Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Sad, Sad Day for Monkeys

Last Thursday, according to an article published by La Nacion, five children aged 10 to 13 shot and killed 10 howler monkeys, including a mother and her baby, because "they had nothing else to kill." One of the parents was quoted as justifying the crime because it was "kid's stuff." The parents were apparently okay with what happened, and it seems fairly obvious where the children got their attitude about wildlife. This sickens me, and from the reaction of other Costa Ricans, it is angering and sickening all around the country.

As a brief aside, howler monkeys may sound fierce, but they are actually non-aggressive vegetarians who live in family groups and eat tree leaves.

Child welfare agency PANI is looking into removing the children from the home, as there is no way they should have had access to rifles. What kind of penalty the children will face, as well as what will happen to the parents, is still in question.

I guess the only good thing that can be said about this incident is that it has raised awareness of how serious our need to protect endangered species is, even in a country as supposedly "environmentally-friendly" as Costa Rica purports to be (but that is a whole other blog entry).

A picture of a Howler Monkey in Costa Rica. Author: Daniel Chaves Gomez. Borrowed from Wikimedia Commons.


  1. This is heartbreaking news.

  2. As an update: The Tico Times reports that, since the children in question were all apparently under 13, the government will press no charges of any kind against them or their parents. Why their parents are not being held responsible for their behavior is beyond me.