squirrel monkey
me and a monkey

cute ickle squirrel monkey

me and my squirel monkey friend: he was way more interested in the food than in me, though....

squirrel monkey at Tenerife Monkey Park

I really wanted to take this little squirrel monkey home with me

Zoos aren’t normally my kind of thing. 

In fact, seeing animals in captivity just makes me feel really sad, so, for the most part, a trip to an animal park wouldn’t be high on my agenda. Someone recommended Tenerife Monkey Park to us years ago, though, and we enjoyed it so much we’ve gone back every time we’ve visited the island. The park is primarily a breeding centre for endangered species, but they also have a section which is open to the public, where you can walk through large, open enclosures and interact with squirrel monkeys, lemurs, guinea pigs and the like, and although the park isn’t remotely glossy (If you’re expecting a Disney-style experience, you’d probably be disappointed), the enclosures are large and well-kept, and there are always tons of staff on hand, who seem to genuinely care about the place…  which is why we keep returning, despite our initial reservations.

As I said, there are lots of different species to see, but my favourites are the squirrel monkeys, who I could seriously sit and watch all day. They’re just so lively and fun to watch, and although I’ve visited the park a few times now, the novelty of being able to actually interact with these awesome little creatures just never wears off for me. We bought a couple of packs of food for them at the park entrance (you can take in some fruit and veg, but they’re very careful about what the animals eat, and there are lots of restrictions, which makes it best just to stick to the food provided), and were hugely entertained by the squirrel monkeys searching for sweetcorn, and rejecting everything else!
lemurs at Tenerife monkey park

parrots at Tenerife monkey park

giunea pigs at Tenerife monkey park

My reaction to the monkeys is a bit like my reaction to my friends’ babies… Er, I should just clarify here that I’m in no way comparing babies to monkeys, other than that they’re both cute, and I spend all my time with them going, “Look! He moved his hand! Look! He blinked!” Basically everything they do is totally fascinating to me, and that’s why as soon as we landed in Tenerife, I was all, “When can we see the monkeys? D’you want to just stop off on the way to the hotel? No?”

We also spent time with the guinea pigs (Yeah, I did ask Terry if we could get one: he said no…) and lemurs, before having a wander around the rest of the park, but then it was back to the squirrel monkeys: there’s one enclosure in particular which is right at the entrance, and which always seems to get overlooked by other visitors as it’s tucked off to one side, so Terry and I were able to have it all to ourselves for a while. Fortunately for me, the footage we filmed here was on the memory card which DIDN’T get lost, so I’ve put together a little video, which you can see below, or over on my You Tube channel!

And here’s my favourite photo of the day…

monkey jump

6 Comments
  1. Aww I love your photos!! I would absolutely love to go here and it would be amazing to actually get to interact with some of the animals as opposed to just sitting and looking at them through the glass!! So cute! xx

    http://www.shayholly.co.uk

  2. This is making me want to go to Tenerife pronto! I love places like this – and like you I have very mixed feelings about zoos and the older I get the less I enjoy them and they just make me mostly miserable. But the best zoo I’ve ever been to had a monkey enclosure a bit like this, although not as interactive, which was the big zoo in Valencia. Again, what made it good is that it wasn’t really like a zoo at all, as the animals had big enclosures and all seemed fairly happy. The exception might be the elephants – I’m just not sure elephants should be in any kind of enclosure, really. But I’ve gone off on one – this place looks great!

  3. Awww, it must have been amazing. I would love to visit the monkey park. They look so cute!
    I love zoos, although animals should stay in the wild, we don’t live in a perfect world and so many would be extinct without the very important breeding programs that are at the zoo. I’ve been to the Monkey Forest in Stoke-on-Trent a few times and I loved it. There the monkeys aren’t keen on interacting with humans and they don’t encourage that, as they must be as wild as possible (the other 2 sister parks have released monkeys into the wild).

  4. Oh how fun! That’s so cool you get to interact with them like that. I have the same feelings about zoos and cages, but this place seems to be a nice balance of animal care/human entertainment.

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