Sunday, 4 October 2009

Monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey, monkey!

I don´t think it is very clear from this blog, but I actually LOVE animals. I can spend hours watching animal programmes and standing in zoos. ANIMALS ARE AMAZING! And, despite the fear, I am having a great time watching the monkeys here at Parque Machia. Here are a few stories about my lovely monkey friends.

Abram and Fidelia, I think I mentioned before, but these two are on cords and runners and we are working to integrate these two into the capuchin society. Day by day they are becoming more part of the community. Several of the monkeys will come and nit pick them now, which is an improvement since I arrived a few days ago, when only one monkey would nit pick them. They also now walk up and down the hill to the river. Before they always got carried, I´ve pushed them quite hard and they are both more confideent now about the jungle path. Abram is probably my favourite, he squeals like a baby some tiems because he gets scared, but he pulls the cutest face with his eyebrows and smiling a nervous smile that flashes all of his teeth. I love him, he is so cute. The other day when we went for a walk on the beach he caught a frog. He picked it up, squeezed it, rolled it on a rock and then pulled off two of it´s legs, and the frog was still breathing. Nature, gotta love it! He then got bored and went off to find insects. Traumatised by the half death of the frog I decided to put it out of it´s misery with a good old stomp of a welly boot. When I see abram like this and fighting I love it, because he is brave, but then when he starts crying it makes me so sad. Fidelia is toughening up too. The two of them get fed separately and the other monkeys often try and get their beaks in and steal food, however, yesterday Fidelia started to fight back against the other monkeys. That´s what I like, a bit of girl power! Love it!

Carlita. Carlita is a cheeky spider monkey, who lvoes to pick on the capuchins. She really goes for them and loves to bite their tails. There are soem brilliant fights and lots of swinging from trees by arms, legs and tails to get in the best tail-chewing position! Carlita is funny.

Monkeys on a bridge. To reach monkey park you have to cross a little bridge, it is a bridge made of slats of wood. Yesterday, and this still makes me laugh now as I type, one of the blonde capuchins (can´t remember his name) was sat minding it´s own business on the bridge, another blond capuchin (can´t remember his name) was under the bridge hunting for insects. From nowhere, the capuchin under the bridge decides to thrust up it´s hands between the slats of the bridge (a la the awesome horror movier Carrie) and thus petrifies the other blond monkey. The blonde monkey was so petrified by the mysterious hand that it squaled solidly for 3 minutes. It was devestated and constantly kept twitching it´s eyebrows back and flshing it´s teeth. The sound was horrendous and he kept looking for us to help him. Man up mono! (Mono is spanish for monkey)

Nanita is a gorgeous spider moneky, but she is sooooo fat! All the tourists ask if she is pregnant, but now she is jsut fat! I love her.

The tourists get bitten too. We get a lot of Bolivian tourists visiting the park and they are hilarious. They often get bitten because they don´t listen/ think better when you tell them ´No Tocar, solo mirar´. I always feel smug when they get bitten and then I can turn round and say told you so! I reckon five toruists have been bitten this weekend, but that is only out of stupid behavious. They deserve it anyway, because even though they are told not to bring stuff with them, they still bring packets of biscuits and bottles of water which the monkeys take and run off with into the jungle. I have developed a good skill at trading bottles for leaves/bananas/whatever is in close reaching and a good distraction for a plastic bottle. I hate the tourists. Apparently, and I will go skitz when I see this, some tourists have been known to give monkeys cigarettes. EVIL! It´s nice not to be a tourist for a while.

I saw a puma! I don´t know if I said before, but there are also a few cats at the park, ocelots and pumas. You only get to see these if you work with them, they are temperamental creatures and don´t make friends easily (hence you have to stay for 4 weeks if you want to work with them). But, Gato the puma was being walked along the beach the other day when I was walking Abram, and I got to see her. She is beautiful! So, so so beautiful!

I saw a bear! We also have a bear in the park, his name is Baloo! I love him. He is gorgoeus! I saw him yesterday. He is super cool.

I also saw a tortoise, a weird wombat rodent thing and a lizard that was brown, green and blue and was in the process of changing colour! So cool! Is aw a glow bug too!

I lvoe being in the jungle, but the monkeys aren´t the only things that bite. I have been eaten by the sand flies and mosquitos. We can´t wear mosi spray because of the chemicals that will affect the animals, so we have to deal with the scrathing of the flies! URghhhh! If I counted how many bites I actually have it would bee insane. I prefer not to think a bout it!

So yeah, i think that is it for monkey goss at the moment. I´ll le tyou have more in the next few days. Wish me luck with Salim and cross your fingers that I don´t come a cropper again with that bad boy. Incidentally, he is very beautiful, so dark and gloosy and so manly in his appearance. Such a shame we never became friends!

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