He was found abandoned, chained up to railings at the entrance a block of flats in Logroño. It is unknown where he came from, but it’s easy to assume he came from illegal wildlife trafficking.
Titin came to MONA at about six months of age and was the third macaque to arrive. Early on he was exhibiting behaviours of aggression towards himself in stressful situations .
His adaptation to the group was not easy, because despite his young age the two females were very harsh on him. However, once integrated and accepted he became the darling of the group and he was often seen squeezed between the two females on cold winter days.
Now as a teenager Titin is again going through difficult times. Without a definite position in the group he is often seen threatening and attacking his own foot or arm. This behaviour is typical of self-harm in macaques who lack balance due emotional deprivation caused by early separation from the mother and the social group.
As for his physical appearance, he has changed a lot. He has already become a sub-adult with stunning canines and a beautiful coat.
- Titin loves carrots, lentils and fresh grass.
- Everyday he throw sticks at visitors, caregivers or the chimpanzees in the opposite enclosure. His technique is similar to that of the Olympic hammer throwers: He holds the stick at one end, makes very fast turns until he has momentum, then throws it against the fence.
- Titin loves to greet his caregivers, even if he spots them from very far away.
- When Titín greets the caregivers he adopts the same mode as with macaques, chattering teeth.
- When Titín was younger, we caught chimpanzee Juanito throwing him carrots to eat from the opposite enclosure.
- When the chimpanzees fight, Titin joins in by throwing sticks towards them or running up and down along the enclosure fence making big displays.
- When he has hunted and caught a shrew, he carries and grooms it for a few days. Titin and Pipa will sit close together and also lipsmack at the shrew.
GROUP AND SITUATION
These primates are of the species Macaca sylvanus, the only genus of macaque that lives in Africa and the only primate, apart from Homo sapiens living in Europe (Gibraltar). Titin belongs to the only group of macaques living permanently at MONA. The group is formed by two females and two males and is led by Pipa. In the wild, Macaques live in groups containing males and females.
Higher ranking individuals get first access to food and other resources, which means here at MONA, with Pipa being the dominant female she gets first choice of food and enrichment.
Katy and Titin are interchangeable in the middle of the group. Depending on the situation and day, Titin can rank higher than Katy and others Katy can rank higher than Titin.
For cleaning enclosures it is necessary to split the Macaques into groups, the boys and the girls. When the girls are together Pipa still eats first. However, Titin and Abu are very comfortable with each other – eating together, play fighting together and hugging whilst lipsmacking, which is a way of bonding between Macaques.