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Costa Rica & Panama Primate Studies

PS21 Update — Sunday, July 24, 2011

Howler Hunt

Today the twelve campers rolled out of bed to a much gentler awakening, and prepared themselves for their first day as primatologists. After breakfast they pulled on heavy knee-high rubber boots and set off into the forest. Israel led the way through trees and mud, pointing out many extraordinary creatures (like the white bat) of Costa Rica along the trail. Some staggered and others fell as the pouring rain made travel easier said than done. Wooden trail markers called “cookies” were slippery and often times hidden by the rising river, but they were no match for our mighty Broadreach students. This group came together to pull each other out of mud, up slopes, and over fallen trees. The greatest challenge came when the shouts of howler monkeys were heard on the opposite side of the river. A leaning tree provided the only way across. One by one they climbed up the tree and leapt to safety on the other bank. All demonstrated great courage, and resulted in wet socks for one unfortunate soul. After three hours of searching, a group of seven howlers were finally visible (and definitely audible) overhead. As primatologists the students took note of the sex and age range of each monkey, all the while slapping themselves and each other to avoid mosquito bites. Pouring rain pelted the eyes and nobody returned dry. Back at camp there was much fun to be had playing soccer, finding baby monkeys, and throwing Frisbee. Nighttime festivities were wild as always, and the promise of sunshine tomorrow put everyone in high spirits.
Overall, a successful day of primatology.
Yes, Quite. Best wishes to all,

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