ADI (Animal Defenders International) are a successful group who have been busy persuading the Peruvian 2012 laws on circus animals to come into effect, using a mission title,
Operation Spirit of Freedom. In their temporary rescue centre outside Lima, Pepe is a spider monkey, probably Ateles chamek. He was released following 8 years of imprisonment, chained in a circus. Along with 21 lions and an equal number of other species of monkeys , a coati mundi, a baboon and several horses, vets try and rehabilitate their patients before relocating them to a suitable permanent home such as the Colorado sanctuary to which the lions will make their way. The spider monkey, very endangered like all eight of his genus, proved a great pet, but needed a mate to secure a viable tiny colony for his release. Because of their rarity, we’ve only mentioned one spider monkey species previously, the brown Ateles hybridus, critically endangered in Colombia..
Other work by the ADI in Ireland, Brazil, the US, UK and Bolivia, Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador. Greece and Portugal releases many circus animals while fur farms, the movies, elephant rides and even NASA are heavily scrutinised on their terrible record and their current activity. The laws on animal use were tightened many years ago in most nations, but their neighbours may sometimes allow practices that are totally illegal elsewhere. Cruelty has been our legacy to many animals, but the respect we now show our animal life is entrenched hopefully in our moral tone on this successful organisation.
Native wildlife from Peru like Pepe, the spider monkey, are arranged in family groups in the hope that they will then be released into specially prepared habitats in the Amazonian forest. The formation of ideal habitats for these zoo animals may be a challenge, but a bit of dentistry on Pepe’s cut canine teeth has made him a prime contender for successful hunting in the Amazon. Reaching for him through the bars next to his own cage was another of his own Ateles species, Valerie. The friendly male had an even better friend than his human helpers, and a fruitful relationship developed quickly after careful introductions. These two could now be released if funds allow proper protection and preparation of the forest location soon. An ADI video is available of Pepe and Valerie here while the ADI site for information ( or donations for Valentines Day!) is at Animal Defenders International.