The Forest Department continues to investigate the case of the Black Howler Monkey that was captured at the Belize High School of Agriculture in the Orange Walk District. According to reports the monkey was badly beaten by a group of high school boys.
The black howler monkey was allegedly captured and savagely beaten by four students of a school in southern Orange Walk. Even worse than that, reports suggested that a teacher instructed the students to stone the monkey and beat it with sticks since it had defecated on him while he was taking a nap in the bushes. The boys had been shooting the monkey with sling shots, beating the monkey with tree limbs and then tied the monkey’s hands and feet so that it couldn’t run away.
The howler monkey which was seized by the Forest Department on March 6, 2013, was transferred to a rehabilitation facility where it received medical treatment. One of its eyes was severely damaged; it had a broken tooth and a busted lip, but fortunately no broken bones. The monkey had severe head trauma and had been experiencing seizures and had to be spoon-fed as it could not nourish itself. However, it died on Friday, March 8, 2013, from his injuries.
The Forest Department stated that it does not take the incident lightly and will be laying charges against offenders. “Such cruelty is appalling and will not be tolerated,” stated the Forest Department on a press release.
Wildlife in Belize is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act (Chapter 220 revised edition 2000) and the Forest Act (Chapter 213 revised edition 2000) of the substantive laws of Belize. It is illegal to hunt/capture wildlife without a valid permit from the Forest Department. According to WPA hunting means, “to kill, take or molest by any method and includes attempting to kill, take or molest by any method any species of wildlife”.
Furthermore, the WPA prohibits the hunting of the following:
Black Howler Monkey, Black Spider Monkey, Morelet and American Crodile, Manatee, Tapir, Kinkajou, Jaguar, Jaguarundi, Ocelot, Puma, Margay, Central American Otter, All Birds except: Chchalaca, Crested Guan, Black Throated Bobwhite, Blue-winged Teal and Lesser Scaup.