Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Creatures of the night

Behold the Cuchi Cuchi....pure evil lurks in their tiny bodies

Just like any business or corporation, here at Inti Warra Yassi there are various "departments". And just like in any organisation each department has a distinct personality. "Big Cats" are like the heavy hitters in management, doing a job that comands respect and has a touch of glamour. "Small Cats" is like the sales department, not quite as glamorous as "Big Cats" but still has a frisson of challange and glamour. "Monkeys" are like the marketing department, fun, creative and a wee bit eccentric. Then come the less glamorous departments, "Birds" who have all the appeal of the accounts payable section and then there is "small animals" which would have to be at the bottom of the barrel. The people that work in Small Animals are responsible for a motely collection of turtles, pigs, weasel things, weird badger things, a fox and anything else that turns up. I always thought that their day was easy street while I was off battling my psycho cat but it turns out I was wrong when I heard about the Cuchi Cuchis.

These cute sounding critters live in the small animals area - they are nocturnal so none of us volunteers had ever seen them but all agreed that they sounded adorable, like an OOmpa Loompa or something. Turns out we were wrong....everyday the good folk of small animals brace themselves in order to enter the lair of the Cuchi Cuchi. Turns out these furry tennis ball sized creatures don't like being disturbed when they are asleep but volunteers however need to go into the cage to clean it. If woken, the Cuchi Cuchis will launch their tiny selves onto any available limb and attach themselves with razor sharp teeth. The major problem for the volunteers is that it's impossible to tell if the little buggers are awake or not until you are already in the cage. Once a pair of beady eyes are spotted it's all over for the volunteer. One girl got savaged by the tiny beasts and after kicking them off headed off to tell one of the managers, a guy who walks Pumas. After she told him apparently he just laughed, lit a cigarette and turned away. As she said, its hard to get any respect when you complain about being attacked by something called a Cuchi Cuchi while tough guys are sitting around talking about their Puma maulings.
On the bright side, I discovered that small animals was also home to the mysterious Night Monkeys - these delightful little creatures are gentle, silent, covered in soft woolly fur and look like they have little smiles painted onto their faces.


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