Panama Day 5: Canopy Tower. A Vist To The Gamboa Sloth Sanctuary And A Kinkajou And Night Monkeys Visit

Panama Day 5: Canopy Tower. A Vist To The Gamboa Sloth Sanctuary And A Kinkajou And Night Monkeys Visit

Panama Day Five r Canopy Tower evening (9 of 17)
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It was a great  morning visit to Panama City  on my last full day at the Canopy Tower. This ecolodge is located in the Soberania National Park in a Panamanian rainforest. But the day wasn’t over.  As  on all my days during my stay at the Canopy Tower,  another adventure was scheduled for the afternoon. We returned from our morning tour and, after sitting down and  going over our bird and wildlife checklists we  had another great lunch.  Once again, we had some afternoon rains. It rained every afternoon during my stay. However the rains  let up a little just in time for our visit to the Gamboa Sloth Sanctuary. 

We took the now familiar five  mile drive to Gamboa and arrived at the Sloth Sanctuary under threatening skies.  It is  located near the Chagres River and on the grounds of the Gamboa Rainforest Preserve. 

We were dropped off at the entrance to Sloth Sanctuary by our guide and we began a guided tour of the sanctuary.  The sanctuary is  dedicated to both the preservation of,   and education about , the Panamanian rainforest and it’s flora and fauna. The sanctuary also rehabilitates native sloths and other wildlife from the  rainforests  in Panama.

We met our guide for the one hour tour and learned a litttle about the sanctuary. We   walked  through the grounds and past passed enclosures where  we learned about both native red footed tortoises

and endangered African spurred tortoises.

Beautiful native flowers grew along the walkways.

We then visited a butterfly habitat where we learned about the life cycles of the many species of butterflies thar live in the rainforests of Panama including ,

tiger longwing,

king swallowtail,

dark owl, 

common blue morpho butterflies.

The butterfly habitat was enclosed and filled with many species of tropical flowers. We were shown the area were cocoons are hatched and new buterflies emerge. It was a very informative tour.

As we were leaving the butterfly habitat I saw this strip throated hermit hummingbird that somehow got inside the enclosure.

We next walked to a display of native orchids and other wildlfowers,

were we saw the National Flower of Panama a Dove orchid or flower of the Holy Spirit.  It is so named form the resemblence  the orchid has to a dove the symbol of the Holy Spirit in the Christian religion.

After visiting the orchids we went to another exhibit where we saw and learned about poison dart frogs.

We again learned a lot about the life of these rain forest residents.

Our last stop was the sloth sanctuary.   We got caught in a  rain shower on our walk to the sanctuary but it was worth it. we soon saw both three toed

and two toed sloths that were recovering from injuries or diseases they suffered in the rainforests and were brought to the snactuary to recover.

We  also learned  about their life cycle, their eating habits and how efforts are being made to protect them and the rainforests in which they live.  It was a great visit and a great place to spend a  rainy afternoon.

It was late afternoon when we ended our tour and left the sanctuary. On our way back to the Canopy Tower we first stopped along the Chagres River,

and looked for wading birds. We  saw some but it was cloudy and dark and I couldn’t get any photos. We drove back to  Canopy Tower  and once again went over our check list and discussed our afternoon adventure before sitting down for dinner. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog webpage with some more photos from our visit to the sanctuary. Panama Day 5 Canopy Tower Gqmboa Sloth Sanctuary   October 20 2023.

It was my last night eating dinner  at the lodge,  and I was delighted to be visited  by some   exotic nocturnal residents of the rainforest, first a kinkajou showed up to feed on the fruit left out  in  the trees by the staff of the lodge.

We watched this distant relative of the racoon while we ate.

We were then visited by a pair of night monkeys, also attracted by the fruit left outside.  This was the fourth species of the five monkey species that are native to Panama that I saw. The only one I didn’t see on my trip was a spider monkey. Hopefully I will see them on my next vist, which I plan to make soo. Here is a link to a gallery on my blog website with some more photos of the night monkeys.  Panama Day 5 Canopy Lodge night monkeys October 20 2023.

It was a great ending to my last day at the Canopy Tower. I had an amazing visit and fell sleep sad that I’ll be leaving in the morning, but grateful to have discovered this remarkable place and all of the amazing sights I had seen. 

“And I dream of the vast deserts, the forests, and all of the wilderness of our continent, wild places that we should protect as a precious heritage for our children and for our children’s children. We must never forget that it is our duty to protect this environment.”
— Nelson Mandela.