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Lion + Tiger = Liger?

Posted by Susanna On February - 19 - 2011

After being refused at the Big Cat Rescue in the Tampa area where the stuff welcomed us very unfriendly I decided not to waste my money for their “zoo“! The friend of mine and I gave the cats another try and decided to check out the Big Cat Habitat. Just so we could get a couple of nice shot with the big cats. We saw them – yes. But the whole spectacle seems to be more of a circus show for the big predators which private people once owned… I was surprised how many cats must have been in private households… People even had crossed lions with tigers to get a liger… The cats and bears are in a few cages which are very small but I guess they can leave when there is no public visiting. And since that place is open only at the weekends there might be quite a few options. I was glad getting a glimpse on how majestic the white tiger were looking. Even though the photos I made were not high class. There was just no real nice possibility. Everywhere people stressing and the cats seemed all far from happy about that. Later we watched the show they make which reminded on a circus show. The tricks were funny but nothing extraordinary. I still wonder if big cats are happy like that and if there is no alternative than a life like that even though there are rescued… And why is it allowed in Florida to own big animals like that? Do you need to cross a tiger with a lion?

Big Cat Habitat

White Tiger

Lion + Tiger = Liger?

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Sensory overload at Isla Parida

Posted by Susanna On January - 15 - 2011

As Daniel had said yesterday we were picked up in the morning. Unfortunately my alarm went off but he was very kind and waited. I did not know what to expect but I had the feeling it would be wonderful, maybe like my so far favorite island Nananu in Fiji. From the mainland it took about 30-40min by boat to reach Isla Parida. The weather was great and the sun shining. The water glinted. I was so exited! And then there was the private island. Beautiful! Marvelous. Like a jewel in the ocean. From the side we arrived at to the other side Daniel used a golf cart as transportation vehicle. That was so fun! Especially cruising along the over 1km beach…

After inspecting the wonderful property I got to see the first time in my life pygmy marmoset. These are probably the tiniest monkeys of the world around the same seize of a tarsier maybe. They had three – two males and one female. And they had even a story: They all including another male belonged to a private zoo in Panama what needed to close. So the owner was looking for a place for the four. Finally they found one and all four pygmy marmoset were divided in two each between two new owners. Isla Parida got two males. And the female with another male came to somebody else… But the female behaved strange. People said every morning she was looking out for someone or something calling… Nobody understood what was going on. After six months her companion the other male died of a scorpion sting and the new owner suggest to reunited the remaining female with the two other males of Isla Parida who she already knew from times back in the zoo. And can you imagine what happened? As soon as the female met the two others she got exited and so happy. And it became obvious why she was looking for someone everyday – she had missed her choses partner! He was one of the two males of Isla Parida. When the four had been divided people did that just randomly without thinking that even a tiny monkey could have chosen a partner for life! So a big happy end for the pygmy marmoset couple!

Then I saw the macaws. The owner of the private island own over 20 macaws and lots of other parrots. They breed them and goal is to release the to Panama native macaws on the island. At the moment of my visit there were already a few couples flying around wild. Michelle a lady from the states takes care of them and brought her own parrots as well. It was an amazing experience to see these magnificent and intelligent birds that close. So wonderful. And each of them has their own personalities, habits, likes and dislikes.

Furthermore the owner had Panama deer, two females and one male. There were so tame that I could go close and pet them. I felt like in paradise sine I love animals so much. Close to the deer was the monkey tree! On that tree live five female spider monkeys. As soon as I entered the place one of them got very excited. Her name was Bella. She loved the attention and the cuddles. She was one very communicative monkey and all time she did a sound what was similar to the twitter of a bird. Another monkey was Lucy. She was curious and shy at the same time. Even while looking at her photos you realize the two different personalities of the monkeys. The other monkeys stayed on the tree. Outside the monkey tree was a kind of angry whitefaced capuchin. He was supposed to be caught and brought of the island because he was alone and aggressive. Supposedly he had killed a few tamarind monkeys. But he is just a very smart monkey and since he was escaped a trap he is now difficult to catch.

And if you think that is enough of overstimulation for one day – you are wrong!
With Daniel and his family I visited later the other side of the island or maybe just another island? I am not sure. Anyway at that place his mum and dad lived. It was beautiful! The mum had few wild caymans as pets who she fed everyday. Wow! What an experience! I had never seen that before but it was real! The place was wonderful as well and I really don’t know what was the best on that day. I have seen so many miracles… If there is a paradise it will look like Parida!

I am very thankful that I had met Daniel and for his great invitation to Parida. It was really one of the best things I ever have experienced traveling. For everything I had witnessed today one day was not enough….

Isla Parida

Pygmy marmoset

Panama deer

Spider monkeys

Whitefaced capuchin

The other side and feeding the caymans

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Howler monkey orphans

Posted by Susanna On January - 7 - 2011

At Boca Brava I met new friends Mark and Casey who told me about another monkey shelter. This time a howler monkey orphanage. So a foreigner family own a guest lodge and take care of howler orphans. Many monkeys still are sold as pets and for getting a baby mostly the mothers are killed. The average monkey baby cost only US$20! Therefore the monkey mum dies. Since I love monkeys so much I really got excited if that place is as nice as the one in Puyo. The bus dropped us off and the owner Steve picked us up with his car. The lodge is beautiful and big. Everywhere one is surrounded by lush and wild jungle. From the lodge what is a bit higher up than sea level on a good day you can see the ocean! The family introduced themselves and after a few minutes from everywhere the monkeys appeared… There is nothing sweeter than all these babies with their big dark eyes. I was happy. I enjoyed so much watching them playing, eating, having their milk. The more I hang out with these creatures the more I want to protect them from all harm… Monkeys are so human… unbelievable how they act in certain situations…

Howler monkeys

Tamarind monkeys at the marina near Boca Brava


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My favorite place…

Posted by Susanna On December - 26 - 2010

Again my favorite place is the ‘Reserva de mono’ in Puyo! Since I am back in Baños I needed to go back. I had told that couple I had Mariana and her husband about it and they were happy to join me. I just feel so happy in between all these monkey and I love to play with them or just simply to watch them. There are literally so cheeky when they chasing the Coatis or kissing the dogs… Therefore the third load of monkey photos – enjoy!

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Jungle Life

Posted by Susanna On December - 19 - 2010

I woke up several times at night since it was so uncomfortable sleeping on a tree root. But anyway I didn’t wanted to sleep! I wanted to see some big cats going for my bait. But the night stayed calm except the rooster fall from his tree and unbelievable it didn’t crow in the morning – how unusual. I guess that was the only time when I wanted a rooster to crow. Short after waking up we packed and left back for the village. I learned a few things about healing plants of the amazon and I ask for seeing the Uña de Gato vine what helps to cure several ailments and also supposedly helps against cancer. I saw butterflies and tiny frogs and later being back in the community we saw wild wooley monkey. The same monkeys I had seen in the ‘Reserva de mono’ but in the wild. They came as close that the guide was feeding them with a couple bananas. For luch they prepared one of the village chicken since the villagers wanted to keep our lazy rooster to breed with their chicken. The food was delicious and after eating everybody came together and showed us their handicraft things to sell, how to make a fire without matches or lighter. They painted us with paint what will become dark blue over night. First it was transparent. Stories were told about one of the last uncontacted people the Tagaeri which try to resist the contact with civilisation. When they come in contact with people not of their own kind it is very common for them to kill them. So nobody can make contact to them. I was wondering how the Huaorani avoid crossing their territory by accident and they told me that funny but true fact: When they read the footprints Tagaeri ofter have six toes. That’s probably caused by inbreeding. So if they see a print with six toes they leave as fast as possible the area. Also Tagaeri avoid water. So their only way of crossing river is on fallen trees. They don’t use boats in contrast to the Huaorani. Later at dusk we were not allowed to leave far without guidance and flashlight since there supposedly so many venomous snakes and bugs in the jungle. At least we saw one snake what someone found close to the toilet. It was immediately killed because this community had lost a few children already to snakebite accidents.
The night was wonderful. It was close to full moon and the sound of the jungle is unique and you will never forget.

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Amazoonico and Ayahuasca

Posted by Susanna On December - 10 - 2010

This day was supposed to be a very special day. I wanted to do the cleaning ceremony with Ayahuasca. Two friends I met in Galapagos had recommended me Petronio the shaman who lives in a small community near Mishualli in the rain forest of Ecuador. They had told me about the ceremony in the jungle at night leaning on the sacred rock. Petronio yesterday told me to come back around 6:30pm today and he had told me to eat only fruits and a very light breakfast – nothing else. And so I did. During the day I went to the Amazoonico Zoo in the jungle. I took buses and a boat since that was way cheaper than a expensive tour. The place itself was OK but nothing special. You are guided at all times of one of the volunteers. You can not observe the animals alone. I saw few cats, monkeys and birds mainly.
In the evening I met up with Petronio who brought me to the sacred place and gave me the Ayahuasca. He explained to me that he is going to stay with me for hours and offered me even that I could stay with him and his family after… I still preferred my place. He explained all steps of the ceremony: First I will see the clouds and the stars, then the animals like jaguar and tarantula. Then I will talk to people and then finally to the dead. I was excited since I wanted to see my grandparents and my friend who had died six years ago. Leaning on the sacred rock I waited, the shaman sitting next to me… It was pitch black. Nothing else then the voice of the jungle… Then I felt so many things and still I lost so much of my memory. I’ve seen the jaguar and baby turtles running into the ocean. I’ve talked to my grandparents and my best dead friend. I talked to my mother who cried and apologized for being so sick with cancer. That was heartbreaking. I felt so sorry and cried. Then she gave me a card saying she felt already a bit better now. Then I tried a few times to get up but it was not possible or the shaman pulled me down again. But at one point I stood and nobody hold me… I saw a cliff in front of my feet. I felt like jumping on the other side but at the same point to weak to make it with a super move like the characters in the computer games. But the I decided to jump with all my energy what was left. I jumped. And I smashed against the rock. There has been no cliff and I jumped against the rock! Slowly I felt the blood running down my leg and hand. I was not scared neither I felt pain. I just hold on to the rock until the shaman found me and pulled me down again… Where has he been… I don’t know if he had left for a minute or had simply fall asleep. Meanwhile it was already 3am next morning. Petronio helped me back to Misahualli where I still had visions for the next few days.

AmaZoonico

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Cheeky monkey!!! – Day No4

Posted by admin On June - 28 - 2009

The beluga baby

Posted by admin On August - 23 - 2008

Today I went back to Stanley Park to visit the Vancouver Aquarium. I’ve heard its beautiful and right now their beluga whales had a baby. The aquarium was so full because of the weekend. But its worth it. In general I don’t like caged dolphins and whales. Was the first time I saw them in a aquarium. But probably I would never have the chance again to see a beluga baby because that’s really rare. Only seven aquariums on the world have beluga whales. The baby’s mother was also born in that aquarium. They were so beautiful. Guest could only watch them for 10min and had to be very silent. Also the aquarium shows some frogs, reptiles and butterflies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Temple watching and a fountain in the bathroom

Posted by admin On February - 24 - 2007

Chris and I watched a couple of temple today. In the evening we went for dinner and met a funny couple with them we went later on to the last place what was opened in Luang Prabang – the bowling bar. And who did I met – Jost, a friend of Andy, we didn’t see for at least 3 years. We hang out and went later to the Mekong. When we decided to go home i offered Jost to stay with us because it was to far for him. Chris was so drunk, it was 4:00am and somehow he broke the sink from the wall. The sink was completely destroyed and we had a big fountain at the bathroom. Was really embarrassing when the lady came and had to fix it at night. Read the rest of this entry »

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Maya beach

Posted by admin On February - 9 - 2007

At 7:00am in the morning I met at the dive shop for my first dives since leaving Australia. I was really excited and hoped to see heaps of good stuff down there And right I saw a lot, for example a leopard shark, black tip reef sharks, a turtle, a blue spotted stingray, a cuttlefish and a school of squid. Around 2:00pm I was back and together with Jacob I took a water taxi to see Maya beach, the main location of the movie “The beach” with Leonardo Di Caprio. The beach was beautiful and the water so clear, I decided to snorkel. After snorkeling for a while on a certain point in the water I felt stitches like from a needle. So I went straight back (The next days I got a rush from that and people told me it could be that I swam directly into jelly fish which were destroyed in little parts by the fisher boats.) Next stop was Monkey beach but in the beginning there was no monkey to see. But I didn’t gave up and the monkeys cam and I got some good shots of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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“When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.”
by Buddha
 

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