Tuesday, February 11, 2014

La Isla de Los monos (monkey island) Iquitos, Peru

Let Them Live: Monkey Island is a nonprofit organization which works to protect and preserve the monkeys of the Peruvian Amazon that have become victims of illegal animal trafficking. The monkeys usually come to the island; orphaned, malnourished and sick. Here, the monkeys are protected and kept free from cages. Due to the expenses of the project they gladly welcome the support of visitors and also accept volunteers. Their contact information is www.laisladelosmonosperu.com Email: laisladelosmonos@yahoo.com Facebook: laisladelosmonosperu  Iquitos tel: (065)235529 cell: 965841807/965841808

It took 2 boats or launches to get to Monkey Island from Iquitos about an hour’s total trip. The boats do not leave until they are full. The first boat cost 15 soles each way, the second you need to call the Island to arrange pickup, and it is 10 soles round trip. The entrance fee to the island is 20 soles bringing it to a total of 60 soles or about $22US and worth every penny. Do bring extra for tipping your guide and the kids that are immensely helpful. There are also souvenirs to buy as well.

I was greeted, as soon as the boat landed, by a remarkably precocious Mono Arana Spider Monkey; what a delightful surprise. Our young guide was there ready to start showing us around and introducing us to all the different monkeys. They do have their own individual unique personalities.

Some of the different monkeys were the Choro Barrigudo or woolley Monkey, Tocon Titi, Coto Aullador or Howler, The devilishly cute little Pichico Or Tamarin, Huapo Negro or Monk Saki, and a Pelejo sloth but that one we did not see. Sloths sleep during the day and as far as that goes, most of the night too, they move exceedingly slow, so it is harder to find them when walking through the jungle. The population of monkeys does change as new ones come into the group. Some are too aggressive to start and are caged for their own protection and the protection of the other monkeys.

I found the monkeys to be quite entertaining, charming, and lovely to be around. The best thing that people can do to help protect these monkeys is to NOT buy them if there is no market for them than the locals and others would not capture them. Even when traveling you see them for sale in the local market place; you are not doing them any favors by buying them and turning them over to a reserve. All that does is keep the market open for more monkeys to be captured and sold. 

Everyday thousands of animals are removed from their natural habitats in violent condition and are taken to cities to be sold for their meat and fur, or as pets. Monkeys are most commonly affected. You need to do your part to stop this cycle of destruction. 

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