I took a break from all the animal talk yesterday, but that’s really as long as I can go when discussing our Costa Rican Honeymoon. Besides spending a large portion of our time snuggling dogs and cats, we also spent some quality time with the wild animals of the rainforest.
My number one goal for this trip was to get upclose and personal with some Rainforest creatures. This is one thing we have yet to do on any vacation. So, while staying in La Fortuna we booked a tour at the Wild Animal Rescue Center. This rescue center not only takes in numerous injured and rescued local animals, but they offer tours, volunteer programs, Spanish language classes, and a pretty unforgettable experience.
We signed up for a tour/volunteer program. For the first couple of hours we were introduced to each different animal, informed of why they where there, if/when they’d be released, what they eat, what eats them…etc, etc. The best part was that they allowed us to pet almost every animal! It was amazing!
After all the animal greetings, we had a coffee break with juice, snacks, and of course, coffee. Then, it was time for us to be put to work! They had us cut up fruits and veggies, and make a mixture of seeds, flour, and water (It was like cookie dough for animals). After, preparing all the food they sent us to the cages, rooms, and areas where the animals lived for feeding time.
SO. FREAKIN. FUN.
There was one baby monkey (2 years old) named Coco who was extra friendly and playful. Since, he is a baby, they do not consider him a threat and allowed him to wrap his tail around us, lick us, and play with us.
At one point he tried to take my sunglasses, but I quickly snatched them back before he pulled them into his home.
Coco did NOT like this.
Coco went ape$h!t. He immediatly started screaming like a banchy, began shaking the gates, shaking his head rapidly, reached through the gates, grabbed my shirt, and started pulling at it with all his might.
If I were in the wild and this happened, I am sure I’d be pretty defensive and try to fight the monkey off of me. I was not in the wild though. I was in a rescue center where I’d just spent a half hour feeding, playing with, and getting to know baby Coco. There was no way I’d consider hurting him! So I just stood there…in shock…allowing him to yank and attempt to tear my tank top to shreds.
Eventually the tour guide came over and stopped him. It was a quite a show for everyone else on the tour.
We had such a good experience (minus the attacking monkey) that we visited another animal rescue center in Puerto Viejo. This place turned out to be 100 times better than the first place!
First of all, this place returns WAY more animals to the wild, it is bigger, nicer, better equipped, and has a more knowledgable staff. (I mean no offense to the first place, I know they are doing everything they possibly can with everything they have.) Not only, did we have a better, more informative experience, but we got to actually hold monkeys, touch sloths, and play with a deer!!!
We had such a great time that I suggested to Zoey that we spend the entire next day volunteering so we could get some more quality time with the animals, especially the baby sloths. Well, we asked about volunteering, and it turns out that you have to stay for at least 3 weeks if you want to volunteer.
Obviously, I could not commit to 3 weeks. Zoey, on the other hand, has all the time in the world….AND exactly 3 weeks until our family Hilton Head Island vacation. How convenient!
So, after a little persuasion and motivation, Zoey stayed! That’s right, we left our little Zoey in Costa Rica. So, if your interested in how she’s surviving in this tiny Caribbean town, read her blog here! Spoiler alert: She loses a sloth on only her second day!
Miss you Zoey!