Blog from MBP Volunteer, Genever and Katherine
Photos courtesy of Katherine
During monitoring this baby season, we observed a baby Prolemur simus that is paralyzed from the waist down. He is doing surprisingly well! Our volunteers, Genever and Katherine, have some information and pictures to share. They say the baby is becoming independent in ways similar to other babies of the same age, but does seem to prefer to stay closer to his mother than the others. The mother does leave him, however, and if she travels a significant distance (say more than 5 meters, or to an area that he can’t easily navigate in trees), he vocalizes (lost call) to her more than other similarly sized babies. Yet he also tries and usually succeeds in reaching her; if he can’t navigate the branches, he drops down to the ground and crawls to the tree she is in and then climbs up. They’ve also seen him auto grooming, test feeding, and even playing with other babies. Despite the extensive wasting in his lower body, his upper body strength is impressive, as he has compensated and adapted his movements (such as strategic dropping from branch to branch when heading to the ground). It is amazing and also heartbreaking to watch him.