TODAY   |  October 14, 2012

Monkey finds perch on Lester’s shoulder

Lester answered the call of the wild Sunday when a rare cotton-top tamarin from Colombia unexpectedly jumped on him during a meet-and-greet with the animals of the South American rainforest.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> this morning on today's call of the wild , creatures from one of the plannest's most biologically diverse regions, latin-america.

>> here to further our understanding of wildlife and knowledge down there, julie, thanks for joining us.

>> we have some fantastic animals from the rain forest of south america today. these guys all need the forest to survive. this is cyprus from discovery cove , down in florida. she is a mom twice over and she is a lesser anteater.

>> she eats fewer ants?

>> just because she is smaller. she is full grown, obviously here at 13 years old.

>> looking good.

>> giant ant eaters get to be about a hundred pounds. she is only 15 pounds or so.

>> ant eaters really eat ants?

>> up to 9,000 a day.

>> a long tongue. she can just --

>> let me show you that. here. you guys can hold this test tube. it has some grubs on top and honey on the bottom. and --

>> look at that tongue.

>> 16 inches long. she can actually very easily hit the bottom of that as well.

>> is that worms?

>> those are. little grubs.

>> does she have teeth?

>> no. no teeth at all. she actually kind of grinds up --

>> are these the animals that can smell like skunks?

>> yes.

>> she is not going to do that, right?

>> no. they only do that if they are going to -- need to defend themselves, really.

>> this is unbelievable.

>> isn't that awesome?

>> you know we have wood for her to climb around on as well. one of the really cool things about ant eaters is how strong they are. we've got the toucan next. and this is cyrano.

>> i'm craving fruit loops .

>> we have done a little bit of difference here. but yes, the beak looks like it would be heavy and overpowering for them. but it is very lightweight. scientists don't even know what it is used for, exactly. but i can tell you right now, that cyrano is a great catcher. you can toss cyrano a grape --

>> good luck, cyrano.

>> good catch there.

>> it looks like the beak just snaps on.

>> oh, hey, wow, you gave him a challenge there too.

>> awesome.

>> these guys aren't real strong flyers in the forest. but again, do need the trees in order to survive.

>> are they like parrots?

>> they aren't like parrots. they can't even bite with their beak. it is very gentle.

>> he says, do you have anything for me while you're doing that?

>> we will hand him off now so we can bring out a small primate from the forest of south america .

>> this is for us.

>> this is a critically endanger endangered species here, called a cotton topped cameron. found in one small section of south america , which is called colombia.

>> like this?

>> yeah. because of the loss of the trees in the forest, in the areas where they live, that they can't survive now. so their populationes have declined to less than -- he says, done with that grape. to less than 6,000. so everything that can be done, and people can make a difference. look at that. isn't that cool just to see him fly up there? and basically, they are just so at home in the trees. but without the trees, they can't survive. people can buy sustainably harvested wood and paper products. can you look for stewardship certification to show that it was sustainably harvested and not taken from forests, which are important to wildlife.

>> a member of the monkey family?

>> yes, a primate.

>> okay. we're good, we're good.

>> i think that --

>> the thought of even having to ask that, he is like, now do you think i'm part of the monkey family?

>> that's great.

>> didn't see that coming.

>> a good jumper, that's for sure.

>> thank you so much for bringing these wuflg friends us to. really appreciate it. as always.

>> where is our monkey going?

>> we're going to take a