POSTED: October 28th 2011

Muriqui monkey possible face of the Rio 2016 Games

The campaign to recognize the Muriqui monkey for Rio 2016 / 'Abrace' o macaco Muriqui como mascote Rio- 2016
The campaign to recognize the Muriqui monkey for Rio 2016 / 'Abrace' o macaco Muriqui como mascote Rio- 2016

LAURA WALDEN / Sports Features Communications

TAMPA: Brazilian environmental groups have started the "Muriqui Rio 2016" campaign to have the endangered species be nominated as the official mascot of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

The muriqui monkey, or the wooly spider monkey as it is also called, is native to the Atlantic rain forest and is considered an endangered species by the state's environmental ministry.

A launch of the campaign today the director of the Brazil's State Environmental Institute, Andre Ilha, spoke to the press and defended the concept. As listed in the Associated Press, he said that they are peaceful animals and symbolizes the spirit of cooperation that is a trademark of the Games. He also noted on the monkey’s agility and that they resemble an Olympic athlete swinging between the trees.

He also pointed out that should the monkey be chosen more resources might be allocated for their preservation and also the other endangered animals in the Brazilian ecosystem.

The state's environmental secretary, Carlos Minc, also noted that the muriqui is really a symbol of the Atlantic rainforest and of bio diversity and would draw attention to the other species at risk.

Rio 2016 has not set a date for the unveiling of the launch of the official mascot but by naming the muriqui monkey Rio organizers can make a big environmental statement about the choice.

Keywords · Muriqui monkey · Rio 2016 ·

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