Science Diary: Monkeys – Spider Rehab

Science Diary: Monkeys – Spider Rehab

Music; Ambience: Spider monkey “Kira”

TM: “I’m at the enclosure for the spider monkeys who are hopefully to be released.”

JM: It’s usually not a good idea to try to make a pet out of a wild animal, and monkeys, however endearing and cute they may seem, are no exception. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet’s Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside.

TM: “I’m hanging out with Kira. Kira was a pet in a hotel for many, many years. And she was trained to shake hands with tourists.”

JM: Earthwatch primatologist Tracie McKinney studies monkeys in the forests of Costa Rica.

TM: “Curu Wildlife Refuge runs a rehabilitation project for spider monkeys. The spider monkeys that are in this enclosure are animals that have been confiscated by the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment so they’re animals who have been pets, or who have somehow been on the black market, have been kept in hotels, that sort of thing. So the animals have been brought here, and we have a nice large enclosure. It’s outdoors; they’ve got some trees inside. But the idea is that this provides a close to normal spider monkey social structure for them to kind of rehabilitate and get used to eating wild foods and being outside again. Eventually, hopefully, these animals will be released into the wild. Some of them may never be released. One female, for example, had her teeth filed down by her owners so she couldn’t bite tourists. And so she can’t be released into the wild, because she won’t be able to forage on her own. But those who can hopefully will be released. Those who can’t are here to teach tourists about the pet trade and about monkey conservation.”

JM: Our thanks to Tracie McKinney. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.

Science Diary: Monkeys - Spider Rehab

You can train a monkey to shake hands, but can you retrain it to survive in the jungle?
Air Date:03/21/2014
Scientist:
Transcript:

Science Diary: Monkeys - Spider Rehab

Music; Ambience: Spider monkey "Kira"

TM: "I'm at the enclosure for the spider monkeys who are hopefully to be released."

JM: It's usually not a good idea to try to make a pet out of a wild animal, and monkeys, however endearing and cute they may seem, are no exception. Welcome to Pulse of the Planet's Science Diaries, a glimpse of the world of science from the inside.

TM: "I'm hanging out with Kira. Kira was a pet in a hotel for many, many years. And she was trained to shake hands with tourists."

JM: Earthwatch primatologist Tracie McKinney studies monkeys in the forests of Costa Rica.

TM: "Curu Wildlife Refuge runs a rehabilitation project for spider monkeys. The spider monkeys that are in this enclosure are animals that have been confiscated by the Costa Rican Ministry of Environment so they're animals who have been pets, or who have somehow been on the black market, have been kept in hotels, that sort of thing. So the animals have been brought here, and we have a nice large enclosure. It's outdoors; they've got some trees inside. But the idea is that this provides a close to normal spider monkey social structure for them to kind of rehabilitate and get used to eating wild foods and being outside again. Eventually, hopefully, these animals will be released into the wild. Some of them may never be released. One female, for example, had her teeth filed down by her owners so she couldn't bite tourists. And so she can't be released into the wild, because she won't be able to forage on her own. But those who can hopefully will be released. Those who can't are here to teach tourists about the pet trade and about monkey conservation."

JM: Our thanks to Tracie McKinney. Pulse of the Planet is made possible in part by the National Science Foundation and Virginia Tech, inventing the future through a hands-on approach to education and research.