Stuffed Animals Act As "Mom" To Orphaned Amazon Wildlife

<p><a href="">IBAMA</a></p>
<p><a href="">IBAMA</a></p>

There's no beating the comfort that only mom can bring -- but for these orphaned baby animals at a rescue center in Brazil, a plush toy just might be the next best thing.

Every year in the Amazon rainforest, dozens of helpless monkeys, sloths, and anteaters are rescued after their mothers are killed or captured. Because much of the early part of these species' lives is spent clinging to their parent, veterinarians try to recreate this experience with "surrogates" to make the babies feel safe and protected.

Two Brazilian environmental agencies working Amazonian wildlife, IBAMA and Ipaam, have launched a new campaign called "Donate a stuffed animal to a real animal" to collect more plush toys for these animal youngsters in need.

In addition to receiving donated stuffed animals, wildlife officials hope the campaign will help raise public awareness of the threats being faced by these species in the wild -- like poaching, smuggling and being illegally taken in as pets -- to prevent more animal babies from becoming separated from their real mothers.