on March 11, 2013
I came across Jungla de Panama as a hostel when I was searching for accommodations. As it turns out, it's also a restaurant and, most awesomely, an animal rescue and healing center.It's in Palmira, just a few minutes outside of Boquete. We stopped by in the morning on our way out of town. The restaurant wasn't open yet, and some boys were playing the yard in between some pens and cages. The restaurant manager directed us through the gate off the porch into the yard, and we wandered around the pens.Eventually, one of the little boys asked if we were there for the tour. We said, "Sure, when does it start?" And he said, "Whenever." So he showed us the dogs that were up for adoption: four lovely, friendly animals, one of whom kept jumping up as high as the fence, bounce after bounce after bounce. She knew that the way to get chosen was to stand out from the crowd, and if we had space for a dog at home she would have already been in our car.They also have a horse and several goats, two of which were very young and two of which were very pregnant. They sort of kept to themselves.We stopped by the monkey, and the boys gave us sunflower seeds to share with the critters as they told us about how old the monkeys were and what they liked to eat. The two little capuchins shared a cage with a cutamundi, a relative of the raccoon. The monkeys took the sunflower seeds in their hands or directly -- and very gently -- into their mouths. Sometimes they couldn't reach the fallen ones with their arms, so their tails would sweep them closer through the bottom of the cage.The spider monkey lived by herself, and was a lot more shy. She gracefully and gently accepted seeds, but she didn't shake the cage like the capuchins when it had been too long between bites.We walked into the parrot residence and met the chickens, the macaw, and even a pigeon! The macaw had a hurt wing and couldn't fly, but the parrots didn't get in her way when she headed over to a dish full of sunflower seeds. The parrots were content to sit on my arms and shoulder and eat right out of my hands, anyway.We said our goodbyes after petting the rabbit, though it would have been easy to spend all day there (and I think the monkeys and birds would have kept eating all day, too).
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