Today we went to an animal preserve about 8 miles outside of Cuenca. The drive there was stunning, curving well-paved road with very little traffic, winding to a higher altitude with huge green valleys and magnificent vistas. We arrived at a tiny village outside of the slightly larger village of Tarqui. The animal preserve was on quite a chunk of land, built around walkways and viewing platforms. The animals mostly had large enclosures and all looked well fed and cared for.
There were several interesting creatures native to Ecuador (and a few that weren't). I will have to look up names because I did not write them down. Most notable were: some monkeys of various sizes and colors, native to the Amazon region, a few large parrots in large flight enclosures, some small deer, these ring tailed very cute little animals with a nose that showed they could enjoy ants and termites and several birds of prey that included a type of eagle, several types of hawks and a beautiful kestrel.
It was a lucky, happy accident that we arrived just as this occurred. Len and I felt very privileged to witness this. There were probably around 125 people there. Many began eating lunch from the stalls that were selling delicious smelling foods. A man with a soft ice cream machine in a truck was doing a very brisk business. The townspeople planned to have music and food and dancing throughout the afternoon.