Although the beautiful nation of Costa Rica is regularly praised as an environmentally nation, a few areas of its power grid has been electrocuting many of the jungle nation’s tree-climbing species.
Unfortunately, this happens way more than you’d expect, as hundreds of reports of electrocuted monkeys were submitted to local animal rescue groups between 2008 and 2009 alone. A range of arboreal animals, including howler monkeys, spider monkeys, kinkajous, sloths, capuchins, raccoons and others regularly attempt to climb electrical cables during their daily food searches and are vulnerable to accidental electrocution.
Take Simona, the three-toed sloth: She was made contact with a high voltage power line recently and caretakers were forced to amputate both of her rear limbs and one of her arms, in addition to helping to patch up the electrical and burn damage the poor creature suffered. Simona is quickly recovering from her traumatic experience and she has been described as “playful” by the Zoo Ave staff.
The primary issue isn’t the power lines themselves. Insulated power lines allow these creatures to safely climb the dangerous cables; That is, until they encounter an uninsulated transformer. Compounding the problem is that mango and other fruit trees often branch out into or through the Costa Rican electrical grid, leading these hungry creatures to their doom. A transformer insulating kit costs about $400, and you can help these animals out by donating to the cause here.
Even though 93% of Costa Rica’s energy supply is sustainably produced, its wildlife will continue to suffer until 100% of the nation’s electrical transformers are insulated. Who wouldn’t want to help these cute canopy crawlers?