Today was our last full day at Las Cuevas, and because of that, we spent the morning collecting the camera traps we placed during our first day here. We waited until tonight to view the images so that it would be a kind of sendoff and it was a great way to end our time here. A couple of the cameras didn’t capture any animals, and we didn’t see a jaguar (so sad), but we did see a TAPIR. It was walking right down one of the trails and the picture was at a fantastic angle. We all yelled when we saw it and it was a really cool moment. We also think we might’ve seen a puma, but we couldn’t tell.
Earlier in the day, Scott showed us some really interesting things about leaf-cutter ants. We looked at a smaller young colony and then a MASSIVE mature one. He wanted to show us the differences between colonies of different ages, as well as their fungal gardens. The large colony was super cool and we found fungus right away. Also, a soldier ant which was protecting the colony bit through Amanda’s pants! (crazy right)
We saw a new bird today- a curassow. It was in one of the pictures from the camera traps and it was tall, black, and had thin legs. I was also able to get really close to some social flycatchers because they were perched on a wire running from the deck of the station. I can see where they get the “social” in their name from as they seemed to be playing around with each other and had no problem with me being close by.
Tomorrow we will leave Las Cuevas, but I will certainly remember my time here forever. Everything from the long difficult hikes to staring out over the Chiquibul forest from the bird tower was memorable and I’ve learned a ton in the mere week we’ve been here. I can wait to head to the reef and gain a whole new set of experiences. Goodbye Rainforest, you will be missed.