Breaking! 13 Spider Monkeys Rescued From Illegal Wildlife Trafficking Are Released Into A Protected Forest In Guatemala

Photos from Asociacion Rescate y Conservacion de Vida Silvestre (ARCAS), Facebook 

Thirteen spider monkeys, an iconic species in Latin America, were released in the Yaxha Nakum Naranjo National Park, in Peten, Guatemala, after they were rescued from illegal trafficking and went through a rigorous rehabilitation process.

The release was the result of a joint effort by non-governmental, nonprofit organizations Asociacion Rescate y Conservacion de Vida Silvestre (ARCAS) and Humane Society International/Latin America, which have been working together since 2007 in wildlife protection and conservation in Guatemala.

Under the guidance of the National Council for Protected Areas, ARCAS Wildlife Rescue Center, which has grown into one of the largest and most complex rescue centers in the world, HSI staff facilitated the return of the spider monkeys back into the forest. The rescue receives between 300 to 600 animals of more than 40 species per year. Most of the animals were victims of wildlife trafficking and some were saved after experiencing negative human interaction.

According to ARCAS’ director, Fernando Martinez, the rescue center carries out physical, medical, and ethological rehabilitation of various species that enter the facility as a result of illegal trafficking. ARCAS’ approach follows strict scientific management standards and results in animals being released in the Maya Biosphere Reserve.

“The Rescue Center’s mission is to reinforce existing wildlife populations and to prevent the extinction of species, thus ensuring that there are healthy populations capable of adapting and reproducing in their natural habitat,” Martinez said in a statement.

Grettel Delgadillo, deputy director for HSI/Latin America, explained that negative interactions between people and wildlife are becoming more frequent in Guatemala, as well as the illegal trafficking of animals such as spider monkeys.

“That is why at HSI/Latin America and ARCAS work to ensure a successful rehabilitation of animals and thus give them a second chance to live in freedom. Also, through different education and public awareness initiatives, we urge everyone to refrain from buying these animals as pets, to not purchase objects that contain parts or derivatives of wild animals, and to report to the authorities any suspicious activity regarding wildlife,” stated Delgadillo.

The spider monkeys that were released will be monitored for six months, using telemetric collars and follow-up in the field.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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