Justin Bieber is in the news again. This time it’s because his pet – a capuchin monkey – has been put into quarantine after he didn’t have the correct papers to bring the monkey into Germany.
Now Justin Bieber is hardly a moral compass for young people but this behaviour worries us greatly because it is sending out a terrible signal about the types of pets that are right for us to have. National Geographic as well as various wildlife experts have posted angry comments
Debbie Leahy, manager of captive wildlife protection for the Humane Society of the United States said ‘No primate species should ever be kept as a pet. They have very special needs. These are highly social animals. They need to be kept with others of their own kind; that’s just critical to their psychological well-being.’
So we thought we would tell you about one of the best places to see capuchin monkeys in their natural habitat (ie not the back of a tour bus hanging off Bieber’s arm).
Capuchin monkeys reside in the trees in central and southern America. In our view, Tortuguero Costa Rica is one of the best places to see them. Located on the Caribbean coast, Tortuguero National Park is one of the largest areas of tropical rainforest left in Central America. Tortuguero is a real eco-tourism success story – a village which was dependent on logging, fishing and turtles is now dedicated to preserving nature.
Tortuguero river boat cruises enable you to glide silently through the beautiful emerald swaths of rainforest where the monkeys live. On our morning trip we saw groups of capuchin playing in the trees, leaping from branch to branch chasing, grabbing tails. It’s as if they were having their own game of tag. They have an enormous amount of energy compared to Howlers as they eat lots of protein.
Capuchin monkeys are incredibly intelligent and you’ll often see them using tools like stones to break open nuts, shellfish and crabs. Another ‘dinner party’ fact is that scientists have discovered that they signal their sexual status by weeing on their hands and rubbing their urine on their fur.
Holidays in Costa Rica will also enable you to see the much loved sea turtle. Hawksbill, loggerhead, leatherback and above all green turtles land on the protected beaches to bury their eggs.
You can also see river turtles, Jesus Christ lizards, snakes, caimans, crocodiles, poison arrow frogs and blue jean frogs.
If you want to talk to us about holidays to Costa Rica and staying in the Tortuguero national park do get in touch, it’s one of our favourite spots so we have plenty to say!