“Nature is not a place to visit. It is home.”
-- Gary Snyder
-- Gary Snyder
Free attractions abound in Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest city. I highlighted three in an earlier post. One of my favorites is a historical park full of plants and animals.
Parque Histórico (Historic Park) is a relaxing retreat in the big city. The park has three distinct areas - wildlife, historic architecture, and traditional lifestyle. Today I focus only on wildlife.
The park's plants and animals are all native to Ecuador. Some animals injured in the wild find homes here.
Meandering through the park, pausing frequently to listen to the birds is a relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon. Raised walkways provide incredible proximity for visitors.
|Visitors are close to nature on raised walkways|
Let's meet some residents!
Fourty-seven species of parrots have been recorded in Ecuador. In Parque Histórico, there are a large number of parrots.
Injured birds are caged while rehabbing.
|Caged Parrots not ready for wild|
|Parrots free to roam anywhere|
Many stay in Parque Histórico
|Man made birdbaths ensure water is available|
Carnivorous animals are not allowed to go anywhere they want in the park. Medium sized spotted cats, ocelots are found throughout Central and South America.
Ocelots in the park are in a huge metal enclosure made to look like tree branches. I was lucky that one of them walked in front of me.
|Ocelot walking in enclosure|
In tropical and subtropical Americas, the collared peccary eat cactus, vegetables and fruits. They sleep in burrows, caves and under logs or tree roots.
A gray-green small to medium sized crocodile, the spectacled caiman is found in Central and northern South American wetlands and rivers. The ones in the park hang out in a man made pond.
The largest and most powerful raptor in the Americas is the harpy eagle with a wingspan up to 224 cm (7 ft 4 in). They are threatened by humans destroying their natural habitat in low lying rainforests.
Multiple countries have breeding and monitoring programs in an effort to increase the population.
The first South American captive-born harpy eagle was in Parque Histórico May 6, 2002. They only reproduce once every couple of years and have one baby at a time. Re population is slow work with this bird!
|This harpy eagle, by it's nest, is more than two feet tall|
Thanks for taking this tour with me. There are many other animals in the park who did not make an appearance today, including spider monkeys, sloths, ducks, and deer.
Is there a captive breeding program near you for endangered animals?