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Electrocuted Infant Howler Rescue and Rehabilitation

Sebastian was rescued in April 2018 when our team received a call from staff at a local restaurant in Esperanza. Sebastian had been eating mangoes from a tree on a nearby residential street when he climbed onto uninsulated power lines. He had a deep wound on the bridge of his nose, burns on his hands, and a huge torn muscle on his right arm.

Sebastian was very scared and climbed high into the trees behind the houses. It was a very hard rescue and took us more than half an hour to capture him. We could see that his arm was severely injured, he wasn’t able to climb properly and he was much too young to be on his own. His injury would have become infected without our help and he would have died. Each time our rescue expert Jonathan Diaz climbed the tree Sebastian was in, Sebastian would jump into another. Eventually, we successfully knocked Sebastian out of the tree tops using our rescue pole and our veterinarian, Dr. Francisco Sánchez Murillo caught him in a blanket. 

At the Refuge clinic, Dr. Fran found that the wound to Sebastian’s arm was extremely deep and could not be sutured – it needed to heal from the inside out. He also had a cut across the bridge of his nose. Thankfully Sebastian’s injuries healed very well and without any complications.  Within a few months, Sebastian, who was 2.5 years old at the time,  joined other older orphans inside our Juvenile Nursery and quickly made friends with Hendrix and Erick.

Sebastian rehabilitated quickly and for the past year he has been progressing very well within our rehabilitation program. In fact, in a few months, Sebastian and the rest of his troop will be ready to move into our pre-release enclosure which is one step closer to freedom! Once the troop has reached sexual maturity, around 4-5 years of age, Sebastian and his new family will move to our release enclosure deep in the forest and finally be released.

Three months after Sebastian’s rescue, Henry, who we released in August 2018, was injured at the same location. The local power company trimmed the trees and have plans to raise the power cables (which cannot be replaced at this time) so they are high above the trees and cannot be reached by wildlife. The power company still had not raised the cables when another monkey climbed onto them to reach the mangos a year later in April 2019. Sadly, the monkey was killed before the rescue team arrived. The power company then made the decision to insulate the cables near the mango tree to prevent similar accidents from happening in the future.

Mango season is the most difficult time of the year for our rescue team. This is when we receive the most emergency calls for injured monkeys. Howlers absolutely love mangoes and will do anything to reach them including running across busy roads, entering properties with attack dogs, fighting with other troops and climbing on dangerous power lines.

Help us stop the shocks by making a donation to insulate a transformer or learn more on our Stop the Shocks webpage.

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Donation Total: $100