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Kind Officer Proves Even The Tiniest Animal Is Worth Saving

They're charged with protecting the world's largest tropical rainforest, but for the Amazon's eco-cops, no case is too small.

On Friday, an officer with Brazil's Environmental Police Battalion rescued a tiny endangered monkey barely the size of his hand. The agency says the wounded baby pied tamarin was found earlier that day by a resident near the city of Manaus.

"The tamarin had injuries that may have been caused by dog bites or by falling to the ground," wrote the military police unit on Facebook. "For that reason, it was referred to a wildlife refuge to receive appropriate veterinary treatment."

The pied tamarin is unique to area and has long served as a symbol of Manaus, but the rare monkey species is now endangered due to habitat loss and may disappear completely within a few decades, Brazilian news organization Globo reports.

"The pied tamarin has one of the smallest ranges of any primate and is now thought to be one of the most endangered monkeys in the forests of the Amazon," writes the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. "Some tamarins are now isolated in tiny fragments within the city, with no hope of survival if nothing is done."

Thanks to the actions of a caring officer, however, at least one special little monkey is now getting the help he needs.

To learn more about the threats facing the pied tamarin and the other animals of the Amazon, visit the World Wildlife Fund's website here.