Friday, September 30, 2011

Monkey Mania

All animal lovers have one species that they adore above all others. For me, it is cats. I find their elegance and independence inspirational. In a few days, I am setting off to Kenya to try to see, for the first time, a leopard in the wild. But I have not done this yet. So, that brings me to my second favorite animal group, primates. (Note: If anyone takes it upon themselves to read this to my two beloved shih-poo's, or more alarmingly if those deceptive bastards have been hiding the gift of literacy from me and are reading this for themselves, what I really mean is dogs #1, then cats, then primates. 'kay.)

A couple of weeks back I had the chance to visit a place so cool that to call it a zoo would be to do it a disservice. It is a nature park, one that just so happens to have over 30 species of primates. One that was started by a photographer and owner of two tamarins, 40 years ago, who hit upon the revolutionary idea of letting his growing brood of monkeys run free with no cages or restraints to inhibit them from socializing, either with each other or with their human admirers. One that now boasts one of the most successful breeding programs in the world.