Yesterday in our Newscast we reported on a full grown Howler Monkey that was spotted atop a coconut tree in the village of Yo Creek in the Orange Walk District. Villagers were concerned for its well being and pleaded to the pertinent officials to assist in rescuing and relocating the animal. Well, today we caught up with Paul Walker, Director of Wild tracks from Sarteneja, in the outskirts of Orange Walk. He was accompanied by members from the Ministry of Forestry, vet and volunteers who were looking out for six other Howler Monkeys that are believed to be in danger. Of note is that we will not release the exact area where the monkeys are located to avoid putting them in danger of being captured.

Paul Walker, Director of Wild Tracks

“Well these monkeys have been isolated on a small patch of trees when land was cleared, forest was cleared for cane, they have been left in a small place, patch of trees without no food and there is nowhere for them to go so they reported to the forest department to be removed into another area where they can establish their territories so we come with the forest department and the vet to catch them and to remove them to another area we weren’t successful today so hopefully next week we can lose them to another patch of forest.”

According to Walker the rain and the high trees were some of the factors that impeded them from capturing the Howler Monkeys.

Paul Walker, Director of Wild Tracks

“The principal problem is the height of the trees there are some large trees there which are too high and the vet has brought the tranquilizer dart blow pipe to throw tranquilizer darts but the trees are too high to be reached so actually we are going to need some of the tranquilizer gun to try and shoot them and try to catch them as they fall and let them recover from the tranquilizer and them move them to the other site between the tall trees we still can’t reached them or scare them too badly.”

Belize boasts a large population of Howler Monkeys of over 8000 which are considered endangered species.

Belizeans are reminded that these animals are not to be hunted, killed or caged as pets as they are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act.

Paul Walker, Director of Wild Tracks

“If they encounter a Howler Monkey and they are in the Forest I would say watch the monkeys but don’t molest them. If they are in a small patch area and the monkeys look in a bad condition then I say call the Forest Department. Similarly if they know of people keeping the animals as pets which is completely illegal, it is very dangerous to their health because the animals can carry a lot of diseases and transmit it to other people. So it is important that the Forest Department knows about it because it is illegal."

A rescue mission is scheduled for some time next week with members of the Forestry Department, Wild tracks and the Belize Zoo. As soon as that occurs we will be bring you the story.