Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Affenberg Salem or Ape Mountain, Salem, Germany.


Affenberg!
If you love nature and animals
what a wonderful place to take the children
and (like my Mac)
your "big kids" at heart.

It was the beginning of an amazingly beautiful Memorial Day
weekend for us Americans in Germany. Mac and I headed for the Bodensee area, otherwise known
as Lake Constance to many other English speaking countries.

We arrived in Affenberg on this glorious Saturday.  We began our tour in the orginal farmyard where you may
purchase food and refreshments.

and sit and watch the storks.

Affenberg is home to a colony of white storks.
These storks return here each Spring and Summer to raise a family.
In Autumn, they migrate back to Africa.

The nests are huge and the storks are very fun to watch and
HEAR.

They make quite a bit of noise clapping their bills together.

video
In this video Mac captured the sounds of the storks clapping their bills together.
They say there are two reasons they clap.
1. To greet their mate on return to their nest.
2. To warn away other storks who may come too close to their nests.


We started the lovely circular walk through Affenberg at the large pond where you can feed the carp.
I recommend you tuck some bread away to feed them
unless you want to buy the fish food.  

After a short walk we arrived in the area that houses the
Barbary Macaques.  After strict warning not to pet them or feed them ANYTHING
other than the special popcorn they provide, we are allowed in to see the monkeys.


These Barbary Macaques often referred to as Barbary Apes are the same
species found in Gibralter.  After a wild visit to Gibralter when our girls were younger,
 where the apes get into your
car to look for food and steal handbags from you to look for food, these
monkeys were a pleasure.

They sat everywhere and waited patiently for you to feed them.
These monkeys live freely in a nearly 50 acre forest  in
Mendlishhauserhof.

We saw some "grooming" techniques.

and some "stretching" your leg techniques.


Mac made friends with his popcorn.

You are advised to put one kernal in your hand at a time and
hold the other popcorn behind your back. Mac learned why firsthand.
One of the apes saw he had a handful of popcorn and reached with his left hand and
held firmly onto Mac's arm.  He wouldn't let Mac's arm go until he'd had ALL
the popcorn.

They were so cute! We were thrilled to hear that as well 
as behavioral studies conducted here that entire groups have been
reintroduced to their native  North Africa.


After leaving the "monkey" enclosure


we followed the circular trail back to the farm yard area.


where you can get up close and personal with
deer.

Being Spring, there were many bird "babies" to see.


We finished our walk back in the farm yard refreshment area
where there is a playground for children.

Mac and I highly recommend this place if you are living here in Europe.

Set your GPS to 88682 Salem, Medlishauserhof

Mac gives this place three thumbs up 
and says
"You'll have a great day out here."