Endangered red backed squirrel monkeys (Saimiri oerstedii) - there are less than 4000 left in the wild, they live in groups of up to 70 animals, a troop, often with babies on board, visited us regularly, I would guess the size of the group to be about 50


OK, not a wild animal, but an addition to the family, she was starving (literally) and so happy to be part of the family, she filled the void left after our old cat passed away

Coatimundi are a memeber of the racoon family and have prehensile tails. They are not very afraid of humans. Unfortunately, they like to move around and are often hit by cars.


 In addition to our regular squirrel monkey visits, we had capuchin monkeys, anteaters, squirrels and a black panther! I was not able to get photos from our property of these animals so below are pictures from the internet (no permission required for use as noted on the sites). 


The black panthers include a variety of black species of big cats, depdending on geography. In Costa Rica they are black jaguars, with the black color coming from an incomplete dominant allele. The Ticos (native Costa Ricans) call all the big cats tigers. I was awfully confused for awhile. I like to think I did my research and when they kept telling me there were tigers in the area I was stunned, thinking tigers were an endangered species found in India. We had one that made several visits to our outdoor kitchen on the second story. When an animal weighs more than I do it is welcome to whatever it wants in my kitchen. 


The Tico’s call anteaters Tamandua. Their tongues have millions of microscopic spines, they have toothless jaws and the ants and termites are ground up in their stomach by small amounts of sand and gravel. One night our dog Skinny would not stop barking. After some time my husband decided he better check it out. Machete in hand he wandered out into the darkness. He started calling loudly for me to bring the camera. Our dog had chased a tamandua up a rather skinny tree. The tree was bending under the weight of this animal (anywhere from 60-140 pounds or 27-64 kilograms). My photography skills are not good at the best of times, forget in the middle of the night when I just woke up. As my husband tied up the dog, I took pictures, which looked like big blogs in a tree upon closesr inspection. We often smelled the residual scent of the anteater first thing in the morning, very strong and musky. 


The white faced capuchin monkeys (Cebus capucinus) are omnivores and very important for seed dispersal. One experiment showed that 2/3 of the seeds that passed through the gut of a capuchin germinated. The capuchin monkeys in our area were not regular visitors but did come around often enough to cause trouble. They are quite aggressive to the red backed squirrel monkeys, and you usually heard the fighting before you saw the capuchins.

When a man kills a tiger, it is called game. When a tiger kills a man then it is called savagery.



3 Responses to Mammals

  1. Teresa Kolpakova says:

    I am learning so much from your website! Congratulations on this incredible adventure you are embarking on. Your compassion and love for animals is so evident in reading through your site. What a wonderful service you are doing for the creatures of Costa Rica ~ including those needing your help who are not so wild (your beautiful new canine member of the family!)
    I hope to be able to visit sometime and offer any volunteer help needed.

  2. Pamela Pulver says:

    I plan to revisit Costa Rica, and would love to volunteer at the center. I first visited Costa Rica as a sea turtle volunteer in Tortuguero, and fell in love with the wildlife. Is there housing available, anything simple? Maybe for a week or two? I’d appreciate any information. Thanks very much, Pam

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