Monkey See....Monkey Do!

Trip Start Feb 09, 2011
Trip End Feb 26, 2011

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Flag of Brazil  , State of Amazonas,
Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 13 (late afternoon)

Temperature: 35 degrees (felt like 43)
Weather:  Sunny, hot and humid

Brazil Tour:  Day 9 - Amazon rainforest

It was late afternoon when we boarded a small wooden motorized boat which slowly headed down the river to a location really close by.  We were going to the "Primate Rehabilitation Center", a center for monkeys brought here when confiscated from illegal sales and exports.  Unbelievable but true!  Antonio explained to us that at this location, the monkeys were initially kept in quarantine, evaluated, treated by veterinarians and eventually reintroduced to the jungle.  In other words, they were well taken care of!

Being opened to visitors and this only during feeding process, since we were guests at the “Amazon Eco Park Lodge”, the only neighbours right across the river from the center, we were able to observe the monkeys and photograph them in a totally safe environment under the supervision of the guides and specialized staff.  Well, that sounded quite good to my ears!

Upon arrival, many grey coloured monkeys started jumping way above us in the trees as we walked on the white sandy path that led right next to the feeding area.  I later learned that these monkeys were called 'spider monkeys”.  It was quite an incredible site seeing them flying quite rapidly all around in so many directions while at the same time, observing us.  So, who was the monkey now…hu, hu, hu…..Michel!

 As I looked way up in the trees, one of them really stood out.  It was a red-faced furry Uakari female monkey, an endangered animal as explained to us by one of the guides.  She looked quite adorable and lonely at the same time since she didn't mixed with any of the other monkeys.  :-(

They came in small groups, even some female monkeys with their babies hanging on their backs and ate the food placed on the wooden tables by the guides.  The food comprised of watermelons and boiled eggs.  Looking at them as they ate, it was obvious that the biggest spider monkey was the dominant one as he pushed his way around and took the food of the much smaller ones!   What a show off!

As we stood behind the wooden post, some curious monkeys came right next to us and sat on the timber while continuing eating their dripping watermelons.  The red-face female monkey even came on the bar but ignored us by looking in another direction.  I tried to give her an egg which she eventually took by coming close to me and touching my hair in the process with her very long fingers.  It was an awesome moment which made me jumped at the same time.

Feeding time now being over, the others from the group left the center and headed back to the lodge with Antonio, our guide.   As for Michel and I, since we had paid an additional fee for….you’ll never guess for what......we proceeded to walk in the direction of a specific area with two other guides from the center.  We were going for our next wild and exciting escapade! 

Monique   :-)
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