Orangutan Holds Tourist Captive

During a trip to Upper Sumatra to volunteer helping wild orangutans, I went with two guides on a day hike through the jungle. There are still three orangutans living there who were brought there over ten years ago to be released from captivity. They sometimes manipulate the tourists for fruit and snacks. We were lucky to meet up with the gentler one, Jackie,  who was never known to hurt a tourist. I was very blessed that my two guides were able to tell me exactly when to move or stay to avoid possibly being captured myself. This was a safe encounter but it is important to remember that they are still wild animals and anything can happen. This is a good example of why wild animals should never be taken as pets. They are typically let go after they are too large for the humans to want to handle them anymore. It is finally becoming illegal to own wild animals in some parts of the world but many have to be rescued from bad situations from the exotic pet trade. 

Pearl, The Rescued Baby Howler Monkey

I got to hold a baby howler monkey at a wildlife rescue organization in ARCAS in Peru. It was my first time volunteer abroad with Wildlife back in 2009. This is a video of Pearl and a little about how he became a rescue. Another reminder of why we need to work to end the illegal pet trade industry. He was taken from his family in the wild as an infant. Baby howler monkeys are especially fragile and difficult to rehabilitate into the wild again. It is clear that currently existing laws in Central America are still not enough.

Peyote Ceremony in A Mall

On a trip to Mexico in 2007 I stumbled upon a cultural event to educate the public about the traditions of the Huichol people. It was a peyote ceremony in a mall. I have always had an interest in other indigenous cultures so of course I was fascinated and especially surprised to see this happening at a business establishment.