Peccaries


white lipped peccariesI couldn't find anyone to take a walk with me. Corcovado National Park was so magnificent I didn't want to waste what little time I had there sitting around playing cards. I decided to take a walk by myself. I had my video camera, my boda full of water, and God knows what in the pockets of my army fatique pants.

I walked along the wide trail slowly, savoring every sight and sound. As I got further from the ranger station the squawking of the scarlett macaws faded and the deafening shrill drone of the cicadas took over.

I hadn't gone more than 1/4 mile when there in front of me, a couple hundred feet away or so, were a group of white lipped peccaries rutting in the muddy trail. I froze and felt the adrenaline rush through my body. They didn't see me yet. I had heard stories of how these pig like creatures who looked like fearsome little wild boars would charge a person, goring them with their tusk like teeth. I slowly backed away. I saw no trees around that would support my weight. Not that I could have climbed anything with my rubber boots on. (rubber boots are the footwear of choice in the rain forest) As soon as they were out of my line of sight, I ran like hell back to the station. I interrupted a game of cards to tell every one what I had seen...And then I thought, "Damn! I didn't get them on tape!"

Well, I spent the next couple of days looking for them but to no avail. On the morning of the day we were to leave, I gathered a group of four of us to go for one last trek into the forest. We saw some squirrel monkeys. So tiny and quick. Corcovado is one of the only places left in Costa Rica where you can see them. We continued on the trail a ways and once again came across some peccaries. We all froze in plain view of them in the middle of the trail...Slowly I raised my camera to my eye and started shooting. We all watched as they crossed the trail perpendicularly in front of us. When they had all walked by and we felt that it was safe, we walked in the other direction. One of the people in our group happened to be a biologist. He had been counting them while we were gawking. He had counted about 90 peccaries. I'm sure glad that they hadn't noticed us!


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