Tina... A Companion for Tilin

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Tina... A Companion for Tilin

From Animal Defenders International (ADI), July 2011

It's difficult to imagine how it must feel, to hear someone speaking your own language after a lifetime of isolation – for both Tilin and Tina.

Tina, a 5-7 year old Hamadryas baboon arrived this week from Cyprus, as a non-breeding companion for the wonderful Tilin. After at least 17 years without the companionship of his own kind, our huge but gentle and quiet Tilin finally has a friend who speaks his own language.

Tilin is still in his quarantine accommodation at the sanctuary in Berkshire, where he has a good sized indoor room and a matching outdoor enclosure with swings, shelf, table and things to play with. His loneliness is finally over.

ADI is funding the care of Tina and Tilin for the rest of their lives. Please consider making a donation to help support this life-long commitment.

Tilin's new friend, Tina, has lived at a donkey sanctuary for about five years, after being taken in when her owner could no longer handle her. She was born in a captive-breeding farm in Israel, and sent to Cyprus with another monkey for the pet market. Her favourite companion over the past few years has been a German Shepherd dog, who used to play with her in her cage.

Tina travelled very well, arrived Tuesday afternoon in good shape, and quite relaxed. She was intrigued by all the commotion surrounding her arrival at Heathrow, and appeared to enjoy the attention of the media. She had some grapes and carrots at the reception centre at Heathrow before being taken in the quarantine van to the sanctuary.

On arrival at the sanctuary, Tina was unloaded into her new quarantine accommodation, a room next to Tilin's, where she can see him but not touch him. While Tilin was in is outdoor enclosure, she carefully inspected both his room, and her own. After a period of acclimatisation, she was moved into her own room and Tilin was allowed to come in for the night. Tilin had heard Tina speaking when he was outside, so was very interested when he came in – he approached slowly and although Tina appeared nervous at first, Tilin was calm and very much the gentleman. A great deal of baboon talk followed, as they settled down for the night in there separate rooms. They will be introduced into the same enclosure once they know each other a little better.

It's difficult to imagine how it must feel, to hear someone speaking your own language after a lifetime of isolation – for both Tilin and Tina.

The sanctuary reported this morning that they had a good night and this morning, Tina is full of beans with Tilin his usual cool and laid back self. Tina is absolutely desperate to be with him and is behaving like a lady baboon and deferring and presenting herself to him at every opportunity. We decided to let Tilin out to give Tina the run of inside, but she was distraught that he had gone without her. She screamed and barked incredibly loudly!

So we've put her back in her pen and given Tilin the option of both in and out which is better. Bless him, every time he nips out, she screams and he comes running back into her. We think she has him wrapped round her little finger already!

Good luck, Tilin and Tina!