We have four howlers that are ready for release and we are reaching out to the community to help us fund a new release enclosure.
The release location that we normally use is no longer an option because it is now saturated with successfully released howler monkeys. SINAC and MINAE have advised us to find a new release location and we have decided to build an enclosure that we can set up and take down – moving from location to location for
each new group of orphaned howlers that we release. This way, we can ensure every family group is released in an area with plenty of food resources and space to grow as they make new friends and add to their family in the wild.
Howlers who have been raised at the Refuge since they were infants, form strong family bonds with other orphans. They grow up together and we always release them together so they have a better chance at surviving in the wild. Most of the infants we rehabilitate haven’t experienced true, wild forest since they were with their mothers so it is up to us to teach them about what life in the wild is like. If we were to simply release them without first slowly introducing them to their new home, they would become frightened and scatter.
They would lose each other, they might encounter predators or other aggressive howlers and they wouldn’t understand where they were or why they were no longer given plates of food. It would be very stressful for them. Their survival depends on staying together as a strong family group so we use a step-down release method to give them the best possible chance.
The monkeys will be transported to the new release location and kept inside the enclosure as they get use to their new surroundings. During this time, they will get used to the sights and sounds of their new home and even begin communicating with any wild howlers in the area. After a few weeks, we will open the top of the enclosure during the day and the monkeys will be free to come and go, explore and learn about their new home, while still having food and care provided in the enclosure. After a few weeks/months (however long it takes), the group will eventually decide to stay out of the enclosure and they will be free! The important thing is that we release them together because they are a family now.
The first location for our new release enclosure will be at the heavily forested Pachamama ecological community in San Juanillo. Pachamama has graciously allowed us to use their land and they will also donate all the labor needed to assemble the enclosure!
The hardware store in Marbella, Materiales de Construcción Marbella, has given us a generous discount on the materials we will need so we only need $2000 to cover the cost of the chainlink fencing and wire mesh.
Jordanny was found alone by the side of the road in Santa Cruz back in March 2015. We think his mother was hit by a car, but we do not know for sure. Jordanny was only a few months old when he was rescued and he
has now grown in a beautiful young-adult with a full beard and fetching snaggletooth! Jordanny has always been full of energy, loves to play and he’s always smiling. Over the years, every staff member, volunteer and visitor at the Refuge has absolutely fallen in love with his adorable personality. He’s also quite popular with the ladies and has three girlfriends, Sophie, Lola and Ginger.
Sophie and Lola were transferred to us from another rescue center when they were juveniles. These girls have been around each other since they were small and are always playing and having fun together. And they absolutely adore Jordanny!
Ginger was the last to join the family. She was found alone and sitting in the mud after floods from Tropical Storm Nate destroyed wildlife habitats. Ginger was given her name from the deep orange birthmarks on her legs. She quickly became friends with Jordanny, Sophie and Lola and is now a part of the family.