Do you have to be a kid to develop a fascination with primates? Not if you like being entertained. While the globe’s primate population may be declining, “New World Monkey” species making their homes from Mexico to Argentina are thriving.
Just ask editors at Nature.com. Their roster of monkey types begins with the one and only howler monkey, a mammal that can be heard from a distance of half a mile away.
Howlers are the most audaciously outspoken critters in Belize. They’re most likely to make themselves known when anything or anyone—-human or animal—-attempts to invade their neighborhoods. Don’t believe us? Check out this YouTube video for a sampling of their howls:
Howler monkeys inhabiting Belize’s forests and jungles rarely search for sustenance because it’s all around them. Though classified as omnivores, howler diets tend to be vegetarians, always on the lookout for raw fruits and vegetables that keep energy levels high enough to race from branch to branch over forest and jungle canopies.
Belize’s howlers are quite happy to be living in a nation that offers so much dietary variety that it’s easy to maintain an average weight of between 15 and 22 pounds. Are there overweight howler monkeys? Not really. They move around too much and so much activity results in an average lifespan of from 15 to 20 years.
It’s unusual to find a howler hanging out alone. These creatures stay in family groups that can number up to 20 kin. Like most primate groups, an older male is likely the head of the household, but everyone in the clan has a unique personality.
Despite the danger indigenous jaguars present, howler monkeys love to “irritate” these big cats on the ground by pelting them with branches and sticks for fun. Far from reach on distant tree branches, howlers are smart enough to know that if they get closer, they could become lunch.
Howler monkeys have excellent vision and they are enthusiastic swimmers. They love to hang out along the Monkey River. Wouldn’t you like if someone named a body of water in your honor?
What’s the best way to see these entertaining creatures? Come to Belize for a visit and take in Belize’s Monkey River Tour, not far from Placencia Village. Once there, feel free call these howlers by their Latin name Alouatta pigra or use the Creole word Baboon to get their attention.
About The Monkey River Howler Tour *
You will never forget a trip to Monkey River. Your trip begins dockside from Chabil Mar Resort, where your guide picks you up by boat, for your adventure. Prepare to weave your way through the mangroves, where it’s not uncommon to see a peaceful manatee lumbering by. Continue along the coastline where you will reach the mouth of the river at the Village of Monkey River. From there you will travel upstream through the Belize rainforest. Along the way you may witness exotic bird life, crocodiles and howler monkeys feeding in the shoreline trees of this tropical jungle paradise. You will then take a jungle hike and see amazing plant and animal life as you search for troops of exotic howler monkeys. Back at Monkey River Town, you’ll enjoy a traditional Belizean lunch and an optional walkabout in the idyllic Belizean village. Then it’s back onboard your skiff for the return trip back up the coast and through the mangroves to Chabil Mar Resort, with a stop to view the manatees lumbering at a nearby island favorite of theirs.
Advance reservations are currently being snapped up so take advantage of Chabil Mar deals while you can. Just imagining yourself at Chabil Mar is likely to buoy your spirits and make your current situation more tolerable!