Monday, December 29, 2014

Amazonas: Day 3 Up Close and Personal with the Animals

 I love how trees adapt to their surroundings :)
Noticed this as we made our way down to the river after our piranha lunch.
We boarded our boat again and headed to an island reserve to see some wildlife in the afternoon.   The animals are rotated in to the reserve every couple of years.  If some animals have been stolen from the jungle and used and mistreated for money making purposes, they are brought here.  Other animals are rotated through so they can receive necessary vaccinations and then after a couple of years they are released again into the wild.   I wasn't really sure what to expect, but the kids were ecstatic to see animals.  Maybe a little too much, because with all of the excitement, Luke sacked out on the ride over.  

We climbed out of the boat and a monkey hanging from the nearest tree was there to greet us.  I got so excited, I pulled out my camera to grab these pictures.  Meanwhile Joe was trying to get my attention without waking up Luke so I could capture something even more thrilling.

I finally looked up and saw this:

Here I was trying to capture this monkey in a tree and a monkey was crawling all over my kids!!! (Or the kids were trying to hang onto it!)  I had my telephoto lens on my camera because I thought we would be looking at the animals from quite the distance!!!   I tried to move back far enough to get the action captured (didn't have enough time to change my lens) and totally tripped over a huge paddle tree root.  Got a little too excited!!!  Little did I know that we would be spending hours with these creatures.

This one was hysterical!  The kids had that nervous laughter the whole time.  Here they had been on the island for just a few moments and the monkey was all over them!  Trying to steal their hats, climbing on their shoulders... unbelievable.

And this poor dog.  Normally the kids give dogs lots of love and attention when they see them, but he was so commonplace compared to the Amazon wildlife, I don't think he was given the time of day.

After all of the initial excitement.  I took a moment to switch my lens.  We looked around and we could see animals running around everywhere... in the trees...on the grass... playing in the owners hut... there were only 2 cages to be seen, and the animals that were pregnant or sick stayed in there.  Otherwise, everyone just roamed free.

We took a couple more steps and literally almost ran into the most incredible National Geographic moment:

This little babe was only 3 days old 
The mother didn't mind one bit that humans were this close to her.  UNBELIEVABLE!!!

I could have sat and watched these two all afternoon.  But there were plenty more interesting things to see.  So, away we went.  Don't mind the fact that a parrot landed on Joe and decided to stay with him for a long chunk of the visit!

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