Monica has been with us since she was confiscated by MINAE when a local was caught trying to sell illegal exotic animals as pets. Monica arrived wearing a sundress and a diaper that was duct-taped to her body. She had been fed rice and beans and coffee and had no idea what natural foods she should be eating or how to behave like a monkey.
It is illegal to capture and sell wildlife here in Costa Rica. Not only will these animals grow up to be aggressive towards humans when they reach sexual maturity, but raising wild animals makes them dependent on humans for food and companionship. It is almost impossible to release an animal that was a pet as they always end up approaching humans looking for food. This puts them at risk of being recaptured and sold illegally or sustaining injuries from a frightened person or their dog.
Monica now shares a large enclosure with Jack, who was also the victim of the pet trade. Both are learning how to be wild monkeys again, but it takes a lot of time to undo the harm that is caused by humanizing wild animals.