Costa Rica is an animal lover’s paradise
- by crv.staff
- 8:00 AM UTC
- Filed in Costa Rica
Costa Rica is an animal lover’s paradise and everyone looks forward to friendly encounters. For many of us animal encounters at breakfast, lunch and dinner are an eagerly awaited bonus to eating in lush tropical settings, especially near the many nature reserves around the country.
Some people have a strict don’t feed attitude and others are more relaxed about it. Many think we should quit our unhealthy eating habits before we try regulating animals. I find it fun to watch whether I feed them or not.
The animals that frequent restaurants and peoples homes most often in the country are white faced monkeys, squirrel monkeys, coatimundi, kinkajous, armadillos, ctenosaurs and a variety of birds, most prominently the magpie jay or urraca as its called locally. The animals certainly have adapted to the new tourist culture by frequenting any food source and staying for photos and extra handouts.
Although some feel that their diets are deficient from this kind of foraging, I have observed that they only stay put anywhere for an hour or so at the most before they return to the treetops where they bask in the sun amidst tangles of vines with the most exquisite ocean view.
If you are approached by animals for food its best to remain calm and avoid any exaggerated body language like showing your toothy smile or lying on the ground to attract them, both of which may elicit aggressive behaviors or in the least scare them away. Many of the animals have a certain distance they are comfortable with so if you stay still they approach only as close as they like. It never gets to animal mob level like Yellowstone’s bears or India’s city monkey gangs but you can count on numerous species to visit local resorts feeders and well known food corners. Keep your camera handy for once in a lifetime photos of moments when we are at peace with all the little creatures of the earth. In Costa Rica it can be everyday.
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