We were invited by our friends to visit the Ecologial Refuge of Charles Darwin north of Recife. It’s privately owned land in the Atlantic Forest and if I understood correctly, the government or a university uses the space to help rehabilitate animals back into their natural environment. Many of the animals have been rescued from trafficking or from being illegally held as exotic pets in homes.
Through our friend, we were able to access the property with guides. We took a wonderful hike through the woods. Sounds normal but to go hiking here has actually been quite rare for us and we were thrilled to be outside and in a tranquil setting.
The hike was about 30-45 minutes long and we found the center where we were shown some of the animals in their program, many are seen below. Sorry, I couldn’t bring myself to post the photo of the two-headed snake which was really a legless lizard with heads on both ends of its snake-like body (ew).
It was a truly incredible experience and we are so grateful we were able to go and be outside!
Our group preparing for the hike into the Atlantic Forest near Recife.
Rustic path – the sign you see has a message on the other side that it’s private property you cannot enter without a guide.
We saw many interesting things – crazy red mushrooms, vibrant purple berries, and these little guys.
There were many wonderful tree formations along the way.
Armadillo hole in the side of a dirt wall.
We arrived at our destination – the Ecological Refuge of Charles Darwin – a center for rehabilitating animals that have been found injured, or rescued from being illegally kept as exotic house pets.
A sloth! Incredible to see this amazing animal. Slow until it feels danger then that crazy clawed hand comes around to swipe violently!
A marsupial found here in Brazil. A seven-day gestation period produces young that nurse constantly for 3 months while tucked away in the pouch. The name is – oh I can’t remember – but something like a cross between a dog and a rat.
Crazy, mean, hissing armadillo. You’d feel that way too if you where an armadillo who had been fed people food your whole life. It was interesting to see all of the animals – their color was either that of the trees or the ground.
These monkeys were a little too crazy still to bring out of the cage. We also saw many monkeys who were freely roaming in the trees above us. Fun!
Incredible, huge bromeliads! I think they said there are over a million species. This bloom was about the size of a baseball cap.
That’s the inside the mouth of a what?
A boa constrictor. I’m pretty sure I was giving it a dose of its own medicine by grabbing it ever so tightly while taking this picture.
Our friends look like they are having a great time. Do they realize they are holding a deadly snake??
Yep, there’s his tongue. All the better to smell us with, I suppose.
My daughter held the snake, and yes, if you’re wondering, Super Baby touched the snake too. (!)