Cheeky monkeys

My favorite animal in the Amazon jungle was, by far, the Squirrel Monkey. They are so friendly and cute and gentle.

[Below] On the first canoe ride to our camp we spotted a whole bunch of them in the trees. Reynaldo, our guide, manoeuvred the canoe right under the trees and the squirrel monkeys came down from the tree-tops to get a closer look at us. They were less than a metre away from my face, looking at me with curiosity.

[Below] A Howler Monkey jumping from tree to tree. These monkeys make a lot of noise. In the jungle you can hear them from many kilometres away as they make their long, continuous, territorial howl. If you don't know what the noise is it could really freak you out.

[Below] Here's a video I took in an animal sanctuary in Samaipata, Bolivia. This domesticated howler monkey began his song of intimidation when the caretakers played Bob Marley on the stereo. They had told me that if I played some music to him he will probably start howling... so I played him some Backstreet Boys from my mobile phone. For some reason that didn't threaten him at all. Why???

[Below] The Squirrel Monkeys are quite shy and timid - any slight movement with send them scurrying in the opposite direction.

[Below] Everyday I tried to give the monkeys the left-overs from our delicious meals - usually fruit. I completely missed the focus in the following photo because I was shooting the hip. Still, I love the monkey's tiny hands reading for the banana.

[Below] After one meal I spotted a group of monkeys behind our cabins. I wanted to bring them to the clothes-line where I usually fed them so I whistled to get their attention, showing them the food in my hand. As I walked the 50 meters to the clothes-line the monkeys chased after me, jumping from tree to tree. They would scurry across the clothes-line, reach for the food and place one soft hand on my hand as just before they hurried back to the tree to nibble at the food. So cute!

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