After years of rehabilitation, Hendrix, Erick, Kenneth, Bianca, and Priscilla have returned to the treetops and a life of living wild and free! It took many years, as each monkey was rescued as an infant and cared for at the Refuge until they learned all the necessary skills to survive in the forest. Erick had been with us the longest, 3.5 years.
On release day, the team was excited to see how the monkeys would react once the top hatch was opened. We provide a “soft release” for our orphaned howlers which means the enclosure will be stocked with food and the monkeys will be free to come and go through the top hatch for as long as they need while they get used to life in the forest. If rehabilitation is done well, then the monkeys will confidently leave the enclosure and start their new life fully prepared and ready for freedom.
As our Animal Keeper, Dani Fajardo Centeno opened the hatched we waited to see how the monkeys would react. First at the hatch was Kenneth who tentatively stared out into the dense forest before him. Running up behind him, Erick was the first to go through the hatch and climb the rope bridge to a nearby tree. Erick was followed by Bianca and then Kenneth quickly joined them. Hendrix and Priscilla followed and they all quickly climbed to the treetops.
As the alpha of the group, Hendrix was eager to climb to the very highest branches and announce to the forest that he was there with a loud howl! As they explored the trees, the monkeys started to show more confidence and were soon climbing and jumping with ease. Within a few minutes, the entire troop had reached the forest canopy to munch on leaves and sunbathe. Although they had the option of returning to the enclosure for food and shelter, Hendrix, Erick, Kenneth, Bianca, and Priscilla decided they were ready to start their new lives straight away and disappeared deep into the forest.
Everyone on the Refuge team is thrilled to have such a happy ending for these five monkeys. Thanks to the dedication and hard work from our entire team of staff and volunteers, this wonderful day was made possible.
Learn more about each individual monkey: Meet the Released Monkeys