I'd like to start my travel updates by paying homage to a rescue center in Puerto Viejo called the Jaguar Rescue Center. Visiting the center stirred a strange maternal instinct inside me, prompting dreams about adopting howler monkeys and building a lily pad pond for frogs in my backyard.
Below is a list of my favorite animals from the center:
Cayman (shown below) are pretty shy. I think his cheeks are turning pink as I'm taking his picture. Our tour guide informed us that though closely resembling it's alligator cousin, they do not have the same instinct to attack humans. One way to tell the difference between to two is to approach it and if it chases you it's an alligator but if it leaves you alone it's a Cayman. I'm not sure how I feel about those odds.
This little frog is apparently covered in poison. It's ok to touch with hands but you can't get any of his outer goo in your mouth or on your eyes.
|Girl I was poison|
|Wanna be Gerber baby|
Ok now let's get to the good stuff, the monkeys. For all of you who know me personally, you know about my deep seeded desire to own a monkey. I even have a "Monkey Portraits" calendar in my office. So when I heard there was a place where I could PLAY with real MONKEYS... I was there faster than you can say "banana boat".
The center had an abundance of howler monkey's that have been rescued from many places. One guide told us that a girl was keeping one for a pet and making her friends pay to have their picture taken with him at school. Probably the coolest job I've ever heard of.
Every day these rescued monkeys are taken on a picnic in the jungle with the volunteers. At the picnic, they are released into the jungle to socialize with other howler monkeys. If they decide to stay in the jungle with the wild monkeys they are released but if they decide to come back to the center after the picnic then they go back. Apparently monkeys won't stay in the wild until they've bonded into a clan of their own. I find this sweet and human like. We are also social creatures that build our lives around community.
I guess my main question is how I get invited to these monkey picnics. I would bring my own bananas and everything.
|Will the real howler monkey please stand up?|
|Who you lookin' at?|