Good Morning and happy Friday all! You saw a sneak peak of my visit with the Monkeys on Saturday, but guess what else we did at the Monkey Jungle?
I have mentioned numerous times how I want to go zip lining again so while at Monkey Jungle, Dominican Republic we not only got to see the monkeys (more pictures to come later I promise), but Matt and I also did the zip line adventure.
The course consisted of 7 zip lines of varying distance and speed over the lush Dominican country side. We had two fantastic guides who helped clip us in and coached us on when and how much to break. Such a cool experience to be flying high up over the trees and valleys. In addition to the 7 zip line rides there was an additional cave jump, where you jumped and defended 53 feet straight down into a bat cave. This one took a little more courage for me, because unlike the zip line it felt like there was going to be nothing from stopping me hitting the ground at full speed. I made Matt go first on this one, which allowed me to see how it worked, but when it was my turn to step up to the edge of the platform I still wasn't too sure of myself. After just a few seconds of second guessing I stepped of the edge and defended into the cave; what a cool (and slightly terrifying) experience.
I had seen the pictures from the few times that Matt had been to the Monkey Jungle, and was a bit nervous to do the tour of the Monkey cages because when Matt brought our friends a few weeks ago they had like 5-8 monkeys crawling on them at one time. I wasn’t sure that I was up for this, but he convinced me that it would be worth it, so we did it.
We walked into the cage, and immediately the squirrel monkeys started to flock toward us; they give a tour every hour, so those monkeys are well aware that people means food will be coming. The squirrel monkeys are quite small, (maybe 12-24 inches), furry and agile and were jumping from tree to tree and crawling along the railings. We wandered in a bit, and then the guide handed us each a plate of cut oranges. All we had to do was hold the plate and the monkeys began jumping, and climbing about to get to the fruit.
For the first few minutes I had one very old monkey (above) who would hop to my plate, take a piece of fruit and then hop back to the railing to eat it. He repeated this 3 or 4 times before some of the other younger monkeys began to take over my plate. I had one monkey who came along grabbed a piece of fruit and then made his way onto my head, where I thought he was going to proceed to eat the fruit. Turns out he wanted to just play with the orange so he started rubbing it in my hair! The juices tricked down my neck, and he just kept rubbing it in my hair! Finally after several seconds of playing he jumped into the tree and didn’t even take the orange with him! After all that rubbing……my hair was now a mess, with a mangy piece of orange stuck in it and no free hands to get it out! Luckily the feeding was almost done and most of the squirrel monkeys were retreating to the trees so we could move on to see the capuchin monkeys.
There are 5 capuchin monkeys and they live in two different cages because if you don’t know already they are very aggressive and potentially dangerous creatures. Anyone ever seen the movie the hangover? Well the monkey in that movie is a capuchin and the alpha male of this group at the Monkey Jungle looked like he could have maybe played the role. He was medium sized (much bigger compared to the squirrel monkeys), but he has some serious claws and teeth. These guys were fun to watch as they were quite vocal and certainly understood that they were being watched and they provided some great entertainment.
Here is Coco the alpha male just playing around and eating some trash that was in his cage. Look at those teeth! I wouldn’t want to be on his bad side!
Matt still insists that we should get a pet monkey, and after interacting with the squirrel monkeys I can’t say I would be adamantly opposed as long as we were able to train it. We won’t be getting one here though as they cost upwards of $20,000!
I loved the zip line experience and seeing and learning about the monkeys was great too! For just $50 USD PP we were able to have a fun filled afternoon, which also served as a pre-birthday celebration! If you are ever in the DR, near the north coast-Puerto Plata and Sosua, you should definitely check out Monkey Jungle. It is such a quaint little place with some really cool experiences.