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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

Her light has blown out, our hearts are crushed.

Updated: Jul 11, 2023

We have talked and learned a lot about the howler monkeys that we are so thankful to live with here over the years but nothing is so great as being able to care for one personally. The best part is that we get to see them every day, get to know them, watch them reproduce, and share this experience with our guests too.

Though this is amazing, they are sadly, critically endangered, and on the autobahn to extinction because of us humans. No shocker there I know. But what's even worse, is when one takes its last breath and dies in your arms.

Phew, it's going to be hard for me to get through this letter to you. Deep we go.

Taking care of wildlife has been one of the greatest highlights of our lives but nothing compares to what it has been like with little Melikki. Remember her? We introduced you to her just last month.

We have been observing and wondering at these beautiful beings for over 12 years now and with the great has come too many

horrifying moments.

Though their greatest threat has been habitat loss, in our area it's also been electrocution by the high voltage power lines.

That's how sweet little Melikki landed in our arms back in October, after her mother died from electrocution and fell to the ground with Melikki on her back. Melikki was not willing to let go of her dead mother but with careful hands and patience, she was rescued and then brought to us for fostering until she could be released.

As you can easily imagine this sweet little nugget immediately filled our hearts, gave our lives a new purpose, and a fierce devotion to her successful release back into the jungle where she belongs with the other monkeys.

With the guidance of experts, she was on the road to success. She always had a full belly, a safe place to sleep, and an incredible jungle to spend her days. The monkeys called out to her every day, and we encouraged her to join them.

We knew that one day, her instincts would kick in and she would join the others. After all, they are a lot more fun to play with than a couple of old humans like Ryan and I.

Everything was great until last Saturday, when she woke up low on energy and not ready to chug her bottle like a freshmen in college. I told the vet right away and on Sunday I knew we had a serious situation on our hands.

Knowing that I had a group of experts to help in case of an emergency, I sounded the alarms and headed to the city for help.

After some extremely frustrating and useless government agencies flexed their useless machismo muscles, I finally went to my personal vet who is an angel and he did his best to treat her under the guidance of a primate specialist working during her holiday to try and save Melikki's life.

Sadly, it didn't help. Here we were in a very remote are of Panama with a critically endangered animal who we loved, and a government who said they would support us when we needed it and they did exactly

NOTHING to help. She continued to decline and despite our every effort, she died in my arms at 1:15 am Friday morning the 8th of July.

Losing a baby is an unimaginable tragedy. She had big plans and we humans ended her life after just 9 sweet months on this beautiful planet. I will never forgive NATURGY, the electrical company for electrocuting Melikki's mother and the countless other monkeys and animals, and also the government agencies of Panama for turning their backs on her.

I thought we were making difference before but watch out world, I'm fired up and ready to do something.

Whoah there, I know that was a heavy email and thank you for making it this far but sometimes, the truth, no matter how hard, has to be told to make something happen. If you're feeling fired up like I am, let me know and you can join us in what is going to be one of the greatest conservation efforts ever.

Your Friends in Morrillo, Cari and Ryan Mackey Owners and Hosts Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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