The black howler (Alouatta pigra) monkey of Belize, Guatemala and Mexico is an endangered species under the IUCN Red List. One of the top three threats to this species includes the illegal trade in pets which results as a by-product of hunting for sale of bush meat in local and international markets. The 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 monkeys with their owners, confiscated pet black howler monkeys are transferred to the non-profit organization called the Wildlife Care Center of Belize (WCCB) directed by Robin Brockett. WCCB rehabilitates these pets and reintroduces them into the wild. Over the past ten years the center has released 28 howler monkeys into the Monkey Bay National Park and Monkey Bay Wildlife Sanctuary.
The Houston Zoo Primate Department is helping to raise awareness about the WCCB and the illegal pet trade. We are holding our 2nd annual “Howlerween” Spotlight on Species event on October 23rd and 24th. We will have educational activities, keeper chats, and also be selling a variety of merchandise to help raise money for the WCCB. “Howlerween” will coincide with Zoo Boo and from 9 am to 3 pm on both days at the Wortham World of Primates.
Written by, primate keepers, Lucy Dee Anderson and Cheka