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Valentine's Sweet: Spider Monkey Pair Finds Friendship

Valerie and Pepe were rescued, then introduced, by LA-based Animal Defenders International.

Everyone hopes that, upon meeting a new friend, a fine companion, and a possible soul mate, words like "joy" and "play" and "chatter" will be expressed by onlookers. If the first meeting can elicit moved and kindhearted reactions, surely the future looks bright.

They're perfect words to meditate on during the days leading up to Valentine's Weekend, and that a pair of rescued spider monkeys making headlines inspired them makes their meeting, and story to come, all the more charming.

Meet Valerie and Pepe, two spider monkeys who definitely needed a pal.

Los Angeles-based Animal Defenders International, which works on "securing animal protection legislation, drafting regulations, and rescuing animals in distress" located the frolicsome simians.

But they weren't located together. Valerie was found in Lima, where she was "being used as entertainment in a restaurant," and Pepe hailed from Cusco, where "the intelligent, playful monkey had been kept alone for eight years and chained by the neck for eight years." His canine teeth had also been removed.

The organization, which also has offices in London and Bogotá, is raising funds to create a habitat in the Amazon for animals like Valerie and Pepe and the indigenous wildlife that volunteers spend time diligently rescuing and nurturing. Animal rights supporter Bob Barker gave a half-million dollars for a center in Peru, but it is described as a "temporary holding" place, not the wilder habitat ADI seeks.

For now, though, Valerie and Pepe are together, chattering and playing. If you need a dose of duo-sweet coming-together-ness, and two spider monkeys making merry, this is the video.


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