Shaky’s Story: from Rescue to Release in Tortuguero

Shaky’s Story: from Rescue to Release in Tortuguero

Shaky was a spider monkey who came to us as an orphaned baby. We believe hunters killed his mother with a slingshot. Shaky arrived missing an eye, leading us to believe he was hit in the eye with the slingshot as well. After his mother was killed he was kept as a pet. At 6 months old, we rescued Shaky with the help of the police.

When orphaned, baby, monkeys arrive to the Jaguar Rescue Center we need to give them a lot of love and contact. As they grow up the contact changes, much like it would with their own mothers. The younger they are the more they rely on their mother, as they get older they start to explore on their own. This is the process we mimic by taking them to the forest every single day. As babies they stay at the center and we care for them until they are old enough to start going to the forest all day long. This is when they start to discover their natural habitat on their own, weaning them off of human contact.

Shaky went through this process and was eventually moved to La Ceiba where he began exploring our 50 hectares of primary forest. Spider monkeys an endangered species that need primary forest in order to survive. In La Ceiba he started to interact with the wild troops that would move through the area. However, we soon realized that Shaky would never be able to be completely released there. Spider monkeys are incredibly intelligent and since he was kept as a pet as a baby he continued to find houses. Our solution was to release him in Tortugeuro National Park, where there are no people or houses, just forest.

After several hours of transportation via car and boat Shaky arrived in Tortuguero National Park. As soon as the crate was opened, he ran out, said one last goodbye and climbed up a tree with complete confidence and belonging. We have no doubt that he is now happy and thriving in his new home!

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