12/06 - 14/06
Upon arriving back at our hostel we discovered that Felipe was still not around. Despite ringing the doorbell as knocking on the gate, no-one came to open up for us. Thus it was up to Spiderman, Rafa, to scale the wall and push the bottom to let us in. It had been a wonderful evening meeting such friendly people. We went to bed with one question circling our minds...Should we change our plans and go to Caseres instead?
Today was our day to explore the city. Although Rafa had done most of it already, he hadn´t yet gone to the zoo. Cuiaba is the place where many tourists explore the Patanal - a wet land in Brazil filled with all sorts of exotic and strange animals. However, as we had already spent enough money on our jungle adventures in the Amazon, going to see the rest of the animals that inhabit Brazil that we hadn't yet been able to spot in the FREE zoo seemed like the best option. So, we all decided to go and do some animal spotting together. Google Maps lead the way and R$1.5 and one local bus later we were at the gates of the university within which the zoo was housed.
As we strode towards the entrance of the zoo, we realised that all the people around consisted of families with small children or school tour groups. We felt like we needed a little person to justify this outing.
The zoo was small but clean and well maintained although some of the enclosures did not seem to be too secure in containing their inhabitants. We wandered around and came across some rather unique looking animals...
Although monkeys are not Joy´s favourite animals, we were quite intrigued by these characters. Their tails seemed like a fifth limb, as it readily assisted them in climbing and hanging around. They also walked using only their back legs - just like little furry people.
We then stumbled upon this odd looking animal. It had the body of a large warthog and the extended snout of a pig. It is a large herbivore called an Ante (Portuguese) or a Tapier in English.
We then entered the bird section of the zoo. After seeing a few water birds during our Amazon trip, we were itching to see some of the more tropical birds that we were not able to spot in the wild.
Unfortunately, the cages did hamper our photographs of these stunning birds.
They have brightly coloured, bald heads and a strange extra flap of skin on their beaks (almost like the comb of a chicken) which just makes them look ridiculous. It you want a clearer picture of these unique scavengers, we would definitely suggest Google´ing it!