4 min read

Rescued Baby Orphans Keep Cozy With Stuffed Animals

There are many ways wild animals in the Amazon might find themselves without a mother - from habitat loss, poaching and smuggling for the illegal pet trade. But fortunately for these orphaned forest babies, folks living in the community have stepped in to make sure they feel surrounded by love regardless;

They've raised a small army of plush toys whose sole duty is to have the little ones feeling at home.

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

Thanks to a campaign launched by Semmas, the secretary of environment and sustainability in the Amazonian capital of Manaus, 13 rescued baby monkeys, sloths and anteaters living in a nearby wildlife refuge aren't without a sense of parental care.

In recent months, the public has donated 63 stuffed animals for the youngsters to cuddle with and keep cozy - and it's clearly working.

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

More than being just cute, the stuffed animals actually play a vital role as surrogate parents for the healthy development of the young animals who've lost their own.

"The stuffed animal ends up functioning as a mother at a time when the baby needs the emotional warmth and care, because he thinks that's the mother's body," Semmas staffer Socorro Monteiro told The Dodo in an email.

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

Given the constant cuddling, those 63 donated stuffed animals have proven barely sufficient to keep the growing number of orphans at the refuge satisfactorily snuggled. That's why rescuers have decided to make the campaign for more plush toys an ongoing one.

"This need is constant, since the babies, especially monkeys, sloths and anteaters, rely on stuffed animals so that gaps should be filled left by the absence of their mothers, from the baby stage to young stage," said Romulo Gonçalves, who works at the refuge, in an email.

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

ARLESSON SICSÚ/SEMMAS

Folks interested in sending more stuffed animals to Semmas can find the agency's address below (though please note that shipping costs may be high):

Rua Rubídio, nº 288, Vila da Prata – Manaus/Amazonas – Brasil -CEP 69-033-170