We couldn’t leave for Providencia without spending time with our British friends, Richard and Jan, who are circumnavigating on s/v Morpheus, so we made sure to save time for a day of fun. In the morning, we made our way to Daniel’s Johnson’s Sloth & Monkey Hangout. Daniel’s had been on our radar since we found out it existed, but they were closed for renovations on our first attempt at a visit.
Jan, Richard and I set out on their dinghy, while Scott stayed behind. We had decided to pay an agent to check us out of Roatan on a weekend, and he didn’t want to miss the man returning with our passports and exit papers.
Daniel’s “Hangout” is actually located behind his house. His brother, Luke, came out to give us a tour and introduce us to the animals. Daniel started with just a few animals as pets, and has expanded to include several varieties of rescued animals as well. The cages are very large and kept meticulously clean. It is also obvious by his way with the animals, and by their behavior, that Luke, Daniel and their family truly care for them.
We began with the coatimundi, or jungle raccoon. Their long, narrow nose balances their long, straight narrow tail. They definitely resemble raccoons, and we learned that they are more friendly. However, because of their sharp nails, we didn’t interact with them.
After stopping by the raccoons and agoutis, we were lead into one of the monkey cages. The three young monkeys were immediately smitten with Richard.
These little guys were not quite as old as Cheeky, our youngest Fantasy Island monkey. They climbed all over us, and were very adept at unsnapping the back of mine and Jan’s hats while trying to remove them.
When monkey play time was over, we headed for the cages that held macaws and parrots. We were able to feed both types of these beautiful birds. The macaws were a bit heavy, like holding Howard on my forearm!
Luke pointed out several sloths sleeping, un-caged, in the surrounding mangroves (obviously, they are too slow to escape!). We saw two adults…..and a baby!
Sloths are naturally nocturnal, and are only awake for an average of four hours a day. Fun fact, they only poop three times a week, so that four hours is predominantly used for eating. Each evening, Luke and his family hang clusters of leaves from the trumpet tree for the sloths to munch on when they awake.
Many of the sloths at Daniel’s have been brought there by people from the mainland, who have rescued them from harm. Daniel’s Farm now host school groups, educating the children about sloths, and their non-threat to humans
It was now time to do what we’d really come for…hold a sloth!! Luke went into the mangroves along the water’s edge, and helped Snow White down for us to hold.
He placed her on each of us in turn, in a bear hug hold.
She seemed perfectly comfortable to be held, and turned her head to check us out. Sloths have an extra vertebrae in their spine, similar to an owl, allowing them to turn their heads 180 degrees in either direction.
Her fur was coarse, but not scratchy, and we didn’t even feel her “toes” on our back. She has such a sweet, “smiling” face!
When we’d each had time with her, Luke took Snow White back to here perch in the mangroves. He was careful to make sure that she had a firm hold before letting go.
In a sloth’s flash, she had assumed her previous position, and was sound asleep. Would she even remember us when she awoke for dinner?
Of course, there was only one thing to do after an awesome, but hot and buggy day with the animals….bobbing! This time, we stayed in our own back yard, spending the afternoon in the water off of the beach at the resort.
We stayed in the water, drinking and talking, until thoroughly pruned, and then headed off to meet the others at the pavilion. We took advantage of Pizza Inn & Bojangles delivery, and had an easy, yummy and “healthy” dinner of pizza and chicken, before parting ways and heading to our boats.
Our time with the monkeys and sloths was awesome, and the four of us had a great day together. We again have to say good bye to new friends, hoping to share an anchorage or marina again somewhere down the line. To quote Billy Joel, “Life is a series of hellos and good byes, I’m afraid it’s time for good bye again.” How true these words are in the cruising world…Cheers mates!
Here are many more photos of our day at Daniel’s Sloth and Monkey Hangout.
“Shells Sink, Dreams Float. Life’s Good On Our Boat!”