This past Saturday December 15th, the Nosara Wildlife Rescue had the opportunity to release one of their charges into the wild after a near-miss accident along the road to Nicoya a month earlier.
Marcela Mora Castillo was driving with some friends to Nicoya to visit her mother on November 16th, 2012, when she witnessed the accident in front of her eyes. The victim: A five year-old mantled howler monkey female.
“I don't think he did it on purpose,” said Castillo. “The car in front of us tried to brake, but didn't stop completely, and he hit. I was with my friends to bring my mom to Nicoya, so my friends and I stopped to help the monkey, we called her 'Camilla.'”
Castillo brought Camilla the monkey to the veterinarian in Nosara, an unconscious, bleeding mess. The vet stitched and patched up Camilla's legs, where most of the damage was centred. She also pointed Castillo towards the Nosara Wildlife Refuge, lead by Brenda Bombard's, in order to give Camilla a place to convalesce.
“It was still unconscious when it got here,” said Bombard. “Luckily she wasn't broken, but she had some lacerations into her legs. I fed her some powerade through a syringe to get some fluids and electrolytes into her.”
Bombard said that it took four weeks of care and rest to bring Camilla the howler monkey back to health, and her eventual return to the outside world just metres away from where she was originally hit.
That Saturday, Bombard and Castillo work to bring the kennel out of Brenda's car, Camilla shunted to the back of the plastic enclosure, her mouth open and her eyes staring hard at anyone looking in towards her. The pair each took a side of the kennel and walked out about a hundred metres before stooping to make some pictures before the big moment.
Bombard pinched the metal clasps holding the cage door closed, and opened the door for Camilla to get a view of the place she was taken from. Still nerve-wracked, she huddled at the back of the cage for a few minutes before beginning to cautiously move forward.
Her black paws reached out past the doorway, and her body walked lithely into the open while her head looked about at the larger two-legged relatives standing around her, cameras in-hand to document the moment. She walked up to a nearby guacimo tree, put her hand around the trunk, and for the first time in four weeks, climbed away as a free monkey.
“Life It's like a miracle, right? it feels good,” said Castillo.