptat la aeroport cu un pui de maimuta atarnand de gatul ei. Deja vizualizam fascinatia din momentul intalnirii. Nu mi-am pus nicio clipa problema ca Raquel ar putea veni sa ne ia, neinsotita de maimutica.
Intr-adevar, cand s-a dat jos din masina, Boomer era dupa gatul ei. L-a luat si mi l-a pus dupa gat. Boomer era si el curios de intalnire, se tinea bine cu manutele de par, se catara pe capetele noastre, isi lua avant si sarea de pe o mana pe alta spre a ajunge intr-un final acolo unde ii era locul, dupa gatul mamei lui.
Acasa, Raquel i-a dat sa manance o formula speciala: lapte de migdale, imbogatit cu vitamine si minerale. Iar ca desert avea suc de portocale neindulcit. Ma uitam fascinata la cat de dragalas era cum manca el asa cu pofta si cat de mult semana cu un copil.
Povestea lui Boomer e urmatoarea: un om i-a impuscat mama pentru a-l lua si a-l vinde ca animal de companie. Cumva politia animalelor din Panama a aflat, au luat puiul iar pe om l-au bagat la inchisoare pentru 3 ani. Si cum Raquel are un centru de ingrijire a animalelor salbatice, au adus puiul la ea, pentru a-l creste.
Am aflat ca puii stau agatati de mama lor pana pe la 6 luni. Se tin foarte bine de ea, intrucat daca i-ar da drumul ar cadea de la o inaltime foarte mare si ar muri. Sunt foarte dependenti de contactul fizic, pe care daca nu il au, cad in depresie si mor de tristete.
Din acest motiv Raquel are in permanenta puiul de maimuta cu ea. Boomer este o maimuta urlatoare. Din cercetari facute pe internet, am aflat ca maimutele urlatoare sunt cele mai galagioase dintre speciile de maimute si ca sunt poate cele mai galagioase animale care exista. Pot striga atat de tare, incat in unele cazuri, strigatul se aude de la 15 Km departare. Ca si amanunt, pot distinge toate culorile, exact ca si oamenii.
Pentru 5 zile, cat a durat vizita noastra acolo, Boomer a fost nelipsit din orice activitate pe care am avut-o: o ajuta pe Raquel sa conduca masina, plangea ori de cate ori i se schimba scutecul, manca cu pofta formula speciala din seringa, dar si frunze de salata sau flori, se trezea cu noaptea in cap si mergea la jogging cu Raquel.
Intr-o zi, Raquel a trebuit sa mearga la aeroport sa ia un prieten, si trebuia sa-l lase pe Boomer cu cineva. Asa incat am mers cu ea la aeroport si am ramas cu Boomer in masina. Cum a inchis usa, puiul a inceput sa planga si sa se agite, s-o caute pe mama lui adoptiva. Se agata cu manutele pe volan, se urca pe bord, revenea pe volan, se catara pe spatarul scaunului, se baga sub scaun, se urca pe mana mea, cobora iar. Incercam sa-l fac sa stea pe dupa gatul meu, il mangaiam, insa nu puteam sa-l linistesc, sa-l fac sa-i treaca durerea despartirii de mama sa. Dupa vreo ora de agitatie si de plans incontinuu, obosise. L-am luat in brate si de data asta nu a mai putut opune rezistenta, s-a agatat cu manutele de mana mea si a ramas acolo, unde a adormit suspinand. Il tot mangaiam si ma uitam la fatuca aceea mica si dragalasa, atat de expresiva. Ii urmaream respiratia si ma gandeam la puritatea simtirii lui.
Raquel a venit intr-un final si puiul a simtit-o imediat. A deschis ochisorii si a inceput sa strige dupa ea. Raquel i-a intins mana si Boomer s-a dus imediat la locul lui, dupa gatul mamei. Inca mai striga incetisor, parca rugand-o sa nu mai plece, ca nu mai poate indura atata suferinta.
A fost o experienta incredibla. Animalele au o puritate pe care nu o vom gasi niciodata la oameni. Cel mai bun si mai frumos om de pe planeta asta, nu va avea niciodata puritatea pe care am simtit-o tinand in brate un pui de maimuta urlatoare, care a adormit suspinand, obosit de plans si de durerea despartirii de mama sa.
Si nu pot sa nu ma gandesc la toti puii nestiuti de nimeni care printr-o serie de evenimente mai mult sau mai putin triste, adorm in suspine.
And this is for Raquel
I have always had a special love towards the monkeys. I remember that when I was 7-8 years old, when we were to the seaside in Mamaia , Dad stopped a photographer on the beach to do a picture with the monkey – the photographer had a monkey with him. The moment had a strong emotional weight, considering that it was deeply imprinted in my mind. After this episode, I kept wondering how is the monkey, how she goes through the winter, isn’t she cold? And I was thinking that if I had the opportunity to have that monkey, I would have been taken good care of her, better than anyone else.
Long time since that happening, about 2 or 3 years ago, I saw a post on Facebook that someone had left a monkey at an animal adoption center. The instinct was to write immediately to the lady that posted the announcement and ask her if the monkey is given up for adoption. The answer was that those who found her take very good care of her and will not give her up. But I was amazed by the speed of my reaction: I was not at all worried whether it’s good or not to adopt the monkey, if I can or can not take care or even better, know how to take care of a monkey. It seemed the decision had been taken long before, perhaps since I was 7-8 years.
And with that in the background of my existence, I went to Raquel’s Ark. As we approached the house of Raquel, all that I kept thinking about was the emotion of meeting the baby howler monkey. I was eager to see him. In the latest review of her Airbnb, David described as Raquel waited for him at the airport with a baby monkey hanging on her neck. I was visualizing the fascination of the meeting. I did not thought any moment that Raquel might come to take us, without bringing the monkey.
Indeed, when she got out of the car she had Boomer around her neck. She took him and put it around my neck. Boomer was also curious about the meeting, he was hanging on my hair, he was climbing over our heads, and he jumped from one hand to another, to finally reach his place around his mother’s neck.
At home, Raquel gave him to eat a special formula: almond milk, enriched with vitamins and minerals. And dessert was unsweetened orange juice. I watched fascinated how cute he was, how he was heartily eating and how much he resemble a child.
Boomer’s story is this: a man shot his mother to take him and sell him as a pet. Somehow the Panamanian animals’ police found out about it, they took the baby and put the man in jail for 3 years. And as Raquel has a wildlife care center, they brought the baby to her.
I learned that baby howler monkies hang up by their mother until 6 months. They care very well of it, as if they would let go, they would fall from a great height and die. They are highly dependent on physical contact, and if they do not have it, they fall into depression and die of sadness.
For this reason Raquel has always her baby monkey with her. Boomer is a howler monkey. From research done on the internet, I found that howler monkeys are the most noisy of the monkey species and perhaps the most noisy animals on the planet. They howl so hard that in some cases, the howl is heard from 15 km away. As a detail, howler monkies can distinguish all colors, just like humans.
For five days, the length of our visit there, Boomer was always present in any activity that we had: he was helping Raquel drive the car, was crying whenever she was changing his diapers, was eating heartily special formula of syringe but also lettuce leaves or flowers, he was waking up early in the morning to go jogging with Raquel.
One day, Raquel had to go to the airport to pick up a friend, and she had to let Boomer with someone. So I went with her to the airport and I stayed in the car with Boomer. The moment she closed the door, the baby began to cry and stir to look for his adoptive mother. He was clinging his hands on the steering wheel, climbing on the board of the car, climbing the chair, going under the seat, climbing up my hand and down again. I tryed to make him stay on my neck, patted, but I could not calm him, or make him get over the pain of separation from his mother. After an hour of agitation and crying constantly he got tired. I took him in my arms and this time he could not resist, he clung to my hand with his hands and remained there, where he fell asleep sobbing. I kept looking at his cute little face, so expressive. I watched his breath and I had a feeling of purity.
Raquel came eventually and the baby felt her immediately. He opened his little eyes and started howl for her. Raquel reached out her hand and Boomer went immediately to his place on his mother’s neck. Still crying softly, as if asking her not to leave, he could no longer endure such suffering.
It was an incredibly experience. Animals have a purity that we will never find at people. The best and most beautiful man on this planet will never have the purity that I felt holding a baby howler monkey, which fell asleep sobbing, tired of crying and pain of separation from his mother.
And I can not help thinking of all the babies in the world that no one knows about, that are falling asleep sobbing, for one reason or another.