Ecoparque el Fenix began in the early 70´s by a private initiative. The aim was to restore wild crocodile populations (Crocodylus moreletti), by creating a captive breeding program. This strategy was not as successful as expected; approximately 90% of the crocodiles had been stolen and the park mostly abandoned.
In 1992, the Ecological Development Agency (SEDUE) gave the facilities to the non-profit organization MAREA Azul A.C. (Alternative Movement for the Restoration of Affected Ecosystems) to restart the crocodile breeding program.
With the park restoration, MAREA Azul achieved reproduction rates which contributed to the move of the species status from Endangered to Vulnerable. Today the breeding program continues and Ecoparque el Fenix houses a maximum of 300 crocodiles.
In 1994, MAREA Azul was aware of the high amount of Mexican monkey species being housed as pets. The illegal pet trade threatens spider monkey (Ateles geoffroyi) and howler monkey (Alouatta pigra) populations, placing both as Endangered species. After approaching the pet owners, the management problems of a monkey pet became evident, as once a monkeys reaches sexual maturity they become difficult to handle. As a result many owners donated their monkeys to Ecoparque el Fenix, giving rise to the primate rescue and rehabilitation program.
It is also the Sanctuaries aim to increase education efforts both nationally and internationally. It is very important that the general public understands that spider monkeys and howler monkeys (as with any primate) do not make good pets. Primates are highly social animals. Depriving a monkey of natural development within the forest and with their own species, can result in the monkeys displaying abnormal behaviours. Abnormal behaviours are frequently seen when the sanctuary rescues a new monkey. With care and patience, monkeys can recover in a safe environment and even learn to groom and play with others like themselves.
Admission $10 MXN ($1 USD)
Everyday from 8:00 to 17:00 hrs