Tuesday, October 14, 2008

M Is For Monkey

Howler Monker

It is time once again for ABC Wednesday. If you would like to join in the fun go here. This week is starring the letter "M".

My very favorite place to visit is Belize. Gina and I have been there 4 times in the last 5 years. Our first trip was in 2004 to help build the New Horizon SDA Chapel.

One of the interesting to do on a trip to Belize is to visit Mayan Ruins. We have been to the Mayan Ruins at Lamanai a couple of times. Besides the ruins, a trip to Lamanai is very interesting because of the Howler Monkeys. As you walk back to the ruins you are almost certain to hear the Howler Monkeys, and if you are lucky you will be able to see them.

Howlers Monkeys are found in tropical Central and South America. They are aptly named for their cacophonous cries. When a number of howlers let loose their lungs in concert, often at dawn or dusk, the din can be heard up to three miles away. Male monkeys have large throats and specialized, shell-like vocal chambers that help to turn up the volume on their distinctive call. The noise sends a clear message to other monkeys: This territory is already occupied by a troop.

If you are not expecting to hear them, Howler Monkeys can be a bit disconcerting. If you haven't heard them, you can listen to an audio file by clicking here.

On our last trip to Belize in March of this year, we spent one Sunday with a friend of mine, Collet Montejo. He took us to the Mayan Ruins at Altun Ha, and to the Baboon Sanctuary. The Baboon Sanctuary is located 35 miles northwest of Belize City and is a unique conservation effort bringing together eight villages to protect the population and habitat of Belize's Black Howler Monkey, affectionately called "baboons" by the locals.

Fallett Young calls down the Baboons

Our guide Fallett Young took us into the jungle to see the Howler Monkeys. We were excited when we recognized him from the TV program Destination HD Belize. We had watched the TV show not long before we went to Belize. Fallett has lived in this part of Belize his whole life, and has a very special relationship with the baboons. Because of community-based efforts by Fallett and others in the area to preserve Black Howler Monkeys, there are more than 4,000 individuals waiting to be spotted and photographed by curious travelers.

Getting to be that close to the monkeys, and actually have them take food from your hand was a very exciting and rewarding experience.


  1. That must be very interesting. Monkey's are fun to watch but it would take me some time to want to be that close to them. I'm a "woos" sp?

  2. I have never yet met anyone who dose not like to see monkeys.... they are beautiful and well worthy of much respect and protection..

    Great post


  3. I listened to the sound clip - a bit scary - I would not like to hear that sound while taking a ramble around the countryside one afternoon ..

  4. That's a great shot of the monkey but I bet I'd be freaked out if I were camping there overnight! lol

  5. That would be a memorable experience!

  6. A joy to read and view. All wildlife needs ptotecting.

  7. A joy to read and view. All wildlife needs ptotecting.

  8. Your monkey photograph is awesome and your commentary is great. I've never really considered Belize before. Ya know, your cat Moses could have been an M entry too, I loved the picture of him.

  9. Belize is such a pretty place!! We were there once on a cruise and spent our time snorkeling. If we get back i would love to tour the rest of the land. Happy ABC Wednesday!

  10. The first shot is so wonderful! I really loved it!

    My M entries are posted here and here. Please drop by if you have time. Thanks a lot!

  11. That was a good choise for the M. Have a nice day:)

  12. I can imagine how exciting it must have been to have a monkey eating from your hand! Very interesting post! Thanks for your comment.

  13. An exciting post for a one who is more accustomed to fish and cold. I hope they manage to preserve the monkeys - that kind of wildlife is irreplaceable

  14. Silly me. I thought Belize was a french town. Now I know it as a new name of British Honduras.

  15. Very good choice for today.

  16. A beautiful monkey. Must be perfect for the letter M:)

    Those houses I have on my blog are at the fjors and hills. People use to build cabins with grass-roof at the mountain or near by the fjord.

    Have a nice day:)

  17. The monkey is adorable and a beautiful animal and is hard to imagine that sound coming from them... what an amazing experience that must have been for you! What a wonderful post!

    Mountain Retreat- Canada

  18. hello!
    I've been thinking I wanna visit and Mayan Ruins!
    It must be incredible more than imagined!
    When I went to Peru, I visited Inca's ruins.
    it was really incredible also!

  19. We saw some howler Monkeys when we visited the Mayan site of Coba in Mexico.

    Very educational post for ABC Wednesday.

    Bear((( )))

  20. The howler monkey is very special! I have heard them in a zoo here and the sound is amazing. Thanks for your M :)

  21. Great post - never heard of howler monkeys before - I'll pass on listening to the audio clip - my wife's still asleep and it isn't time to wake her up yet!