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Newborn Monkey Baby Sets Tails A-twitter
By Becca Williams

The first thing you know, little Bella shows up with a tiny newborn clinging to her. It’s that rascal Charlie, no doubt, who’s also been cavorting with a couple of the wild females who are now in the family way. They hang around the open canopy making eyes at him. Sophia is really Charlie’s love, but she appears to be barren. So Charlie spends a lot of time sitting over the kennel where Bella and her baby reside.

Ah, it’s just another day at the Sibu Sanctuary near Nosara. But different now, with the baby. In fact, a reason-to-celebrate kind of different. The sanctuary was opened a year-and-a-half ago to receive monkeys from the Nosara Animal Refuge where monkeys injured or orphaned, mostly by power line electrocutions, are nursed back to health. Once feeling better they are moved on to Sibu Sanctuary for their gradual reintroduction to the wild.

Yet, they are not a good bet for making relationships and socially integrating. And least of all Bella, who survived the trauma of her mother’s electrocution (and being shocked herself) and has exhibited personality “difficulties” since it happened five years ago.

But under the oh-so-capable attention of Vicki and Steve Coan, who have dedicated their lives to developing this “next step” program, the sanctuary is doing exactly what it’s intended to do: nurture the monkeys back into the wild.

Vicki was very surprised the morning of November 9th when she discovered that Bella had had a baby inside the unique monkey society that lives at SIBU´s. “We never knew that she was pregnant, she was not big, and neither were her breasts.”

According to Vicky, “First-time monkey mothers don´t know what to do and, in this case, Bella wasn´t even producing milk.” The probability of the loss of the baby is high, only 30% of newborns survive in the wild, so Bella received extra food for 4 days until the newborn, deservingly named “Sibu,” finally began to drink Bella´s milk.

The probability of the loss of the baby was high, so Bella received extra food for 4 days until the newborn, deservingly named “Sibu”, finally began to drink Bella´s milk. Yet, his future is still not guarantee and the Coans will have to pay extra attention to this new guest.

Sibu Sanctuary’s success is rooted in its deep partnership with Refugio Animales de Nosara, founded by Brenda Bombard. Together these organizations form a vital partnership for saving and rehabilitating members of Costa Rica’s devastated Howler monkey population.



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