Last week’s monkey bridge fundraiser has come and gone, and it was, if we dare say it, a howling success! More than 75 people from the Potrero, Surfside and Flamingo communities came out to support our cause. Thanks to their contributions, we raised a whopping $1300 dollars toward slinging bridges around Potrero’s treetops, to make the canopy highway safe and unbroken for our primate friends.
Equally important, we were thrilled to see so many of our neighbours enjoying a good party. Our chef sent out an array of mouth-watering bocas, or appetizers, to sate the hungry crowd. The bacon-wrapped yucca croquettes were a hit, as were the tangy ceviche and tequila chicken skewers. No less popular were the half-price cocktails – including refreshing mint mojitos, and tamarind vodka, a local delicacy — that will be a permanent feature of our Friday evening happy hour specials.
After a live music show by Los Dos, raffle prize-winners were called. Congratulations to Alfredo Flores and Carissa Kelly for winning the event’s biggest prize – a 2-night deluxe stay with us at the Hotel Sugar Beach. There were many happy prize-winners that evening, taking away free massages, sunset boat cruises, and more. As the night wore on, DJ Green Flash got everyone to their feet, and kept them dancing right to the end.
Now comes the hard part: finding the best locations to place the 12 bridges we are now able to purchase. We’ve been surveying local residents for help identifying any problem areas, and so far the feedback has been great. The most pressing issue is, of course, places where monkeys are being electrocuted while crossing the power lines. Our local power company, Coopeguanacaste, will install bridges in these places for free, as well as insulate transformers, or place cones on the anchor lines if monkeys are using these to ascend.
But electrocution, tragic as it is, is not the only problem our howler monkeys are facing. Often, development will break up the treetops, forcing them to use rooftops or fences to get from one tree to the next, or worse, to go to ground. A monkey on the ground is never a good thing! Sometimes, they lose huge stretches of territory, because there is simply no way to access wooded areas that have been cut off by buildings, roads, or simply deforestation.
These are the places we want to hang bridges, to provide safe passage for howlers to move from tree to tree, and ensure they have the room each troupe needs to survive and remain healthy. It’s also important that neighbouring troupes not be completely isolated from one another, so that they can mingle their genes and maintain the diversity needed to keep future generations healthy.
We’re excited to see how it all turns out. For now, it’s a matter of gathering precise details about each problem area, to make sure we know exactly where to put the bridges – because monkeys are creatures of habit, much like the rest of us. The biggest thrill will be when we can see them using their new bridges – we promise to post pictures!
We would like to thank everyone that helped to make this project possible, including our staff here at Hotel Sugar Beach who worked so hard to put on a good party, Josh Wilson (our D.J.), Andrea and Gianny of Los Dos, and of course, our raffle prize sponsors:
- Pura Vida Ride
- Gold Coast Charters
- Las Brisas Bar and Restaurant
- Maxwell’s Bar and Restaurant
- Lazy Lizard
- Lola’s Shopping
- The Shack
- Alejandra Rivera
- Equilibrio Natural Herboristeria
- Kim Thabault