Wildtracks: Conservation, Research and Education

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Introducing the Spider Monkeys (Si on Mattie and Duma)


Twelve months volunteering with Wildtracks and still counting; Hi! i'm Si!

Throughout my time here i have had many responsibilities, from feeding and caring for monkeys of all sizes, to building and kitting out enclosures. It has been both a learning experience and a joy to work, live and play at Wildtracks.

This blog post is largely regarding the primate rehabilitation programme, more specifically, that of spider monkeys. Still relatively in its infancy, the rehabilitation process has made a lot of progress and reached several milestones. Wildtracks currently has six spider monkeys in various stages of rehabilitation. For all of which the long term goal is reintroduction into the wild population.

Mattie and Duma are two of the spider monkeys in rehab at present - the Laurel and Hardy of Wildtracks, and the most loveable and cheeky pair of monkeys I have ever met. Duma, the younger of the two at around two and a half years old, arrived first at Wildtracks, when six months old. She came to us after being surrendered by a family in the village who had purchased her as a pet. Her partner in crime. Both photographs are of Duma - of when she first came in, and now.

Mattie, who is approximately four and a half years old, came to us after the closure of a zoo in Belize, Croc Land. There she was initially believed her to be a male, hence the slightly masculine name. After a slow and careful introduction to each other, this pair are now as thick as thieves. Spider monkeys mature slowly, so these two will not be due for release for some time, given Duma's age. Because of this we must find new and innovative ways in which to keep them entertained and occupied. Enclosure enrichment is an important element for all captive animals. As spider monkeys are in the top 5 of the most intelligent primates, boredom can be an issue in captivity, and keeps us active and busy – almost as much if not more than the spider monkeys themselves!

I hope this small insight into just a fraction of the primate rehabilitation programme has been enough to wet your appetite for more. If so, keep an eye out for the next Wildtracks blog post!


Published by: Zoe Walker at 2013-02-26 08:03:52   [Link to this article]

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