Animal Defenders International


Animal Defenders International

Rescued spider monkeys go free in the forest

Posted: 10 November 2017. Updated: 10 November 2017


Clinging to her mother Lily, baby spider monkey Litanji looks back in wonder as Lily pursues her father, Luciano, into the forest canopy. The monkeys are free and Litanji is the baby who was born to be wild.

Rescued by ADI from the illegal wildlife trade in Peru, Luciano and Lily were cut from their chains and nursed back to health in our Lima Rescue Centre and then we took them to join a spider monkey rehabilitation program at Taricaya Ecological Reserve.

What a trail Cholita blazed, when we found her a home at Taricaya in the rainforest in Peru! Cholita found her paradise retirement home, Mufasa the mountain lion travelled with her, and our bears Dominga, Lucho and Sabina followed. James the macaw, rescued from a restaurant in northern Peru travelled with Cholita, and was the first of ADI’s rescued Peruvian animals to be rehabilitated and returned to the wild to soar over the rainforest.

Luciano and Lily’s spider monkey family grew as they were introduced to four more rescued monkeys. Then in September, Lily gave birth to Litanji, just as wildlife officials cleared the group of seven monkeys for wild release.

Our ADI Peru team headed to Taricaya – of course, armed with bunches of grapes for Cholita and the bears – and the seven monkeys were carried into the forest in the Tambopata region.

The animal carriers were opened and soon the monkeys were scampering into the trees with Litanji clinging to her protective mother. A safe release site was selected and the group will be monitored with radio collars as they settle into their new life.

Our dream has come true, giving back the life that was stolen from these animals.

ADI continues to care for the majority of the animals rescued during Operation Spirit of Freedom in Peru; after years of abuse, confinement and often mutilated, they could not survive in the wild. But with your support we will continue to give them, and others, the chance of a new life.

Spider monkeys are endangered, and so little Litanji and her group may play a role in survival of her species in this protected forest area. She may live to be over 30 years old, and who knows, maybe one day she could lead her own family group! Her future belongs to her alone.

Please help ADI continue this work. Donate here

Thank you for helping make dreams come true for Luciano, Lily and Litanji.

© Animal Defenders International 2019