Chango was an alpha male, cinnamon capuchin monkey. He was holed up in a garage full of monkeys in Central California. Chango had become unhappy with his living conditions, and his owners found themselves unable to even get water to him. In desperation, Chango’s owners came to Hurdy Gurdy for help. Mr. Gurdy had to rescue Chango from a cage that was falling apart. Hurdy Gurdy expected dangerous resistance, and armed himself with protective clothing, gloves, a motorcycle helmet, and a blanket. However, Chango was definitely ready for change. He put up a mock resistance, then fell into the blanket with great drama, and was “captured.” He seemed to know that Mr. Gurdy was transferring him to the company of other monkeys, and to a habitat where he would be more happy.
Chango became a great and talented performer. He loved older men, especially those who were balding. He would climb onto their shoulders, and gleefully pick their scalps, slapping their heads and laughing. There is a video with music on this website, which illustrates Chango in action. He lived to be about 35 years of age. When he died of natural causes, he broke Mr. Gurdy’s heart for good. There was never such a loyal and loving animal as Chango.
Hurdy Gurdy Man and Chango the Monkey. About 1998. Pictured are three “Interpretive Panels,” which hung on old-fashioned crates made with antique nails, and representing trade in Monterey during the Mexican Period in California’s history, which existed from 1822 until 1846.