The Houston Zoo Primate Department is gearing up for the 3rd annual “Howlerween” celebration this October. The purpose is to help to raise awareness about Wildtracks and the illegal pet trade that surrounds Howler Monkeys.
The Yucatán Black Howler Monkey (Alouatta pigra) is one of the many primates listed as Endangered on the IUCN Red list. This species, which is native to Central America, faces numerous threats that contribute to this status.
One of the top threats these monkeys face includes the illegal pet trade which is often times a by-product of hunting these animals for the sale of bush meat in local and international markets. Confiscation of Black Howler Monkeys from the pet trade is overwhelming the Belize Forest Department and the Belize Zoo. As a viable alternative to leaving these illegally procured monkeys with their owners, confiscated pets are being transferred to a non-profit organization called Wildtracks, operated by Paul and Zoe Walker. You can visit the Wildtracks website and also their Facebook Page.
Wildtracks rehabilitates these former pets and reintroduces them into the wild forests of northern Belize. Primate keepers Rachel Vass and Helen Boostrom visited Belize in June and spent time working at Wildtracks with some of these rehabilitated monkeys. You can read their awesome blog posts on the Houston Zoo’s Wild Conservation Blog!
Throughout the entire month of Howlerween, there will be special Howler Monkey Meet the Keeper Talks everyday at 3:30. “Howlerween” will coincide with Zoo Boo from 9am to 3pm both days inside Wortham World of Primates near the Howler Monkey exhibit. Then on the weekend of October 22-23 we will be holding a Spotlight on Species event which will include educational activities, Howler Monkey keeper chats at 10:00, 2:00, and 3:30, and a variety of merchandise that will be on sale to help raise money for Wildtracks.
Visit our website to learn all the details about our special Howlerween Spotlight on Species weekend on October 22-23, located in our Wortham World of Primates. Please come out and visit us for a howling good time!