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monkeyTen months after news broke on the savage, heartless beating of an adult black howler monkey which made headlines both at home and aboard, the alleged perpetrators appeared in the Orange Walk Magistrate’s Court today. The culprits, four students, two of them minors, and teacher Angel Carillo, who are currently out on bail, appeared before Magistrate Marlene Moody who recorded the statement of several witnesses including Forest Officers Daniel Chi and Wilbur Sabido.

 

While the session went on for close to two hours, it was adjourned for continuation on Tuesday afternoon. The media was not allowed to listen in on the case since minors are involved.

Viewers might recall that at the time of the incident, on March fifth, the black howler monkey was captured and savagely beaten allegedly at the hands of four third form students of the Belize High School of Agriculture located in southern Orange Walk.

 

But despite immediate rehabilitation at Wildtracks located in Sarteneja Corozal, the endangered primate did not survive the attack and perished exactly one week later, on March twelfth. Video circulated showed that in an act of animal cruelty, the primate was tied up and harassed. An investigation was launched by the Forest Department which led to charges being levied against five persons—the teacher, Angel Carillo and four students.

Each of the accused was charged with Unlawful Hunting.

 

The Primate Rehabilitation Centre has now been hosted by Wildtracks for three years, in close partnership with the Belize Forest Department. The goal has been the successful implementation of a zero-tolerance policy towards the illegal trade in and keeping of primates in Belize. Hunting, according to the laws regarding wildlife, is defined as the act of killing, molesting, taking or attempting to kill, take and/or molest any species of wildlife by any method. The maximum penalty is one thousand dollars or six months imprisonment.

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