For years we’ve coexisted pretty much peacefully with our furry neighbours, the vervet monkeys. Sure, if you aren’t careful and leave a door or window open they will sneak in and eat anything in sight. I’ve lost countless bananas, mangoes and avocados, a carton of eggs and even a highly coveted piece of carrot cake to these black faced bandits. But that’s a small price to pay to enjoy watching them play and jump from tree to tree in our back garden. I think we entertain them too; they’re always up for playing “monkey see, monkey do” mirroring our actions as we crouch down, stretch up and lean to the left and the right.
Now suddenly, the dynamic has changed. A power struggle is afoot. Luckily it has nothing to do with me, but my husband is being challenged for supremacy at Raptor’s Lodge.
I think the trouble has started because of the babies. The troupe has five new arrivals, and Mr. Alpha Male is feeling pretty full of himself. He’s becoming more aggressive, and my husband Johann, the Alpha Male in our house decided to put him in his place.
Johann was about to leave the house. He opened the door and was confronted by the large male standing on the path. Johann feigned a forward charge, which has always been enough to chasten the guy and have him beat a quick retreat. Not this time.
The manly monkey responded with a mock charge of his own. Johann feigned another charge. This time the monkey countered with a more aggressive stance, barring his teeth. Johann quickly slammed the front door.I think this first confrontation has to be considered a tie.
The Alpha monkey now seems to be biding his time, circling around the house and waiting for another opportunity. When I strolled into the kitchen the other morning to join Johann at the coffee maker, he drew my attention to the big fella sitting outside window, overtly displaying his mating-ready bright blue private parts.
“Someone’s trying to get your attention” he observed.
“At least you know to wait until I’ve had my first cup of coffee” I replied.