The sloth is one of Costa Rica’s main ecotourism attractions. This one was in Manuel Antonio National Park. It does not look like much more than a matted hairball, but you can see one of its claws. They only move about three hours a day, so it was not worth waiting around for it to turn. They are about the size of a small dog. They spend all day hanging upside-down. This position makes pooping somewhat difficult. About once a week, they climb down from the trees, dig a little hole and go in there. They are also the most parasite ridden mammal in the world. Tourists, at rescue organizations, are sometimes given sloths to hold. Inevitably people come away with bugs crawling all over them.
This post is all about the Bark Scorpion, which we saw while doing a nature hike in the dark at Rafiki Lodge. Like most scorpions, it glows in the dark, while under black light. In addition to Costa Rica, the Bark Scorpion can also be found in Missouri. Its stings are painful, but rarely fatal. Scorpions are born live and usually spend their first few weeks on their mother’s back. They grow to a length of a couple of inches and are active at night. Randol, our guide had no fear of them and even picked one up and handled it.
Rafiki means friend in Swahili, “When you have a real friend, it is for life.” Also, to Rafiki someone is to smear a substance on their forehead, which can be sexual in nature, or to lift someone or something for honorary public presentation. Both meanings stem from the cartoon mandrill Rafiki from Disney’s The Lion King. Our second stop on our tour was Rafiki Safari Lodge. Located inland at 3,000’, it was sort of in-between our first stay at 7,000’ and our third at sea level. I hope that you did not expect me to relate our travels chronologically. Rafiki had a distinctive African vibe, with lots of African art. Its owner-operator came from South Africa and his father was Swahili. “Low-Key” or maybe Loki was one of two brothers, whose father ask to go look at the land where the lodge is now. It is seemingly in the middle of nowhere, but is located near the Savegre River, on which we later went rafting. We also did a night hike, where we saw lots of wildlife. Our cabin was a tent cabin, with full bath. Returning from dinner, one night we frightened an iguana that had parked itself for the night on the Plexiglas roof of the bathroom.