Moving on from the rather gloomy thoughts inspired last week-end, there is a beautiful spot I would like to share. This is a fairly popular place around here and it is easy to see why. It has a bit of everything: wild and domestic animals, water for birds and fish, grass to run around in, forest to walk through, play and lounging areas, even a camping zone if you want to take a holiday away from the business of life, but not physically too far away.
Kid 1 will also take a school trip there later this week, as they are talking about spring and baby animals, so this is a good place for them to learn about them and see them in person.
But this is also a sanctuary for rescued animals, especially monkeys. The organisation that houses them has different locations for the various exotic animals they rescue, but here they keep monkeys. The animals in their care were once abused, sold illegally to be used for entertainment or in tourism, so before anything else, they are nursed back to health and they teach them to be animals again. After that they get more freedom and can spend time with their fellow creatures. And, finally, when they are fully back on their paws, the charity will look for a new home for them, where they will be treated properly and respectfully, and where they will be allowed to be their natural selves.
In this particular location, the monkey island, the animals get to spend time outdoors, freely doing whatever monkey business they feel like doing, together with others. Visitors can come and see them, watch them climb, swing, or just sit and watch the onlookers back (!). There are plenty of boards with information so that you can learn about the monkeys, where they are from and their characteristics, and about the work the charity does. You can also talk to the people working or volunteering there if you have questions about the monkeys and the rescue mission.
Isn’t this an inspiring thing to do on a week-end? As far as I’m concerned, it has everything: there’s plenty of nature of all sorts, physical activity is required (you can either walk or bike around, but cars must be left at the entrance), there is so much you can see and learn, and in the end, also get a feeling that there is so much more that you can, and should, do for the nature around you.
Is there anywhere around you that you can go for a similar experience? Or just a place that inspires you to do more for all living creatures, human, animal and plant alike?