Monday, October 14, 2019

Greencrow Update - In the Land of the Howler Monkey

Greencrow is Currently in Costa Rica
aka the Land of the Howler Monkey

Hi Readers:  Just a short check-in.  I've been kept very busy lately with no time to blog.  I'm on an "eco tour" in Costa Rica.  We've been hiking in the jungle just about every second day when we're not bussing from one location to another.  Our first big stop was Tortuguero, which is a peninsula on the Caribbean side.  We stayed in very rustic cabins with only tin roofs above (to capture the sound of the tropical rain forest nightly deluges) and screens instead of windows so we could hear the sounds of the forests.

It was while attempting to sleep in our cabin in the jungle in Tortuguero that I became acquainted with the Howler Monkey.  I never saw the local male howler...but I became intimately acquainted with him through his "vocalizations"  If you look up Howler Monkey on Google you will find out all you need to know about him including an opportunity to listen to his vocalizations.  The noise you will hear was what we were subjected to ALL night.  There was no more than a few moments of silence from this creature.  First, I felt he was located somewhere deep in the jungle, then closer by, then right outside our cabin.  Then inside my head.  Yes, he got into my head.  I started trying to decipher his sounds:  "Rip ROP RIP Rop RIP!  RIP RIP RIP rop rop ropRIP!!!  This went on all night,  I MAY have slept an hour, I don't know.  But certainly not more.

I passed some local Costa Ricans the next day.  I heard them talking about a monkey who got into trouble for keeping up the tourists.  I asked them about him.  They politely switched from their native Spanish to English and informed me that he was a Howler Monkey and well known to the locals...who had nicknamed him "Congo".  They said he was only about 2 and 1/2 feet high.  Mon Dieu!  I thought he must be about 6 feet tall according to his vocalizations!.  After looking up the Howler Monkey on Google I learned that he was letting his fellows know where they were supposed to gather for the night.  In his case, it was serious over-kill.  According to Google, the Howler Monkey is the loudest mammal on the planet.

The next night "Congo" was much quieter.  Perhaps he had been trapped and moved FAR away.  But around 4:30 a.m, sure enough we could hear him again...much more subdued.  But his vocalizations were no longer threatening.  I had learned to love my local Howler Monkey!

Then I found out a travesty.  The Howler Monkey is NOT the national animal of Costa Rica.  That honour belongs to the "white tailed deer".  How ridiculous!  Having a creature like the Howler Monkey in your country and ignoring him for a white tailed deer...which is plentiful all over the western hemisphere!? For greencrow, Cost Rica will always be "The Land of the Howler Monkey!

Bye for now...from somewhere in the jungles of Costa Rica.


Reading between the lines said...

Hi greencrow .The howler monkeys do make a terrifying noise don't they.i vbisited Costa Rica a few years ago and still remember their sound .So much noise coming from such small animals .LOL
Enjoy your stay !

greencrow said...


I am now away from the jungle and staying at the base of the actuve Arenal Volcano. I have become an unofficial spokesperson for the Howler Monkey, however, speaking up on his/her behalf with the Costa Rican tourist personnel that I have come into contact with.

There are plenty of souvenirs of Costa Rica but NOTHING to do with the Howler Monkey. Our tour guide agreed with me that it was an unexploited "niche" in the souvenir market.