Saturday, January 30, 2010

You're A Monkey's Uncle

We kept on the lookout throughout our travels in St. Kitts to see the Green or Vervet monkeys. They were brought to the island by the French in the 1600's from South Africa. The monkeys have no natural predators on the island and are now said to outnumber the Kittitians by 3:1. One report said there are 36,000 people on the island - that would make over 100,000 monkeys - and we didn't see any!

Until...

We took the ferry over to the island of Nevis (a 45 min. ride) on Wed, Jan 6. We took a tour of the island and stopped to take a nature trail hike in the rainforest- hoping to see the monkeys. We think we heard them, we saw empty banana peels and busted coconuts - but no monkeys.

But, later on our island tour, our taxi driver quickly pulled off the side of the road near a big field with some trees where he spotted monkeys. Sure enough! There were lots of them frolicking in the trees and in the high grassy fields. They were far away, but we managed one or two pictures. Pretty cool - nature in action! (Click on this picture to see the two monkeys- one is in the tree).

The concierge at the Marriott told us about a place on St. Kitts where the monkeys are fed at noon. So off, we went to So. Friar's bay to a little beach shack called the Shipwreck Bar & Grill. The restaurant cooks take their leftovers out to a spot on the nearby hill and leave it for the monkeys. We saw the monkeys start coming down from the hill before she brought out the food. They were very engaging to watch. One little monkey, who spent his time at the restaurant tables, was not accepted by the other monkeys. When they felt he was taking their food they would hiss and charge at him. He would squat down flat to make himself look like a mongoose! We did see three different mongeese come to eat as well. FUN!

3 comments:

Grammyzanne said...

How fun to watch! Thanks for sharing.

Jocelyn said...

♫Hey! We're the monkeys and we like to monkey around!♫

Tamara Robertson Turner said...

I enjoyed their little orange tails.
Funny about the one trying to look like a mongoose!