Golden Mantled Howler Mama & Baby~

I found this pair on the shores of a river leading into Lake Nicaragua. Golden Mantles are named for the long golden hairs on their backs and shoulders. They are the largest Central American monkey and are critical seed dispersers and germinators.

I stood very still,

and shot them for quite awhile.

They both eventually became curious,

and walked down the tree branches directly towards me!

They hooted gently, causing me to back up!

I wasn’t sure at first if it was safe for them to get this close.

My cowardice seemed to disappoint them, and they went back up the tree, and about their business, ignoring me.

Cheers to you from Nicaragua’s friendly Golden Mantles~

183 thoughts on “Golden Mantled Howler Mama & Baby~

      1. Just curious is my guess too, but there is much to be said for erring on the side of caution if one does not have specific knowledge of how a critter shows alarm or annoyance.  U got great shots anyway.

  1. Backing up was a good idea. They probably only wanted to make your acquaintance up close and personal. But you wisely defined your space. Great photography as always and my armchair is close enough.

  2. I love your shots of the monkeys. I remember confronting one in my brother-in-law’s verandah, it was trying to snatch a cookie from my little nephew. They are little rascals. It ran when it saw me. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. I saw a monkey jump down from a tree in Africa and bite a woman on her derriere. She was eating a sandwich. I think the monkey thought she would drop the sandwich, but she didn’t, she took off after him! ๐Ÿ™ˆ

  3. I’ve never been a fan of monkeys, but there’s a cuteness about this pair. Like you, I think I’d have been a bit on the reserved side though. One can’t predict how wild critters will behave.

    1. I got chased by a riled up baboon in Africa. People had been throwing rocks at him because he was raiding the camp. I took photos as I was running away and I have the pics to prove it!

  4. Fascinating, Cindy! It doesn’t sound like they were being aggressive, but I probably would’ve backed-off too. Mothers usually don’t allow their offspring to tag along if they plan to physically challenge an intruder. I think you’re correct that they were just curious about you. Who knows? Maybe they wanted to take your camera! Monkeys are known to steal shiny things from tourists in SE Asia, and have even done so to extort food from them!

    1. I didn’t know, so I went with a bit of caution. There’s another story here, about other critters, ones that would scare both you and me, but they seemed to be sleeping, and not interested in me, so I will tell you that story maybe next. Be well my friend. And thank you so much for your comments. I love them.

    1. It was my back up though, just some steps, that made them veer away. I will always wonder what would have happened if I had just continued to stand still.

  5. Great photos! You are fortunate to have seen howler monkeys. My husband and I heard them quite often during our bike-pack trips in Costa Rica. We were never lucky to see any.

  6. Oh my gosh, Cindy. What beautiful shots! This takes me straight back to Belize where a local farmer persuaded a wild howler mama with her baby on her back to stand on my shoulders. She smelt just like a freshly washed teddy bear.

    1. It was pretty freaking special. Experiences like this are why I love to travel. I bet your son is now able to exit his home without burrowing under 20 feet of snow!

    1. Yeah, when I look at the photos now, I wish I just kept standing there. She and her baby were not aggressive. They were just interested, but shy. You are right. They wanted to look at this frozen silent human, as much as I wanted to look at them. It is so fascinating to find wild animals. They teach me so much about myself, and about us.

    1. The biggest challenge was getting clear shots not impeded by branches and leaves, plus there were crocs around. Lots of them around the bend opening their mouths and sunning. I’ll post photos soon.

  7. I didn’t have my glasses on at the beginning, Cuz, and I thought you were at Lake Michigan and one of those guys looked like uncle Henry ๐Ÿ˜€. Hahaha ! Great pic’s Cindy. ๐Ÿ“ท

  8. I’ll say you were closer than I would have been, lol. I would have been running olympics as soon as I saw them scatter down the tree LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Truly outstanding photos, Cindy. I was once standing too close to a howler and he threw a piece of fruit he was eating at me. They have a clear way of communicating their boundaries. lol. I love your photos here, and studied them for a long time. I love howler monkeys. Loved seeing the colors of their fur in the sunshine, the eyes so wide open, especially liked the one hooting at you. Nice background too. What a great day for you. Thanks for sharing it.

    1. You get it. And I know you do. It was such a thrill and honor. When wildlife doesn’t know you, yet chooses to get close to you, it has to be the purest thing ever.

  10. these photos are super spectacular. The models are reflected with a surprising sharpness that we can even visualize their expressions on their faces. Undoubtedly a wonderful experience in the Central American jungle.

  11. So cute!! I think they liked being clicked!! But if i was in your place i would have been running back with full force the moment they looked like coming down!! ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿ˜‚ You are brave!!
    Loved your description!!

  12. Sweet salve for these eyes (after those crocs, ha). They’re so beautiful I could cry. I’m so happy you were able to be in their presence and part of their day. What an amazing experience Cindy !! xk

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