We have been staying at the La Selva Ecolodge in the Amazon rain forests of Western Ecuador for the past few days. The area is literally brimming with an incredible diversity of plants and animals. Some of these are benign but most have developed defense mechanisms to keep them selves safe in a very competitive environment.
Yesterday we were taken by one of our fantastic guides on a dusk tour of the neighboring lagoon to hopefully spot some wildlife. Only a few minutes from the dock we spotted a group of Capuchin monkeys that had been seen around the area recently. These are some of the most intelligent animals in the rainforest. They travel in groups of 20 to 30, have complex social dynamics, are capable of using tools and even weapons and lastly can be some real assholes. After spotting the Capuchins we edged the canoe a bit closer thinking that they would not find the boat to be a threat. One of the young males however did not take kindly to our approach and started screaming and shaking its branch. Moments later as we watched it brake a nearby branch off containing a wasps nest and proceeded to thro it at the boat. It landed in the water about a foot in front of our prow and exploded with angry insects. Our guide yelled for us to be still but it was already too late with Kayci being stung several times on the arm and myself three times on the head. It was over quickly but the sting lasted several hours and the lesson to give these intelligent creatures their space will last much longer than that.