Meet Izzie, a little monkey from Belize with an incredible story of survival.
At 8 months old, she was captured by poachers, put in a sack, and then tied up for days without water. We can't begin to imagine how scared she must have been.
Although it's not legal to have monkeys as pets in Belize, they continue to be brutalized and sold as part of the illegal pet trade. Psst... just get a dog, people.
Luckily, Izzie was reported to the Belize Forest Department who found and surrendered her to a wildlife clinic.
She's super cute, right? We can't just let her kind disappear from the planet. But spider monkeys like Izzie are an endangered species due to poaching and deforestation.
The clinic staff realized the baby was in shock and dehydrated. They hugged her first, then gave her some fluids. She was one thirsty girl.
Shock and dehydration are the main causes of death for monkeys when kidnapped. Looks like she was found just in time.
Izzie tried communicating with her squeaky little voice. They realized she was in pain and discovered she had a broken arm.
While giving her an X-ray, the staff came across something even more startling. Izzie had five shotgun pellets in her body and a number of broken bones. She must be one tough baby to endure that and survive.
When the poachers attacked, Izzie was clinging to her mom in a tree. They shot and killed her mother. Izzie was injured in the process, according to Wildtracks Conservation.
It's common practice for poachers to kill mothers before stealing their babies.
They were concerned they'd have to amputate or even euthanize poor Izzie, but fortunately, they raised enough funds to have a surgeon brought in from America. Phew.
The odds were stacked against her, but luckily, her four surgeries were a great success. Izzie got her monkey groove back. Yay!
Here's Izzie one year later. She's bananas for bananas.
She also likes monkeying around.
Izzie was lucky, but there are still so many others like her. Watch her original video below, then check out the update video to see how she's doing today.
Wildtracks Primate Rehabilitation Centre relies on private donations and grants. To learn more, to meet the other monkeys or to donate you can visit them here.