Monthly Archives: January 2013

Monkey’s moment: Massachusetts miracle workers.

We all know about service dogs, and their incredible , selfless assistance to the blind and disabled. But, alas, their abilities can only go so far. We are blessed everyday with the ability to pick up things with our hands and not even think twice about it.  For the disabled, turning a page of a book or washing their face is not just a thought -its a challenge.  But whether during rehabilitation or for life- they now have a companion that is willing to lend them a “helping hand”. Boston is famous for their pristine educational facilities (Harvard, BU and MIT) , but little know about a college were even the perfect score SAT student will never get in- Monkey college. No, I’m not joking. Here, Capuchin monkeys are taught how to perform simple everyday activities such as opening and setting up a drink of water, picking up a dropped or out-of-reach object, or turning the pages of a book, using their small, dexterous hands.This college is part of   Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers for the Disabled non-profit organization.


Upon graduation, they are placed in to homes to provide “in-home assistance to people living with spinal cord injury or other mobility impairments”.

The thing is, these little miracle workers do not just bring bottles of water, they also bring joy and companionship to the lives of these people, who definitely  need and deserve extra TLC.

These monkeys are provided with Vetcare and are constantly monitored to establish and keep their well-being, as well as having their very own retirement plan.

“Through the generous support of donors and volunteers, Helping Hands is able to provide these specially trained service animals and their lifetime support free of charge to our recipients.”

Round of applause to the ever amazing monkeys.


*For additional information on this amazing establishment, visit .

Author: Anna Artsibasheva


Bolivian Gray Titi Monkey.(White-eared Titi)

Bolivian Gray Titi Monkey.

These monkeys are known to sit on branches and intertwine tails as means of social interaction.
Mates for life.
Found in Bolivia and a small area in Brazil.
Have a complex “language system”
Very affectionate with their mates.

Gelada- the last descendants of an ancient family

Upon first glance, this beautiful creature would be pegged as a baboon, but even though the gelada is closely related to the Papio genus (Papio latin for baboon)in physical appearance and taxonomy , the geladas are a species that rightfully should be recognized as the sole survivors of  a genus set apart from other Baboons. There is no question of why the last living  descendants of the  Theropithecus family name is literally translated “beast -ape ” from Latin:


Beast? Indeed.

Interesting facts about the gelada:

Although males are more colorful and bigger in size – the females  dominate the gelada society.(When an aging male begins to decline, the females in his family decide when he will be replaced by a younger rival)

A distinctive physical characteristic of the gelada is a bright red triangular patch on its chest. When the gelada female is in estrous (ready to get it on ), a “necklace” of fluid filled beads appear on the patch, signaling the males that its time for a little monkey buizzness.(Females usually copulate up to 5 times a day, usually during midday)

This is important because geladas have a unique “gait” while walking- It squats bipedally and moves by sliding its feet without changing its posture, and their rump is unavailable for display, and the little bright red chest patches are the visible signal for mating.

The gelada “shuffle” is used during feeding, which the gelada does-ALOT. They are grazer and 90 %of their diet is grass blades.


They are the most sociable of African primates combining their family units of 1 male and 3-6 females to form a conglomerate of 500-600 primates!

They are the most terrestrial of non-human primates.

The gelada can be found only in Ethiopia. (About 250,000 individuals)


Male head-and-body length: 69 – 74 cm

Female head-and-body length: 50 – 65 cm

Male tail length: 46 – 50 cm

Female tail length: 30 – 41 cm

Male weight: c. 20 kg

Female weight: 12 – 16 kg

Infant geladas are ADORABLE little beasts (undisputable fact) :

Infant male gelada baboon playing with grass shoot*Practicing my mean mug *


Anna Artsibasheva