Wildlife Protection (03:37)
Guatemalan veterinarian Alejandro Morales cares for an orphaned spider monkey. ARCAS houses 700 animals, with goals of releasing them into the wild. Zoologist Anna Bryant studies a troop in the final stage of rehabilitation; she worries about asocial Bruce.
Preserving Iconic Birds (03:10)
The Mayan Forest is a crucial ecosystem, home to 4,000 animal species; large areas are being burned for agriculture. Wild scarlet macaw were once common; fewer than 300 remain. ARCAS staff monitors captive bred chicks, aspiring to release them in the jungles.
ARCAS Operations (05:34)
At the mammal quarantine department, Bryant bottle feeds the baby spider monkey. Cleaning and feeding at the center is primarily accomplished by local staff and volunteers. Morales runs the clinic and deals with emergencies.
Primate Rehabilitation (03:54)
The spider monkey troop is readied for release in six weeks. Bryant observes that Bruce is not spending time in trees, critical for wilderness survival. She lights firecrackers to scare him, hoping he associates scary things with being on ground.
Emergency Operations (03:43)
Morales intakes a baby Northern Potoo; the rare bird has a broken leg. He improvises anesthesia to perform surgery; the next hours are critical to survival.
Bird Rehabilitation (03:34)
Nine scarlet macaws are selected for release; ARCAS staff screen them for diseases and examine for readiness. They move to a larger enclosure with trees. They will be the first captive bred birds introduced to the Guatemalan rainforest.
Potoo Outcome (03:01)
Morales arrives at the rescue center early. He monitors the bird throughout the day, worrying about his lack of weight gain. Despite his efforts, the baby bird dies.
Illegal Pet Trade (03:19)
Morales works with guards at checkpoints leading out of the jungle, combating wildlife trafficking; they recover baby parrots. The center receives 100 parrots a month during breeding seasons. Approximately 80% of animals die in transit.
Intake and Letting Go (06:23)
Bryant discusses the difficulties of not becoming attached to wildlife as the baby spider monkey vies for her attention. She observes the troop being prepared for release and is optimistic about Bruce’s behavior.
Liberated Troop (05:11)
ARCAS staff drive into Rio Azul National Park to release the spider monkeys; populations have declined by 50% in 45 years. Bruce is reluctant to leave his carrier’s safety, but joins the others in the forest after encouragement.
Animal Outcomes (08:32)
Two released spider monkeys die. ARCAS staff travel down river and up hills to free nine scarlet macaws; they plan for more. The baby spider monkey learns to climb and gets a companion; illegal trafficking means animals will continue arriving at the clinic.
Credits: Jungle Animal Hospital (00:30)
Credits: Jungle Animal Hospital
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