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Welcome to part 2 of our monkey madness. Let's have a look at the second species of monkeys here in Costa Rica: the CAPUCHIN MONKEYS!

These monkeys live in Central America and in South America as far south as northern Argentina.

The Capuchin monkey is considered to be among the most intelligent of the New World monkeys.

We encountered them on many occasions here in Costa Rica and even spotted troops on our land. Yeah!

Capuchins prefer environments such as low-lying forests, mountain forests, and rain forests that give them access to shelter and easy food.

The canopy of the trees protects from threats above like falcons and eagles, and their ability to easily climb trees allows them to escape and hide from predators on the jungle floor like jaguars, jaguarundis, coyotes, snakes, and crocodiles.

Capuchin Monkey chilling

There is an excellent symbiosis between the Capuchins and the ecosystem they inhabit. They spread their seed leftovers and feces across the forest floor, so new plants can grow and add to the already abundant foliage that gives them shelter.

The capuchin are omnivores. They consume leaves, flowers, fruits and seeds, but also small birds and small mammals, and even other primates. They are said to be particularly good at catching frogs and cracking nuts.

They live in large groups of 10 to 35 individuals, which are usually led by both an alpha male and an alpha female. Each group will cover a large territory in order to find the best areas for food.

There is mutual grooming, and communication occurs between the monkeys through various calls. Their vocal communications have multiple meanings, such as creating contact with one another, warning about a predator, and forming new groups.

The females primarily mate with the alpha male and they usually breed once a year, preferable in the dry season. Gestation takes about six months, and they give birth to a single offspring. The young reach maturity in three to four years.

Unfortunately, due to their high intelligence, Capuchin monkeys are often used for experiments and because they are easy to train also as pets, in the movie industry, or for street entertainment.

Here in Costa Rica, holding wild pets (both wild-caught and captive-bred wild animals) and its trade is prohibited. In the 2017 new adopted wildlife regulations following Latin phrase is used to define their intentions: in dubio pro natura - when in doubt, favor nature. We like that phrase a lot!

In general, Costa Rica's regulations regarding wildlife reflect a much greater benevolence toward wildlife than is found in the wildlife codes of more developed countries.

Unfortunately, in some places, there is still illegal trade with wild animals taking place. Some of the permanent guests at the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary come from these places, and it is impossible to rewild them.

So don't forget when encountering wildlife (not just here, but all over the world):



Click here for part 1 of our monkey madness!


National Geographic, Britannica, Wikipedia, Awionline

All pictures © The Vegan Pirates


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