Friday, April 24, 2009

Padre cocha mariposaria

This butterfly reserve is located a short boat ride outside of Iquitos. The woman who runs the reserve is from Austria and she has lived in Peru for 27 years. Since opening the butterfly reserve many orphaned or poorly treated pets have been brought to the reserve for safe keeping.

These caterpillars remain in this formation until they are ready to cocoon.

Hands down the strangest animal I have ever come across. The giant anteater is feared by many locals because it is said that they're the only animal capable of killing a jaguar with their giant bear-like claws. We came across this one foraging for ants in the forest but later she came into the reserve for a refreshing bowl of fermented milk which she lapped up with her two foot long tongue.

A caiman shared the lagoon with a manatee but they kept their distance.

We were told that the only reason the tapir is not extinct is because indigenous groups thought they were impossible to kill because arrows would bounce right off their incredibly thick skin.

Some of the monkeys in the reserve were trained by street children to pickpocket. Others have learned this skill through association. For this reason everything must be left in a locker at the entrance to the park. Aparently wallets, passports and cameras are favourite items to rip up or throw in the lagoon.

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