Today was graduation day at Refuge For Wildlife for several of our orphaned howlers! We transferred eleven monkeys to SIBU Sanctuary where they will start a step-down release program!
At SIBU Sanctuary, our orphaned monkeys will spend up to 2 years, depending on the age and abilities of the monkey, learning how to live in the wild. With SIBU’s large, outdoor enclosures, our monkeys will get to know the outdoor troop and with minimal human contact they will be ready for release. During the years the monkeys have spent with us at Refuge for Wildlife, the monkeys are grouped together by similar age. They formed new family units and now they will spend their months at SIBU together and will be released together as a troop. By the time they are 4 years old, all our rescued orphaned monkeys will be released back into the jungle.
Austin, Katie, Sian, Sarah, Tyson, Nayo, Pony, Ryan, Uno, Dos, and Tres are now all old enough to begin their next step to becoming wild monkeys.
Although some of the monkeys that have been with us the longest were a bit hesitant a first, it was nice to see them all climbing and swinging in the trees within their new, very large enclosure at SIBU Sanctuary.
Most of these monkeys have been with us since they were babies and we’re very happy to see them grow up and graduate to SIBU Sanctuary. At SIBU they will have larger enclosures with natural trees to climb. They will get accustomed to the local monkey troop and soon the doors to their enclosure will be opened and they will be allowed to come and go as they please. After a few months of an open door policy, the monkeys will eventually prefer to stay outside in the wildlife full-time.
Sian was rescued in 2013 when her mother was electrocuted in Esperanza. A local boy discovered her in the same area where several howlers had been electrocuted earlier that week.
She wasn’t injured and adapted quickly to life at the Refuge. Sian was only a few weeks old and became best friends with Katie, who joined us a few weeks later.
Katie was found by local ICE workers after a bad rain storm. She was found wet, cold and in the mud with several electrical burns on her hands. At only a few weeks old and around the same age as Sian, she quickly bonded with her new sister. Although she is a petite monkey, she is strong and healthy. She loves to wrestle and climbs very well. Before moving to SIBU, Katie and Sian both spent more than 6 months not wanting any contact with humans which is exactly what we want in order to release orphaned howlers into the wild.
Austin has always been very confident and the alpha male, even when he arrived at only a few weeks old. Volunteers liked to call him “Milk Monster” because he loved the infant formula so much that he would get a giant budda-like belly at meal time. When he was a baby, he loved attention from his human caregivers, but, like all “teenage” howlers, he started to pull away from us around 1 year old and is now fully independent.
Sarah was rescued by her namesake here in Guiones. She was unconscious and her family were no where to be found when she was only a few weeks old. Sarah must have fallen from a tree branch and her family though she had died and left her. Sarah was brought up to the Refuge and recovered quickly showing no long-term injures. She has always been a shy monkey and prefers to stay away from humans which is perfect behavior for a soon-to-be wild monkey!
Tyson arrived at Refuge for Wildlife when he was a little older. He was a mess. He had been
attacked by an alpha male and had a deep tear at the corner of his mouth. He was rehabilitated quickly and, as he was an older monkey, quickly joined the next group to graduate to SIBU. He is an alpha male and liked to show his dominance. We can only assume that his dominant behavior is what caused the alpha of his previous wild troupe to attack him. He will be very successful at being a wild monkey again and I’m sure we’ll see him challenging another alpha very soon.
Nayo was brought to us because he had a very deep and infected wound on his arm. It was very bad and we thought he might not live because the infection was so severe. Nayo spent several weeks in our clinic getting intensive care from our vet. Using special bandages to regenerate new, healthy tissue, Nayo’s wound healed and he joined two other older monkeys, Pony and Ryan who also arrived as older monkeys and didn’t want or need human interaction. Once they were rehabilitated they were ready to start the release program at SIBU.
Pony was found at Playa Ponies in Pelada and was so disoriented and beat up that we thought he was blind. Pony spent several weeks in our clinic receiving intensive care and soon showed signs of improvement. Not only was Pony not blind, but he fully recovered and immediately moved into the “wild boys” enclosure with Ryan and Nayo who were both ready to start the release program.
Ryan was found by our local fire chief near Nosara. He was unconscious and in the middle of the road, we think he fell. He was rehabilitated at Refuge for Wildlife and was soon ready for release.
Uno, Dos and Tres were also older babies and were all transferred from another rescue centre. As these babies arrived when they were older, we wanted to start their release program straight away. They were only with us for a few months. When we opened the crates at SIBU in their new enclosure, all of them confidently jumped into the trees and started playing.