Baby Monkey Couldn't Understand Why Her Mom Wouldn't Wake Up

"At first she missed her so much that she cried almost constantly."

For a baby howler monkey, now known as Ashley, life changed in a split second.

Orphaned howler monkey at rescue center
Refuge for Wildlife

Ashley was only 2 weeks old and holding onto her mom as the little family was climbing trees in Costa Rica.

But, like too many other monkeys in the area, they leapt onto power lines and came too close to an uninsulated electrical transformer. The shock sent Ashley falling from her mom's back.

Howler monkey caught in power lines
Refuge for Wildlife

Her mother's body absorbed most of the shock, and this actually saved Ashley's life.

Rescue team trying to save howler monkeys
A rescue team about to catch Ashley | Refuge for Wildlife

"When her mother was electrocuted, baby Ashley slipped from her back and was caught by the rescue team below," International Animal Rescue (IAR) wrote. The rescue team, from local Refuge for Wildlife, had come to the scene when a local resident spotted a monkey in trouble near the power lines. "Using special tools, the rescuers got the mother down from the transformer and mother and baby were immediately reunited."

Howler monkey and her dying mom
Refuge for Wildlife

Sadly, the electrocution was just too much for Ashley's mother to take. On the ground, Ashley held onto her mom as the life slowly drained from her. She died just minutes after the shock.

Howler monkey in Costa Rica with her dying mom
Refuge for Wildlife

Two other monkey's in Ashley's troop also died from the electrocution.

Ashley cried as she was taken away from her mom's body.

Howler monkey clutching onto her electrocuted mother
Refuge for Wildlife

Rescuers brought the traumatized baby to Refuge for Wildlife for urgent treatment and rehabilitation.

"At first she missed her so much that she cried almost constantly," IAR wrote.

Baby howler monkey holding her dead mom's body
IRefuge for Wildlife

Rescuers gave Ashley a teddy bear and hot water bottle, "which provides comfort as a sort-of surrogate mother," IAR said.

Even though Ashley suffered minor burns and was traumatized, with feedings every few hours, she started recovering quickly.

Rescuers recently determined that she was strong enough to meet some of the other babies at the rescue center. And she's become close with other orphaned howler monkeys Claudia, Tinis, Lindsay and Elena. "This small group will stay together to form a new family," IAR said.

Rescued orphaned howler monkey gets teddy bear
Refuge for Wildlife

This new family will stay at the refuge until they're nearly 2 years old. Then they will start a slow release program, gradually returning them to the jungle together.

For now, though, Ashley's focusing on getting stronger, physically and emotionally. "She loves to snuggle with a teddy bear and a hot water bottle but she's also starting to play and explore with the other young babies," IAR said.

Orphaned howler monkey recovering at rescue center
Refuge for Wildlife

Electrocutions from uninsulated electrical transformers are the number one killer of howler monkeys in Costa Rica. That's why IAR recently teamed up with Refuge for Wildlife, to help rehabilitate and rescue howler monkeys in need.

The transformer that killed Ashley's mom was quickly insulated the day after the accident, thanks to donations and fast work from the local electrical company.

Even though nothing can bring Ashley's mom back, her future is starting to look a little brighter.

To help orphaned monkeys like Ashley, you can make a donation.