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Judy, the Monkey Who Once Raised a Kitten



Popcorn Park Zoo is home to many monkeys who came from inappropriate circumstances. Judy the Macaque is one of these. She came to us in 1991 from a woman in New York who might be considered a monkey rescuer, but Judy was wrongly kept more as a pet.

Judy, like most monkeys raised by humans as pets, finds it difficult to be an easy companion to another monkey. When monkeys grow up in their normal wild environment, a strong tribe with a hierarchal structure is established. When those raised by humans or in forced social groups are put together, it can result in difficult, even cruel, circumstances for some in the `pecking order'. Judy had been placed next to two monkeys at the Zoo, but the results were not encouraging. One of these possible companions was Hawkeye, whom she lived next to for quite some time as a way of introduction. However, when the two were actually allowed to interact, Hawkeye was curious and friendly, and Judy wanted none of it.

The one animal who did evoke Judy's compassion was a tiny feral kitten that somehow managed to find its way into Judy's cage. Judy raised the kitten named Cricket as her own, grooming, playing and watching over her. This unique pair made newspaper headlines, and the pair was inseparable, until Cricket passed away years later. Introduction of another kitten was attempted, but the chemistry wasn't there, and proved to benefit neither.

Judy seems to have adapted to her solitude, but greatly enjoys contact with staff. She has a sweet personality, and is best described as eager to please. She demonstrates this by generously grooming her visitor(s), and when she feels she has finished, she'll put out her hand to ask for a reciprocal grooming. Judy is quite small .. smaller than the impression given by her photos.

Judy loves seeing visitors at the Zoo and always appreciates sponsors on the Wildlife Club.

To read more and see more photos of Judy, click here.

8/19/2005

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