Baby Monkey at Alturas
Baby Monkey at Alturas
I have avoided places like animal shelters, humane societies, pet shops and rescue leagues my entire life. I grew up where we drove past an Animal Rescue League almost every day. When I was young I would fight the urge to ask, whoever was driving the car, if we could stop by, for just a minute. But, the minute we got out of the car and I heard all those sad dogs barking, I was a goner. Sometimes, we just got back in the car, sometimes I mustered up the strength to go inside. Then, it was overwhelming because I was faced with barking dogs and meowing kittens! It was simply too much. The tears would flow as we left the parking lot and I can remember how I felt so heavy-hearted that it physically ruined the majority of my day.
There is something so helpless about the faces behind the bars. Seeing animals in cages still breaks my heart wide open but I have always thought, and hoped, I could overcome my feelings one day.
Now, where we live, we drive past a wildlife sanctuary all the time. I have driven by this animal rescue center many times, but, for obvious reasons, I couldn’t bring myself to take the tour they offer. Another big thing which kept me from visiting this place was that I knew they were always looking for volunteers, especially those who live locally…
Well, about a week and a half ago, I had a change of heart. I woke up and decided I would go to see what this place, called Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary, was all about! The mission of this wonderful haven is:
We Nurture Distressed Animals Back To Health & Reintroduce Them Back To The Wild
The photos above are of a pair of adorable baby squirrel monkeys. They are about the size of an adult chipmunk and I fell madly in love with their sweet expressions and playfulness. The tour was very up close and real with lots of Costa Rica critters, including a pair of spider monkeys, white-faced monkeys and one poor dear little howler monkey, who is named Lola. There were birds of all kinds, pizotes, raccoons, one way cool anteater, sloths, squirrels, a precious porcupine, whose name is Blossom, and a few kinkajous. New animals are, unfortunately, coming in every week and they do a great job making space for them all. Please find out more about this special place called Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary!
Now that I have taken the tour and heard the horrific stories about the rescue of these animals, my heart has again melted, but in a good way. These two lil darlings in the photos are unbelievably cute. They have jumped on my back and hung out there while I have cleaned their home. They’ve played with my hair and my shoelaces! I am now a happy volunteer, today being day 4 at Alturas! I have already made some new friends, both two-legged and four-legged. It has been a real pleasure spending some hours of my morning getting to work with these dear creatures. I am learning lots about them all every time I visit.
The story of the many me’s just keeps growing and unfolding, as I find myself more and more at home in this lovely country. I am realizing it’s really about allowing the layers of myself, the ones I no longer need, to shed or to be washed away. In removing these layers, I am freeing myself from old fears and things that used to hold me back. What gets exposed in this process is renewed and open, fresh layers of me! These new layers are ready to absorb and attract all the new great things that have been waiting to be discovered.