After battling a respiratory infection for nearly a month, Chombo succumbed to his illness late Wednesday night, just one day before he was to return to his home here at Urraca Private Island. After the most recent round of antibiotics, his condition had improved and the vet was ready to release him. Just hours before his scheduled transport, he took a turn for the worse. Despite all efforts, Chombo passed away.
Chombo was a Howler monkey, rescued by Francine Roy in the Spring of 2016. He was found wandering around a public park, wanting to be near people. Francine believes he was domesticated and had been set free. He eventually found his forever home here on this mangrove island, with the ten other monkeys Francine has taken in.
Island is Perfect Monkey Environment
Urraca is a mangrove island in the Caribbean Sea. Guest bungalows and common areas are connected by a series of docks that weave their way through the trees, over the water. It is a perfect monkey habitat, where the primates are safe and cared for. Chombo loved his life here. He spent his time swinging from trees and sunning himself on the decks. He was fed plenty of bananas and potatoes (weirdly, one of his favorite foods).
Chombo was a sweet, gentle soul and he became an unlikely friend of the squirrel monkeys. These are two species that would not generally interact in the wild, yet here were just one big happy family. Watching the larger, slower moving Chombo try to catch the very agile and fast squirrel monkeys was hysterical to watch! Most recently, even the tiny Tamarin monkey, Zidan, was seen trying to play and interact with the great Chombo.
Mostly, Chombo loved people. He sought out human contact regularly. You can’t imagine what it feels like to have a wild animal like him sidle up next to you and just reach over and hold your hand. He would sit patiently and wait for Francine to have a moment to sit still so that he could just curl up on her lap. On slow days they could be found peacefully napping together in a hammock.
Even Mark and I got to experience amazing gentle moments with Chombo. I was initially extremely timid of him. He is a great deal larger than the other monkeys here on the island and I’d seen the size of his teeth! He eventually won me over and the memories I have of him holding my hand or napping on my lap are ones I will treasure forever.
Chombo Remembered at Urraca Island
The loss of Chombo has devastated all of us here at the island. However, we are dedicated to honoring his life by sharing stories and videos and allowing people to see a different side of a Howler monkey. The void he has left here on the island is a big one, but Francine will open her heart up, when the time comes, to another monkey out there in need of a safe and loving home.
For more information on our monkeys and how you can help in our rescue efforts – log on to www.urracaprivateisland.com