Monkeys, Monkeys, and More Monkeys
Jack London’s “The Call of the Wild” about a sled dog in Alaska focuses on the adventures of Buck and his experience’s to emerge as a leader in the wild. However for me the true “Call of the Wild” is the amazing vocalizations of the Howler Monkey. There is nothing like hearing Howler Monkeys calling through the forest. They are the loudest monkeys and the probably the loudest land animal.
We were treated throughout our trip in Costa Rica with sights of many monkey troops. From those we saw in the Arenal Region, to those in the environs near the Tempisque River, and even surrounding our hotel along the Playa Panama.
We were serenaded by their calls in the early morning and later in the evening. During the day they were swinging in the trees while we had our breakfast.
They were always in groups of 8 to 12 and stayed close together. Females oftentimes had their babies clinging to their backs. They tended to be very playful and relaxed in the trees in what looked like awkward positions to me.
But Howler Monkeys were not the only monkeys we were fortunate to see. On our boat tour along the Tempisque River we came across two troops of the White-faced Capuchin Monkey. They were in the trees but frequently came down to the river’s edge for a drink.
In an interesting turn of events, the monkeys lingered while taking their drinks because we were near the shore, and they did not have to worry about the crocodiles jumping out of the water to grab them. We even had a couple of monkeys jump onto the bow of our boat. The captain quickly moved away from the shore as we did not want such a close encounter. We saw them close enough as it was.