Alouatta Lodge is a 15 ha property situated on the side of a mountain on the Pacific side of the Republic of Panama. It is an oasis for wildlife in a predominantly cattle orientated growing area.
Our Mission is to be able to rescue, rehabilitate and where possible release wildlife back into the environment. To this extent we will accept any wildlife that we feel we can realistically look after, but especially monkeys and within this we have specialized in Mantled Howler Monkeys (Alouatta Palliata) which are listed as endangered (as is all Panama wildlife) but we have local populations that will allow for easier integration. To this extent we have taken the lower half of the property and planted upwards of 7000 plants both native and exotic to provide a varied source of diet for monkeys, we are trying to build up and maintain tree corridors for troops to be able to access both the entire property and cross roads safely.
Monkeys that are sent to us as rescues or for rehabilitation come from many different situations, from just having lost a mother but knowing how to climb trees and eat the vegetation (just a case of providing friends that will look after them while out during the day) to monkeys that have been kept in captivity for possibly years and think a plate of human food is the norm for their kind. Here we have to try and teach climbing skills and introduce leaves to the diet and build up slowly to a normal monkey diet. We provide veterinary care when needed and supplement all the monkeys diets with a range of fruits and vegetables and multivitamins to keep them as healthy as possible.
As the monkeys develop skills and age (they are able to look after themselves) they are free to come and go as they please day and night, the young monkeys are normally enclosed for the night to protect them from predators and cold.
Our success to date has been the successful release of 3 adult male monkeys, one of which we raised from a baby, and the fruitful mating between a wild male and an adult female to produce a healthy baby girl for which the mother has been totally responsible for the care of. We suspect that there may even be another baby on the way.
Howler monkeys are still hunted by some in Panama as bush food, and even those who don't hunt them do not realize how little time they may have left or what sort of impact not having them here will make, so the next step has to be education and for these people to see some benefit for their communities by keeping these animals around. The Government will not be supporting this so it is up to individuals to keep this moving forward.