A family of nine spider monkeys, including two babies, have been rescued from an illegal zoo and returned to their natural habitat, the rainforest.
With the help of Animal Defenders International (ADI), Taricaya Ecological Reserve, Peru’s Department of Wildlife and SERFOR, the monkeys were rescued from the Eastern Peru Zoo and returned to the wild. The monkeys were trapped and brought to the zoo, where they were forced to live in tiny cages and entertain visitors.
In a video of the rescue, the team can be seen carrying out pre-zoo health checks before carefully moving each animal into travel crates. The animals were taken by boat along the Madre de Dios River in the Peruvian rainforest. They were taken to the Taricaya Ecological Reserve, which provides refuge for animals that cannot return to the wild. The monkeys were unloaded and then a team transported them a kilometer and a half into the forest, where they were released and will be monitored. The monkeys seem so happy to climb trees and be back in the wild.
Jan Creamer, President of ADI, said: “This is a wonderful happy result for this family of spider monkeys, but also another victory in Peru’s fight against the wildlife trade. There is a special sense of joy and fulfillment in being able to bring these intelligent, social and loving animals back to their homes. Unfortunately, this is sometimes not possible when the animals are brutally deprived of teeth, claws and other means of feeding and defending themselves by the cowards who capture them. ADI cares for bears, monkeys and other animals that need care in enclosed forest habitats because they cannot fend for themselves. We wish these nine people a long and happy life of freedom.
Taking these animals from the wild for our enjoyment drives them to extinction, which not only wipes out one species but puts others at risk by disrupting delicate ecosystems. Exotic animals belong to nature, it is impossible for an animal to be happy while being stuck alone in a cage for endless hours.
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