Costa Rican Monkey Rescue

A new blog- by Mo (half of the newest addition to the Tierra staff)

I set off for a sunset jog from the Caribbean bungalows of Tierra de Suenos and headed away from the beautiful beaches of Playa Chiquita. Trying to distract myself from the actual act of jogging was easy to do since I was surrounded by beautiful Real Palms, Toucans, frogs and more. After reaching Punta Uva I recognized the familiar sounds of grunting howler monkeys in the distance. Although they are usually loud, they appeared to be more boisterous and plentiful then usual. I ran over Punta Uva bridge and noticed a group of tourists looking at the ground on the side of the road. Assuming it was the usual sloth crossing, I slowed down to take a look at the cute critter. Only, to my surprise, there was a badly hurt howler monkey who had fallen on the electric wires and had been severely burnt.

The boisterous sounds from earlier turned out to be his family, consisting of maybe 20 others, flanking the sides of the street and howling in concern. The monkey was shaking and I could observe burns on his arms and entire right side of his face, including his eye. Pamela, a local restaurant and cabinas owner, pulled up in her golf cart to inquire about the crowd. Together we decided to rush the monkey to the local rescue center in hopes to save him. We gathered him in a towel and I sat holding the little fella in the back of the cart. After one escape attempt and many potholes later, the crying and seizing monkey arrived at the Jaguar Rescue Center. Even after business hours, the workers were eager to help and whisked the monkey to the closest veterinarian for treatment.

The following day, a fellow Tierra de Suenos employee (Jake, the other half of the newest Tierra staff) and I decided to visit the Jaguar Rescue Center to check on my little friend. After an exciting tour observing snakes, monkeys, frogs, Caymens, sloths, and eagles, I was able to check on the monkey. We were unable to see him since he was sleeping in the recovery room, but we learned that he had third degree burns on his face, tail, body and had lost a finger from the electrocution. They had treated him with medicine and burn cream and the doctor stated he thought the monkey was likely to make a steady recovery. We thanked them for their work and the simple existence of such a center, because without it the monkey would have less than a fighting chance at survival. After this experience and my visit to the Jaguar Rescue Center I have decided to help these Costa Rican animals and my little monkey by volunteering at the center. More adventure stories to come!

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