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.

Thanks to a campaign by 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.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 puppy needs the emotional warmth and care, because he thinks that's the mother's body," Semmas staffer Socorro Monteiro told. "This need is constant, since the puppies, especially monkeys, sloths and anteaters, rely on stuffed animals so that gaps should be filled left by the absence of their mothers, from the puppy stage to young stage," said Romulo Gonçalves

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