A group of fourteen red howler monkeys, of the species Alouatta seniculus, was released during November and December of this year in forests located in the rural area of Magdalena Medio in Antioquia, after remaining in a rehabilitation process that lasted three years and six months in the Santa Fe de Medellín Zoo, where they were taught to fend for themselves in wildlife.
Last Sunday, December 15, three females and four males, including a male calf born in the zoo last June, were released in the forests of the Huella Salvaje Reserve, in an act of reconciliation with nature, coordinated by the Park Santa Fe Zoo and the agreement between the Metropolitan Area of Valle de Aburrá, Corantioquia and the CES University for the protection of wildlife.
These join a group of seven individuals of the same species that was released, two weeks apart, to a different area of the Magdalena Medio reserve in order to consolidate separate groups.
The process consisted of a soft release, in which the animals had the opportunity to adapt to the new environment located within an enclosure installed at the point of release. Once the doors of the enclosure are open, their food is supplemented for a few more days, while they decide to move to other parts of the forest and find their food independently.
After the release, monitoring is carried out with biologists and other experts in the field and through satellite monitoring, in order to establish the behavior of the monkeys in this new home, in which there is availability of food, shelter and optimal conditions so that continue their life cycle. This property in Magdalena Medio is conserved by the organization Huella Salvaje, which seeks to reconcile productive activities with the preservation of biodiversity, based on processes of education and knowledge of the natural resources of its area.
Both rehabilitation and monitoring are the results of strong work among the participating institutions. The Santa Fe Zoo invested around 190 million pesos in this process, during the 3 and a half years that it took to form the groups and re-adapt. For its part, the agreement between the Metropolitan Area of Valle de Aburrá, Corantioquia and the CES University has contributed nearly 40 million pesos to the process of soft release and monitoring. All this to ensure the well-being of the animals during their stay at the Zoo and in the forest that was chosen to be their home.