Weekend Catchup: Animal Rescue Edition
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First we saw tortoises:
Saturday, we went to Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm in Padre Cocha. It was awesome and exceeded my expectations! Because it's still referred to as a Butterfly Farm, I wasn't all that intrigued to go (I don't see the appeal of butterflies TBH) but wanted to join Grace, Emily, and Ben anyway since I was free in the afternoon (I work Saturday mornings).
The woman who started the butterfly farm began being approached by people who had confiscated/found wild animals being illegally kept in homes, for entertainment, and even for gang activity (yea!). She had some land and was open to help for the short-term, so she took on her first animal, a jaguar named Pedro.
Well, 15 years later she still has Pedro and now many many more animals. There were about 20 (?) monkeys of different species and sub-species within enclosures because they are being rehabilitated. In addition, many more monkeys are free-roaming the property, having been rehabilitated and released, but choosing to stay in the area (free food!). We saw 4 sloths, a couple Ocelots, birds, and some other cute fur-ed creatures that I can't remember the names of :)
You get to the Farm by taking a boat from Nanay, which always adds a nice touch to your trip. There's a market here at the port where we like to stop for fish or to try a new fruit or most noteably sori (beatle larvae). Also I thought I'd mention, if you're ever looking to volunteer in Peru for a bit, this is a great place to do it! They'll put you up in a volunteer house in this quiet little community with other American, British, Australian, etc. travelers. We talked to the volunteers for a while there and they all said it's a great place to work and they really seemed to love it there.
This monkey came with us on the tour. Having been rehabilitated at the center, he is free-roaming but chooses to stay around his human friends.
Sunday morning, we headed back out to a different rescue center that I was super pumped for. Centro Rescata De Amazonicos (CREA) is on the other side of the airport, so you can mototaxi or take the bus there. We elected to bus it, which was actually a good choice cause it cost only 1.5 soles ($ 0.50 USD) each way. It took us almost an hour to reach the center, not because it's that far but because the bus stops whenever someone wants to get off. The bus is a very cheap way to get around, I've only ever paid 1 sole or 1.5 soles, but it often takes a long time. CREA was well-organized, with a little video playing as you wait for the next tour when you arrive. We chose to do the Spanish tour, we were 3 Gringas and 2 Peruanas, and the guide was ready as soon as the video ended.
First we saw tortoises:
There were SO many!! this is maybe 1/5
There were more monkeys here as well, but in enclosures so they don't make for good pictures. Then we saw lil sea lions (I believe they call them sea wolves):
and the grand finale: Manatees!!!
You can purchase a cup of water lettuce for 5 soles ($ 1. 50 USD) and then you get to feed them yourself! I was so giddy.
Anyone else thinking of the episode of HIMYM where Marshall sees Robin as a Manatee?