Every year hundreds of howler monkeys and other wild animals in Costa Rica are electrocuted on uninsulated power lines and transformers. In fact, electrocution is the number one killer of howler monkeys in Costa Rica. Sadly, the monkeys don’t know the difference between electrical wires and natural vines and will often travel across wires to get to feeding grounds. This is a particularly serious issue in areas of deforestation where monkeys have no choice but to travel on the wires.
Most of the howler monkeys that survive electrical burns are infants that were clinging to their mothers when they were electrocuted. The mother absorbs most of the current while the babies suffer burns on their hands, tail and any other body part in direct contact with her. Some are lucky enough to escape with only minor burns.