Quepolandia logo

Capuchin Capers

By Jack EwingBubba-and-Friend

The troop of 28 monkeys was strung out over about 100 meters, moving through the forest. The lead monkey, a mature female, came to an area where the tree cover was broken by an open swamp with only a narrow corridor two trees wide going around it. About half way across the corridor the leader abruptly leapt back and let out an excited yelp, one of several different alarm barks the two observers had heard them use. This initial bark was followed by a series of short barks in a slightly calmer voice. Flor Vallet scanned the foliage with her binoculars near where the lead monkey had been when when it jumped back. Finally she saw the source of alarm, a non venomous bird-eating snake. It wasn’t large enough to harm a full grown monkey, or even a juvenile, but it was a snake nevertheless, and they instinctively disliked it. The troop kept moving forward, but as they arrived at the point where the snake was coiled each monkey veered over into a neighboring tree, staying well out of its reach. They didn’t need any further signals. Every monkey in the troop knew exactly where the snake was coiled. Was this communicated to them via the alarm call followed by the short series of barks emitted by the lead monkey when it first saw the snake?

Hacienda Baru

Read More…


The Punishment

by Jack Ewing

The incident took place so long ago that Daniel Valverde doesn’t remember for sure if Alvaro Mesa was the one who actually felled the last manú negro tree on Hacienda Baru or not, but he was definitely the one who sent the workers up into the rainforest to cut it into logs and split the logs into posts. Some people say that what happened that day was Alvaro’s punishment for cutting down the last manú negro on Hacienda Barú. Others say it was the curse of an Indian shaman whose tomb Alvaro had opened. Regardless of why it happened, it was the worst experience of his entire life, and one that all the people who were with him that day will remember for the rest of their lives.

Hacienda Baru

Read More…