When this study first started it was the middle of dispersal season. This meant that male vervets were leaving their old or native troops to look for better mating opportunities. For our study troop in particular five individuals left and four joined. During this time there was a lot of unrest between native troop members, especially the females, and the immigrants. This means injuries and a lot of sad looking male monkeys. One story sticks out more so than others, though.
One adult male who joined back in May sustained a large facial wound while doing so. When we first saw him, it was shocking. However, he still had the ability to eat and keep up with the group, so we decided to wait and see how he would heal on his own. The results were amazing. Within days over half of the wound was closed. Now, 3 months later, you would never know that he had even had a cut there, let alone a large chunk missing. This just goes to show how amazing wildlife can be.
Photo credits: Olivia Sievert