The New Area at Machía: Mirador 2 | Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY)

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Frank Ballard

19 October 2019

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The New Area at Machía: Mirador 2

The New Area at Machía: Mirador 2

Monkeys arrive to Machía with different stories, however all have suffered some form of psychological and sometimes physical trauma. When they arrive as infants or juveniles they have a better chance of adapting to their new life. It is possible to put a belt on them which we can attach to a rope, which is then connected to a runner. Runners are very long ropes that allow the individual the freedom of movement in the jungle throughout the day, before returning to a cage at night, where it is safe to sleep. Some of the monkeys that were being managed with this runner system in the area of Cielo have now been moved to the new area called Mirador 2.

Erick, Alvarito, Jorge, Pasqui, Ramoncito, Lemmy and Conejo were the first individuals to move. Once they had successfully settled in, we moved a number of females to create a solid group dynamic and give them sufficient opportunities for socialization. Totita, Frederica, Ivón, Franca, and then March and Pepa were all moved to Mirador 2. In Cielo we had more than 30 monkeys using many runners in a limited space, which ultimately caused conflicts in the social hierarchy. In order to alleviate these conflicts and to give all of the animals more space in which to live, we moved these individuals to the new area.

The set of cages for female capuchin monkeys
A cage for a male capuchin monkey, with a visitor on top

Moving to the new area was a huge change for these 15 monkeys. But it gave them the opportunity to live in the middle of the jungle, far from human noises. They began to learn what the jungle sounded like, to see things from the treetops and to enjoy the wildlife around them. The weeks passed, and the group became more confident. Young males were beginning to grow, and despite limited contact between individuals, a new social hierarchy was developed.

For some individuals, this change was slower than in others. Lenny for example, was a very humanized monkey, and he took longer to adapt. But it is with a great deal of happiness we are now seeing him thriving in his new environment – exploring his space, looking for bugs on the ground and climbing trees like a wild monkey.

For those of us that will be caring for these animals for the rest of their lives, it is incredibly rewarding to see them in their natural environment, living the most natural life as possible, after they had their life in the wild taken from them.

This project would not have been possible without the amazing support of everyone involved, so we would like to thank each and every one of you! In particular we want to thank Gaspard Renault whose donation funded seven enclosures, and the Pete the Monkey Festival, donations from which provided us with materials like sheet metal, mesh and ropes. Thank you!!