Fabiola: Escape from the Concrete Jungle


A new week in Pilpintuwasi and a new animal that needs rescuing. Fabiola, a juvenile common wooly monkey (Lagothrix) was brought to Pilpintuwasi after spending the first few months of her young life in a household environment being fed chocolate and fizzy drinks.

This diet is obviously not a natural diet for wild animals so Fabiola is now being treated by our vet for digestive problems. She is receiving a varied diet of fresh fruits on which this species mainly feeds and also enjoys our ‘monkey balls’ which consist of a high protein cookie ground and mixed together with mashed banana. Fabiola exhibits a typical wooly monkey appetite and little by little we hope that she gains that typical wooly monkey figure – female wooly monkeys weigh on average 7.02kg! (Smith & Jungers 1997).

When rescued Gudrun was offered Fabiola’s items of clothing to take with her. The offer was promptly declined. Now that she is in our care she will no longer be ‘dress up barbie’ and we endeavour to give her as healthy and natural a life as possible. She has been successfully integrated into our wooly monkey group consisting of Nena, Melita, Panchita and Fausto who are also products of illegal animal trafficking. After a couple of shy days she is now engaging in play regularly with Fausto and socializing with members of her own species.

The conservation status of this species is vulnerable (IUCN listing 208) and although widespread throughout South America their population is threatened due to poaching for consumption, for sale in illegal trafficking and habitat loss.

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