Around this time, back in 2012, I had just enjoyed a flying visit to Argentina, to check out a project where the locals had been working tirelessly for over 20 years to rescue (from the pet trade) and rehabilitate the endangered Black Howler monkey (Alouatta caraya).
Although the project is a member of the Great Ape Project and is recognised for its excellent work by the Jane Goodall Institute, it receives no support from the Argentinian government, relying instead on volunteers from around the world to help with donations and manpower. The British charity I was then working for, Globalteer, was looking at partnering with this project, to send them more volunteers and funding, so I was making a preliminary site visit to check it out. (You can now volunteer with Globalteer at this project – check it out here!)
I couldn’t get very close to the monkeys, for our mutual protection – theirs from any bugs I might carry and mine from their bites! – but I could certainly hear them. The Howler monkey has the loudest call of any monkey – indeed, of any land animal – it can be heard up to 3 miles away. A small number of the Howlers were caged, while they went through the rehabilitation process, but they would later be released, to join one of the several troops that roam freely in the 360-hectare area of fields and forests owned by the project. Many of the free monkeys seemed curious about the gringa who had come to call and came down from their treetops to peer at me so I managed to get a few decent photos of these incredible creatures.