Symbolically adopt Nambi the howler monkey to be a part of her ongoing care and rehabilitation at Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary!
Nambi is a wild mother who was being observed as part of a study on howler monkeys in the Guanacaste region. She had gained attention after giving birth to twins early in 2020 – an extremely rare occurrence in howler monkeys!
She was found in December 2020 paralyzed from the waist down. We are unsure what exactly caused this, but the abrasions on her legs and abdomen indicated that she may have been hit by a motorbike or fallen from a tree.
Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary has had experience successfully rehabilitating paralyzed monkeys in the past and had a committed team ready to work with her to give her a chance at survival. The odds of Nambi regaining mobility in her legs and tail in order to guarantee her survival were extremely low. Recovery from her spinal nerve damage, if possible, would be a long and difficult journey.
When Nambi first arrived at Sibu Wildlife Sanctuary she had to use her arms and upper body strength to drag herself along the floor if she wanted to move about. To accomodate for this, we initially adapted one of our transitional habitats to build a large platform, giving her some freedom to move safely. On top of this thick mattress pads were installed, and pillows spread throughout the space to allow her to sit upright if she chose to.
As Nambi regained strength but remained immobile from the waist down, she grew restless. We installed some low branches, and soon she was working her strong arms even harder, lifting her entire body up on to them.
Nambi was introduced to different environments each day. The main aim of this was to support her mental health, providing her with mental stimulation and preventing depression. These habitat changes were also opportunities for her to receive physical therapy from our staff, working the legs and tail to prevent muscle atrophy.
Months passed with little to no improvement, but Nambi’s spirit stayed strong and determined. In September during one of her physical therapy sessions, she finally began to put some weight on her right leg. From that moment she rapidly grew in confidence, and began using her leg more and more while moving through her habitats.
We started introducing her to Sibu’s newest living jungle habitat for short periods, and she began to form strong social bonds with disabled howler monkeys Alex and Andrea. Slowly, Nambi began to show signs of movement in her left leg too, and is now walking. Although this progress is an incredible start, there is still a long road to recovery ahead of Nambi.