Substitute Mom

SPCA Representatives Rescue Kitten Adopted by Monkey in Animal Corner

Exotic stories of animals that adopt young animals of the opposite gender occasionally appear in the media, capturing our hearts. This case took place last week in the animal corner on Kibbutz Nir Eliyahu, located near Kfar Saba.

A woman visiting the site called the offices of the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel to talk about a kitten that was adopted by one of the monkeys and whose condition didn’t appear to be good. SPCA representatives arriving at the animal corner on the kibbutz learned from the employees at the site that the kitten had accidentally entered a cage with one male and three female baboons. The male baboon had been spayed but the three females had not been neutered, leaving their maternal instinct still intact.

The dominant female in the group decided to adopt the kitten as her son and never left its side for a moment. As a result, all of the kitten’s attempts to reach food failed, making it become hungry and exhausted. Animal corner employees claimed that taking the kitten from the money would cause mental distress. In addition, the story became a real attraction. To SPCA representatives, however, the kitten’s welfare and concern for its fate took top precedence and they asked to remove the kitten from the money cage.

The next day, Tamar Freedman, a monkey expert from the Ben Shemen Monkey Park arrived and determined that the kitten must be removed from the cage. Rescue attempts failed and SPCA representatives returned to the animal corner the next day. After several hours of attempts, Dr. Dganit Ben Dov, Veterinary Service official in charge of enforcing the Animal Protection Law in the Ministry of Agriculture, joined the SPCA team.

The difficulty involved in rescuing the kitten was attributed to the structure of the baboon cage, which was composed of two chambers separated by a guillotine door. Working together, with each member being positioned on opposite sides of the cage, the SPCA representative and Dr. Ben Dov waited for the right moment to separate the kitten from the monkey. At a certain point in time, the monkey released the kitten, who momentarily skipped to the other side of the cage, and the guillotine door shut, separating the kitten from its adoptive mother.

The exhausted kitten received nourishing food and underwent veterinary testing, where it was diagnosed as suffering from muscular dystrophy in its legs caused by the monkey’s grip of the kitten as if it were a baby monkey, wrapping its arm around the kitten’s stomach, leaving the four legs suspended in the air and preventing the kitten from using them. The kitten recovered over several days after undergoing physical therapy to strengthen its legs. This kitten will soon be up for adoption, and will be delighted to be raised in a warm home with a loving family.