While at Iguazú, I was given a recommendation to go see Güirá Oga – a wild animal hospital that was quite close to my hostel. I’m glad I listened. This place is doing such good work. It’s located in the jungle… well, everywhere is pretty much jungle here where humans haven’t carved out their patches.
They make it clear from the beginning – this is an animal hospital, not a zoo. They rescue animals that have been hit by cars or injured in the jungle or anywhere. They rescue animals that have been kept illegally as pets to rehabilitate and send them back to their native habitat if at all possible. They’re also working on legislation that will reduce vehicle speeds in areas where there’s a high volume of animal traffic. Like I said – good work.
I include the poster at the left to point out the blue butterfly at the right. I saw one, but barely got a photo of it….
….. see? There it is on the window pane. See it? Squint. No, really, it’s there.
So, on with the tour.
First, the colorful birds.
Just gorgeous, aren’t they? Almost all are native to this area though some have come from afar due to the hospital’s good reputation, but those birds will be returned to their native lands once they’ve recovered.
I saw this cute little guy in the wild. The tour guide said it was ‘a jay.’
Okay, I failed in my ‘reporting’ here. I don’t remember which cat is which and I forgot one of the names anyway.
One is an ocelot, the other is a ….something else. If anyone knows, please inform me!
This one had such a small head for the size of its body.
Awww, look at the cute little turtles….
…and look at the cute little porcupine…..
….and look at the cute little thingamajiggy.
A couple more lovely birds.
These owls were hard to photograph because they were sort of hiding out except for this little guy. The guide said that they turn their heads 180° because they can’t move their eyes. So, if they can’t turn their heads 180°, call the animal hospital. If they turn their heads 360°, call the priest. Ha! Cracked me up!
A native deer.
Now, this was interesting. These are Howler Monkeys. You know, the kind of monkeys whose howl is so loud you can hear it for miles. Mom, dad and baby.
See the baby on mom’s back? And see dad howling? He was basically saying, “Hey, this is our territory. Don’t come any closer.” What was truly interesting is that there was no fence! There was an enclosure which disallowed anyone walking into the monkey’s area, but no fence.
I asked the guide about this and she said that these monkeys had come in injured, were rehabilitated and allowed out into the jungle…. but they didn’t want to leave. They liked it there! They’ve already had one baby which has been released, as this one will be when it’s ready. Pretty cool.
Finally, just a picture of the jungle. Plain and simple.