Please let the trees stand

Saimiri sciureus (Squirrel Monkey)

Cutting down the rain forest is not only dangerous on an ecological level, it disrupts the natural order and synergy of vegetation and animal life.

About 20 years ago, someone from an agency in South America telephoned me pleading that I help them re-locate 10,000 monkeys after a destructive hatchet in Brasil's Amazon left them homeless.

They had heard rumours that I had saved some non-human primates from extinction and mistreatment by finding homes for them in zoos and outdoor parks.

Aotus trivirgatus (Owl Monkey)

I was aghast. I had no warning and less time to find a solution. I couldn't imagine any of my contacts taking or housing that number of dislocated Squirrel ( Saimiri sciureus) and/or Owl (Aotus trivirgatus) monkeys.

I only had room for about 40 monkeys in our animal facility and the place was full.

I grew more distraught as I made phone call after phone call, hoping to find a way to rescue them. But no one could take them.

I wept with defeat. I could nearly hear their cries as they cling to branches and were rounded up into wire cages.

If more of the forest is leveled, it will send instant shock waves through the boughs, and hurl more creatures into a homeless state or total extinction.

The way non-human primates are handled, dealt with and discarded is a scandal and out and out murder.

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