The rainforest is abundant with life. I walk around feeling like an ant in A Bug’s Life, with huge leaves towering around and above me. We have fresh flowers clipped in vases placed around the hotel, and I’m constantly amazed by the variety that I’ve still yet to notice in the lush jungle that surrounds me. I’m drawn out of my morning meditation by the sounds of howler monkeys in the distance. I feel blessed to be able to interact so closely with animals I’ve only ever seen previously on television or in National Geographic.
I spent the morning recently at the Jaguar Rescue Center, which is just a short walk up the road from where I live. Unlike the poorly underfunded rescue center in Nicaragua, the Jaguar Rescue Center has ample space to house a variety of animals that it saves from animal trafficking situations and from locals and tourists who encounter the injured animals. It is not uncommon, for example, for baby monkeys to fall out of trees. When this happens, the troupe continues on without them because the baby’s are too weak to keep up.
When these babies are brought to the rescue center, they are rehabilitated and then re-introduced to the wild. Volunteers take the baby monkeys out to the woods for hours each day in the hopes that a passing troupe of monkeys will adopt one.
Monkeys aren’t the only babies falling out of trees. Sloths also find their way to the rescue center. Parezoros, or sloths, can’t get too cold or they’ll die. The one pictured above is wrapped in a cozy blanket to keep warm after a week of rainy weather. Once they warmed up, volunteers work with the sloths to teach them how to climb trees and forage for food.
The bevy of wildlife doesn’t end when you leave the rescue center. I noticed this little guy crawling around outside my bungalow looking for lunch.
It took a few days to see him – he’s quick to jump back into his hole if he thinks I have my camera in hand.
And though not uncommon, it has been a delight to watch the very pregnant momma cat give birth to four beautiful kittens just a few days ago. While a cat lover my whole life, I’ve never before seen kittens quite so young.
It’s glorious to be surrounded by so much life. It reminds me that the pulsing thread I feel within my own heart runs through all beings. As I practice or meditate in harmony with the sounds of the jungle, I can add the sound of my own breath or mantra to the energy of all that is around me. For this, I am grateful.