Menu Close

Howler Orphans: Saving Electrocution Victims

Many areas of Guanacaste are experiencing a surge in human development. Fragmented habitat and the installation of electrical supply is causing wildlife deaths and injuries. The cables provide an efficient, but lethal, way for the monkeys to travel through the urbanized forest. All too often, the monkeys suffer from horrific injuries and violent deaths when traveling on uninsulated power cables and transformers. On average, Refuge for Wildlife responds to over 100 electrocuted howler monkey rescue calls each year. Most of the survivors are young infants who were holding onto their mothers during the accident.

Liza was only a few weeks old when she was severely injured due to unsafe electrical distribution.  Her mother climbed onto an uninsulated power transformer, brutally killing her with a jolt of electricity so strong that her body caught on fire with baby Liza still clinging onto her fur. Liza was quickly engulfed in flames, painfully burning her entire body. 

For many weeks, Liza required extensive veterinary treatment, including oxygen therapy inside an incubator. The extraordinary dedication of veterinary staff and animal caregivers is undeniable as they worked 24 hours a day to give every orphan the best possible chance at rehabilitation. Liza has now fully recovered from the accident and, so far, Liza has not shown any signs of internal damage which many electrocution victims often succumb to. She is now sharing an enclosure with over a dozen other monkeys in her age group, many of whom were also electrocuted, and will stay with us for another 4 years until she’s old enough to be released.

You can help Liza on her path to freedom by virtually adopting her troop! Refuge for Wildlife relies entirely on public donations to carry out our vital work, and adopting Mango Troop is an easy and rewarding way to support these beautiful monkeys. 

Help us save howler monkeys in Costa Rica! Make a US tax-deductible donation, adopt Mango Troop, learn about our Stop the Shocks program, book an educational visit or volunteer!