May 22, 2012


We can not always understand everything, and in a way that maybe goes against science I don't think we are meant to. Betsy has proven this to me recently. There is a candle that's lit next to Peanut and Betsy's enclosure - right over his grave - and every night without fail it's like watching a religious experience take place. The match is lit in the dark of the night, it flickers ever so brightly, Betsy walks over lightly, her grey eyes glaze over and she begins to anoint, except there is nothing in her hands. She likes the light, and she's enjoying the last of her time enjoying life. It reminds us, or I should say Betsy reminds me to find joy amidst life's greatest disappointments. 

May 4, 2012

In Loving Memory of Peanut

This past week we said goodbye to a dear friend, Peanut, one of our resident owl monkeys. Peanut has been around as long as I can remember and then some. One of the first enclosures I got accustomed to watching on a regular basis when I started in 2006, was his. Over the years he and Betsy have given birth to many offspring - Crunchy, Creamy, Killer - to name a few. In fact, in the preliminary stages of my current project I used behavioral data from Betsy and Peanut, seeing trends between them to inspire my work. 

Peanut, carrying Crunchy, as many a devoted owl monkey father would do.

In his absence, he has moved many of us to tears but also to recollect many joyful stories and memories we shared with him. With an amazing personality, he lived out his last 18 years here at the Conservancy with Betsy by his side after spending years in a laboratory.

I'll always remember him as a beggar of grapes, an expect urinator for marshmallows, and most importantly a monkey who inspired not only many great studies, but people. He was living proof that in small things, great hope can be found. For two years now, I've had a picture of Peanut that sits on my bookshelf. It's a captivating image, and I am always going to hold it dear to my heart. 

A memorial service was held for Peanut the week after and in the upcoming days an edible garden will be planted in his name. So Peanut may you rest in peace, you will be missed dearly - not only by myself but by everybody at the DuMond Conservancy - past and present. 


~ Above is a video of Betsy, Peanut, and Crunchy grooming late at night. Captured with a Bushnell Trophy Cam in late March 2012, courtesy of a very talented student, Kiara Nydam.~