Our tiny foster baby - Morrillo's brightest little light.
Introducing little Miss Melikki - goddess of the forest. She's kind of a big deal but also a big secret that we can share with you - our friend. She came to us October 30th, 2021 when the FCPP (Foundation for the Conservation of Primates of Panama) were hastily in search of someone to care for her after her mother had been electrocuted and killed by high voltage power lines.
We, as anyone would, obviously said yes. Actually, we said "We are positively positive we are in. We are 100% committed to helping this baby monkey get back to the jungle." She had sustained a few injuries as she fell to the ground from the cables while desperately clinging to her mothers chest who had been killed instantly. Thankfully, someone saw this happen, was able to rescue her and we became her foster parents a few days later.
Pedro Mendez from the FCPP, brought her to us at the tiny age of 1 month old and has guided us in her care since that very special day.
You see, Ryan and I had decided a long time ago that we would not have children so we could have the freedom to travel, live abroad, and lead the selfish life of doing what we want to do, so taking on the care of an infant was a pretty quick adjustment.
But, here we were, feeding a baby every 4 hours, watching her every move, worried about every sound she made, and amazed at how totally adorable and precious this tiny little animal, who fit in the palm of our hand was. Being a critically endangered species, we felt especially responsible to ensure she lived which, given her age, and her injuries was less than likely at that point.
Every day, we woke up (several times), she woke up, and we continue the routine to this very day - 7 months later. We had to keep her a secret too while running our busy little Eco Resort full of guests if we were going to have any kind of success releasing her back into the jungle.
We have begun to wean her from being bottle fed to just twice a day. She was released into the jungle early March where she spends her day exploring and eating and hopefully catching the eye of some of the other cute boys hanging around. We are really looking forward to some grand-babies!
She has not yet bonded with the main troop here although they have been introduced and are definitely ready for her to join them so, every night she returns to a safe spot to sleep near us.
She gets braver and more independent each day and we are counting on Soldier to show her the vines.
As a guest, you now have a very serious job if little Melikki is going to make it in the big scary jungle. If you see her during one of your visits, just like the rest of the monkeys, be sure NOT to engage with her in fact, you are to be a very scary human to ensure she runs from you, seeks shelter in the trees, and not towards you. It's hard at first but when you see her in her natural habitat, it's likely to be one of the greatest experiences you will have in your life. It's cool, let the tears flow, it's intense.
Like any other wild animal, relations with humans can be deadly for them. If we continue this way, she will soon be roaming free every day and night in the jungle with the rest of her kind and that will be a true measure of success for all of us.
"Let us develop respect for all living things. Let us try to replace violence and intolerance with understanding and compassion. And love." Jane Goodall
When choosing where to travel this year and every year, remember that Eco Resorts support the natural world in a myriad of ways and I guarantee you, it feels amazing to be a part of that.
Sending you so much love and we hope to see you soon!
Your Friends in Morrillo,
Cari and Ryan Mackey
Owners and Hosts
Morrillo Beach Eco Resort