Hand-rearing and reintroduction of Woolly monkey Lagothrix lagotricha at Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre, UK

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Abstract

Woolly monkey populations are decreasing in the wild and in captivity. Woolly monkeys have a reputation for being difficult to keep and breed, infant mortality is high and hand-rearing is rarely attempted or successful. Between 2006 and 2008, three ♂ Woolly monkeys Lagothrix lagotricha born at Monkey World – Ape Rescue Centre, UK, failed to suckle and these infants were removed for hand-rearing. Because no published information was available to inform our procedures, detailed records of the hand-rearing and reintroduction process were kept, and an account is provided here. Although parent-rearing is always the best option, this paper details the hand-rearing and reintroduction process used successfully at Monkey World in order to encourage other keepers who are managing suboptimal birth circumstances in captive Woolly monkey populations.

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