Monkeying around in the jungle

DONT FEED PHOTOGRAPH THE MONKEYS!

These spider monkeys at the Calakmul ruins of Mexico seemed friendly in my initial encounter with them.  So, naturally, I busted out my Nikon and started shooting away.  Good idea?  Well, their demeanor changed immediately as they began to show their teeth, beat on their chests and violently shake the tree branches in an attempt to scare me off.  Why the hostility?  Perhaps they felt I would publish the photos illegally in Monkey Spunk magazine?  Was I wearing the wrong monkey gang colors?  Maybe they were Canon users?  Whatever the case, animals in the wild are just that…wild and unpredictable.  This was their turf and they weren’t gonna let some Yankee with a cool telephoto lens come into their jungle hood and start firing off shots like a paparazzi on the Red Bull tour.  They let me know my limits…and like anywhere you travel to, you have to respect the locals and their level of comfort, especially when a camera is pointed at them.  Actually, it took a thrown tree branch at my head (yes, they are mean little bastards) to finally get me to back up and wrap up this photo session.  Here’s a pic of our initial encounter…and another soon after I started shooting them.

Once the photo session began (those aren’t smiles either)…

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