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History of the Sanctuary

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Over 10 years ago, when Steven and Michelle Walker first arrived in Panama, the property where we are located was almost completely clear-cut. Avid horticulturalists, the couple began re-foresting the area with different plant species that are important for a healthy ecosystem. The immense diversity of plant and tree species planted is attracting an increasing amount of wild biodiversity including several troops of mantled howler monkeys (Alouatta palliata).

Not long after the Walker family's arrival, the sanctuary's first mantled howler monkey arrived and the project quickly became known as a place where orphaned and injured wildlife could be taken to for help. It didn't take long for more monkeys to arrive and the project to expand.

The sanctuary several years ago with a view that is no longer possible with all the vegetation.
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Now, the project has culminated to become Palliata Santuario de Vida Silvestre. The property has completely transformed resembling a forest instead of a cattle field. The Walker family and Nele Ränger remain committed to save the region's howler monkeys and other native wildlife in need.

Our rehabilitated and released howler monkeys have the unique opportunity to join one of the many troops that frequent the area. We teach them which leaves to eat and show them the area on nature walks throughout their rehabilitation process, meaning when they are adults and ready to explore on their own, they are familiar with the area and foraging spots, reducing stress and increasing their chances of a successful reintroduction into the wild.