Wild Monkeys Don’t Like Car Rides and Crocodiles Make Bad Guests

Good intentions by Andrea and her husband to help an injured spider monkey were not appreciated by the confused and irritated primate. And a group horse tour is almost ruined by a lost crocodile.

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  • Chris 00:00
    It's amazing how stronger forefoot crocodile is especially when you've only got him on a tiny little thin piece of rope. I wouldn't want to find out how fast they can run but uh, pretty fast, that's for sure.
  • Callie King 00:12
    And you were thinking he's headed to the pool where your horse to our guests are gonna be in about an hour's time exactly taken a nice sweat
  • Chris 00:21
    and a nice swim and eaten fruit and trying to enjoy their jungle experience. But when you take people on jungle experiences, you don't want to introduce them to everything that's cluding forefoot crocodiles, suiting for for crocodiles in a tiny little pond that they're about to begin in.
  • Andrea Wady 00:37
    Jump in with both feet. Go Big. Follow your dreams
  • Callie King 00:41
    grab life by the reins.
  • Andrea Wady 00:43
    This is how we live. We're Callie King and Andrea Wady two horse trainers always looking for adventure
  • Callie King 00:50
    and finding it join us for stories of dangerous travels wild animals, new challenges, and in the end, always learning alongside our magnificent horses. So saddle up and follow along. You're listening to grab life by the reins.
  • Andrea Wady 01:18
    So as many of you know, my husband and I lived in the tropics for a long time. 18 years you're living in Central America. And I think something that I loved so much about living in that environment was the wildlife. I mean, every day we'd see to Cannes, Scarlet macaws, monkeys, so many different things. And I absolutely adored all of them. But sometimes, well, I have some good stories of when they interrupted our working day. So I thought I might share those. But first, what wild animals have you had encounters with?
  • Callie King 01:59
    Well, I did have a pet rattlesnake as a kid. Because he was crawling across the road in front of my parents and I were driving out of our driveway and had just turned on to the county road. And he was there going across the road. So of course we stopped to take a look. Yeah,
  • Andrea Wady 02:16
    of course, a lot of people would have stopped to take a look.
  • Chris 02:20
    Or some people would have stopped to take a look. Most people were driven by. So
  • Andrea Wady 02:25
    we have my husband is in the studio with us today because he's going to be joining us. Yeah, most people would have stopped for a look. But at what point did you think a rattlesnake might make a good pet?
  • Callie King 02:40
    Well, I had a lot of different pets. As a child. I'd had various snakes, usually garter snakes that I had found and captured myself. Of course now I look back and I think poor creatures, but I had found and captured myself. Of course now I look back and I think poor creatures, but I almost would, I would keep them for maybe a week and then I would lose interest in in them. I would turn them loose. So I had snakes. I had turtles, I had salamanders. I had snails. I was always really fascinated by wildlife by any kind of creature. And I suppose that the poor reptiles were the easiest for me to capture normally.
  • Andrea Wady 03:19
    Yeah, that's still a rattlesnake. That's quite a step up from a turtle. I'm just saying, Well,
  • Callie King 03:26
    I had assistance in capturing the rattlesnake, because my parents were quite experienced in handling rattlesnakes. It's not uncommon in different areas of the US that people actually eat snakes and they eat rattlesnakes. And my parents in their travels around the West had spent quite a lot of time eating steaks, they would go out rattlesnake hunting, and they would, they would harvest snakes and they would eat them. So naturally, when we saw snake in the road, we decided to stop. I think it wasn't just I of course had an interest in in keeping the snake and watching him and learning more about him. But my parents were definitely on board.
  • Andrea Wady 04:09
    I've got a horrible feeling. I know how this story's gonna end. God, did you eat the snake?
  • Callie King 04:17
    In the end we ate this
  • Andrea Wady 04:22
    oh my god. So you keep set the snake. And then you atom.
  • Callie King 04:27
    Yeah. Right. Now for our listeners these days. I won't claim to be purely vegetarian, but I I meet on on special occasions and I actually really believe in eating. Even when I do eat meat. I like to know where the source is. And at least for me, personally, I ethically feel better about eating a creature that's had a full life like a wild snake. More than eating a farm Sugar or I should say, industrially raised. Yeah. Chicken or, or enough?
  • Andrea Wady 05:06
    Well, and actually, Chris is probably the best one to talk about this. But I can remember encounters in Costa Rica with certain animals that some countries do eat. Crocodile, Costa encounters in Costa Rica with certain animals that some countries do eat. Crocodile, Costa Rica, you don't eat them, they're protected. But we used to run the horse tour business in Costa Rica a long time ago. And there was one day in particular that I turned up, and the horses weren't ready things weren't ready, my husband looked very harassed. And well, I'm gonna let him tell the story. Let's bring Chris back in, he can tell the story about how a crocodile disrupted our day. But the nice thing is, it doesn't end in us eating it.
  • Chris 05:53
    No, no, there was no eating crocodiles going on. So basically, I used to get to the farm long before Andrea did when she was collecting lions. And this particular day I come in we had a chap who worked for a Subaru and horses and saddle them up and one thing or another and everything was running beautifully to plan as per usual. So everything's going great. We used to ride clients to to a waterfall and get him in the waterfall feeds and fresh food and drinks and, and all these kind of things. So obviously, it's in a jungle. So he would go out first, he'd rake all the leaves out the way and make sure it's all clean and tidy and how it should be presented. So he comes screaming in way too early on the ATV, the ATVs popping and tanking because he's just read for the behinds off of it. And and he's only wide eyed. And I'm like, what and what the hell's going on? And he's like, okay, so I got that. I got that. I got that. And he's like screaming at me. And my Spanish was not 100% And I'm thinking he's saying the cat, the cat, the cat, because the cat is gapped up. So he's going look at that. I gotta, I gotta and I'm like, the cat, the cat. And he goes, No, look at the alarm. Like, I don't understand it with that. He's frantically waving at me saying Come, come, come, come. So I'm okay. Okay. Okay, so anyway, so So I jump in the car. And and he rubs off on the ATV. So we go off into the middle of the farm now, to set the scene at the entrance of the farm. There's a fairly fairly large river, there's no there's no crocodiles in it. There's there's rumors that they have been seen in the past from time to time. It's way too far inland, way too shallow. And then other than that, there's no there's nothing short of a little tiny stream which, which is where our waterfall came from, but certainly not crocodile territory. So we're driving on through the middle of the farm. And I'm probably now about a good two miles away from the river. Right in the middle of the farm, right where where the horse stall is going to come through. And all of a sudden, I'm understanding the cattle term, because there is a crocodile heading our way, coming out of the middle of farm. And he's just walking right on down the middle of the road, right up where we're going to be riding horses with eight clients in about the next half an hour. And yeah, surprise is not really the word because where he's come from, there's no water in that direction for three or four miles. So what he's doing out there I have no idea. So anyway, I got to sort this situation out, is this crocodile is crocodiles, probably about four feet long, they're about so I would say not that heavy, young and life and very quick moving. And he's either if you see crocodiles, when they walk, they lift themselves right up off the ground, and they've got a certain swagger about them. They look pretty menacing to be fair. And he's heading towards where my horses are. And off to the right hand side of where he is, is this the pool where we take everyone to get him into the waterfall. And I'm thinking this is a pretty bad situation. Not the kind of situation that you're brought up in England to to encounter or know how to deal with so anyway, we got to get on. Thankfully, in my car, I got a length of rope and I had on the backseat. I had a like a throw like a like a like a blanket kind of thing. So I'm like, right, I need to try and get a noose around his neck. I need to try and get a hold of this thing. Because I can't just let him be striding around out here when the horses come by.
  • Callie King 09:33
    Have you watched any like crocodile like Crocodile Dundee?
  • Chris 09:38
    Well, it was Crocodile Dundee so
  • Callie King 09:39
    you had some? So I had some idea
  • Chris 09:43
    I'd seen Menai the animal welfare people in Costa Rica I'd seen them relocating crocodiles that were in in in in dangerous places. But these were big Crockett. Yeah, they were massive, massive, massive crocodiles. And and I'd seen that they're tied them out shot and And they generally had put a put a blanket over there or put something over them to double their eyes. And they everyone I'd ever seen was fairly quiet. So I'm thinking, Well, I've just got to get on and do this thing. Now this thing still got a good set of teeth and a good jaw on it. So I'm I'm properly wetting myself here. Basically, I tie a slip knot in the end of a piece of rope. And I get myself a broom handle as some kind of defense to this thing. And he's just sitting there looking at me as I'm walking up to him. And I'm thinking and I know they move quick. These little live ones, they move really quick.
  • Andrea Wady 10:34
    They can run really quite fast on the ground. They can Yeah,
  • Chris 10:38
    they can. Yeah, I wouldn't want to find out how fast they can run but uh, pretty fast. That's for sure.
  • Callie King 10:42
    You were thinking he's been he's headed to the pool, where your horse to our guests are gonna be in about an hour's time exactly taken a nice sweat, I
  • Chris 10:52
    get a nice swim and eating fruit and trying to enjoy their jungle experience. But when you take people on jungle experiences, there's not you don't want to introduce them to everything that you want them to see the monkeys and the toucans and the sloths and you know the you know the Scarlet macaws, but you don't need them to see certain aspects of the jungle shall we say cluding forefoot cracking our clothing for for crocodiles in a tiny little pond, but they're about to begin. So I managed to slip the knot, I managed to slip the thing over his head. And so of course, as soon as I slip the slip knot over his head, he starts to go nuts. Now thankfully, he's not going nuts coming at me. He's going nuts trying to get away from me. But it's amazing how stronger forefoot crocodile is, especially when you've only got him on a tiny little thin piece of rope. And I'm trying to hold him like I'm fishing a shark or something. And he's given it beings. He ended up dragging me to a ditch and he jumped down into the ditch. Now this ditch leads to the stream, which leads up to the poor. So he's going the wrong way for my liking. Anyway, so he's now in this ditch down quite a long way in a narrow little little ditch. And and I'm thinking, what am I going to what can I do with him? So I call I call Douglas, my worker and he pulls the blanket out the back of the car and I'm thinking if I throw a blanket over him, he might go quiet. So I throw a blanket over him. And sure enough, he goes dead still. And I'm thinking right. So this little Englishman here has to climb in a ditch in Costa Rica with a forefoot crocodile and somehow get him out. And I'm thinking, yeah, today's not going quite how I want it to go. So anyway, I throw it in, jumped down on him. pin him down like a sore and Crocodile Dundee.
  • Callie King 12:37
    So did you when you threw the blanket on him. He went quiet right away.
  • Chris 12:41
    He went quiet right away. It's literally like someone turn the lights up. And he went dead still. So I climbed down into the ditch super, super cautiously super, super from the back end, obviously. And so basically came up on him, stuck my hand on the back of his neck, and sat on him. And he didn't really fight he gave a little bit of a wiggle, but he didn't really give an awful lot of a fight. So then I've still got this bit of rope and and I'm basically trying to use the rope that's around his neck to wrap the blanket around his nose and to tie his mouth shut. So I did the very best that I possibly could. And he was being pretty compliant. So I'm thinking
  • Andrea Wady 13:19
    and you're such an animal lover like you don't want to hurt him. I don't want him to bite your arm.
  • Chris 13:25
    He Yeah, equally. I don't want to hurt him. I don't want him to hurt me. But we he has to leave. Yeah, this situation has to be resolved quickly because I know that minibus has less has left Hakko and is heading our way full of clients as I'm talking. And all of the horses are not ready to go riding yet they we still got a few things to do. So I jump on in my time as best I can. And I scoop him up under my arm. And I climb out of the ditch with a crocodile under my arm.
  • Callie King 13:57
    Well, how much does a four foot crocodile way though? I
  • Andrea Wady 14:00
    was just gonna ask that. How heavy was he? I don't think I've ever asked you.
  • Chris 14:03
    I can't. I can't put a weight on it. He was he was heavy enough that I knew that I was picking him up but it wasn't breaking my back. Yeah, he's a fair. He's a fair weight. But but not anything too bad. And he was a deadweight because he was not. He was not wriggling, thankfully. So I come on out Douglas runs around the back and grabs his tail. And we're walking towards the car just at this point, our guide shows up who's obviously showed up to help us with a tour and she's wondered where everybody is because there's a bunch of horses and no one around and not everything's finished. So she's come driving into the farm to make sure everything's all right. And she pulled the telephone out and took the most epic photograph that I think I possess of me holding this crocodile under my arm and from the front. I hadn't seen the blanket at all come on tide. And he's just draped around his nose. And just looking over the over my shoulder from behind is Douglas who Here's the biggest laughing face on his entire life because he's at the blunt end. And I'm at the front end, and you can see how stressed My face is. He was just laughing. He was laughing so hard. And I'm like, Yeah, sir, I've you laughs and you're, you're at the back end, I'm at the front end, and I didn't know that then it'll come untied around his nose either. So anyway, thankfully, if you need to catch crocodile put a blanket over it. So I get into my car, I had a rav4. I did Toyota rav4. They don't exactly have the biggest trunk in the world. Not a crocodile care. Not not really a crocodile carrier. But anyhow, I got a four foot crocodile in the trunk of my rav4 and slammed the door on it. Basically, I drove him back to the front of the farm because I'm thinking now what do I do with him, I'm going to leave him in my car. So I drove him back to the thing and I thought I'm going to let him go in the big river because I'm trying to be as kind to him as I can. I don't want to upset his day. I don't want him to you know, I don't want to cause him any harm. So I carry him down to the river. And I put him down on the bank. And I am now considering how on earth you get the slipknot off from around his neck when he got a blanket over his head. Because you're gonna take the blanket off to get the slipknot off and I'm thinking I'll know anyway, I devised this little bent bit of stick and one thing and other took the blanket off and and I was trying to hit with a corner bit of a stick and loosened it off around his neck and ended fight and then tighten up again. And so did this three or four times eventually got it loose. Slip the thing off of this thing pulled the blanket off of his eyes and wash off he goes into the river. Just as he goes wash into the river. I look up to the other side of the river which is where the road comes into the farm. And I can see many Bosco paths with Andrea in it and eight clients. Now, Costa Rica is pretty hot, pretty, pretty, pretty humid. The sweat is running off of me. I've got my work gear on my nice smart t shirt which is now absolutely ringing wet and covered in mud and grime. And one thing another.
  • Andrea Wady 16:55
    You did look pretty disheveled when I pulled in.
  • Chris 16:59
    Well, yeah, there's no kidding there because I literally made it off the riverbank just about walking back into the entrance of the farm. minibus rolls in. And I see Andrea clock me out the window and she drives on in and they stop and park up and as they get out, Andrew can see that everything isn't ready to go. And
  • Andrea Wady 17:17
    I ran a really tight ship a really tight shirt, you know, attention to detail. Some might call it slightly Angel, but I'm proud of it. We ran a great business. And I arrive and it's just not ready. And I'm like what the hell? They've been messing around. They've probably been climbing a tree or doing something. And yeah, I wasn't best pleased.
  • Chris 17:40
    Well, she was giving me daggers literally she was staring me down. Going. What the hell have you been doing? Like in a proper like angry tone, which
  • Andrea Wady 17:52
    is unusual. We don't fight it's not we're not those people not
  • Chris 17:56
    at all. And I'm and she's got clients right behind her. So I'm going Hey, everybody, welcome. If you want to bring yourself over to here, we'll get you're signed in a big smile on my face, sweat dripping off my nose. I love that and as soon as the clients will pass and I'm like, I'll tell you later and made no more mention of it. So anyway, Andrew goes and signs the clients in one thing and another I go and finish up packing up horses were running around like blue ASPI lines and get everyone loaded up and out she rides off to a lovely clean water fall in clear order no crocodile and and it wasn't until she came back that she that I actually told her that I'd captured a four foot crocodile right in the middle of the path that she was about to be writing up. And yeah, and I must admit, we got home that night, and we were looking at each other going. I can't make this shit up Kenya.
  • Callie King 18:53
    So what did you think after you heard were you did you feel really impressed that your husband was a crocodile Wrangler?
  • Andrea Wady 18:58
    Yeah, completely, but also just not remotely surprised or shocked? Because customers would Yeah, completely, but also just not remotely surprised or shocked? Because customers would just throw incredible curveballs. I mean, do you remember Chris the day we were rescued a spider monkey off the road and I had to drive you to the vet with a spider monkey. Also with a blanket over it's in the same blanket. And I remember driving the car and looking in the rearview mirror and going. This is Monday morning. My knife is so awesome, that I'm not you know, sat in traffic in England somewhere going to an office job. Here I am. In a car. My husband's on the backseat with a spider monkey on his lap. And I'm telling him this going oh, this is this is amazing.
  • Chris 19:45
    And basically, this spider monkey again. Basically, he'd been shocked by the electric cables from across the road. It landed in the road as I'd come along and found him so I'd rung Andrea and said you're going to have to come here and help me catch a spider monkey I was in a different car, I didn't have a blanket because I knew blankets work and these kinds of things, apparently, so. So so you're going to come out and have to bring me a blanket. So she comes on out. We eventually catch the monkey because even though he was hurt, I think he turned out I think it turned out he had a broken hip, but he could still move around quite quite well. He was pretty agile. And he also had to chase him into the bushes. And one thing that that we had to catch him so so we caught him got the blanket over him, I bundled him up the best I can. It's not a it's not an exact science wrapping up wrapping wrapping of spider monkey. In a blanket. It's kind of a make the best of a bad situation kind of wrap up.
  • Callie King 20:37
    There's no YouTube video for how to wrap a spider monkey No,
  • Chris 20:41
    never seen it. And by the way, I'm not going to make one either, because halfway in to Hakko, Andrea is having this all dreamy. Oh, it's amazing living here, you can't make this up. And as I'm doing that, an arm comes out from underneath have wrapped a blanket. And this arm is probably longer than my arm. And it comes around and it literally wraps around the top of my head and grabs my ear on the opposite side. And he's pulling on my ear. And I'm sitting in the back and Andrews gain Oh, you wouldn't least be not in England. And I'm looking at Andrew with these wide eyes going. Can you just floor it, please. And I'm trying to wrestle this arm and get it back in underneath the blanket. And as I'm getting it back into the blanket, he started biting my other arm through the blanket. And I'm literally I mean wrestling wrestling a monkey in a blanket for about a 10 minute car ride.
  • Andrea Wady 21:34
    I mean, that's a fun Monday morning as far as I'm concerned. And then do you remember we got into the vet, and the vet decide no problem sedated him immediately. And then I just had this moment where I felt like we bonded me in the monkey. And I was saying to him, you know, you're going to be okay, we're going to make sure you get to go back with your family. Everything will be okay, which did work out that way. But he kind of as I was saying this to me held his hand out to me and I thought oh, this is so touching. He wants to hold my hand. So I grabbed his hand and he just dragged my finger right to his mouth, he would have put my finger off.
  • Chris 22:16
    Yeah. And they got big fangs.
  • Andrea Wady 22:18
    They weren't so strong. And the vet was just like, What possessed you too. And I was like, I thought he wanted me to hold his hand. She was like, no, just don't Don't.
  • Chris 22:32
    Don't do that. We were doing the very best we can. But we were at the end of the day, like brought up in the UK. And living in a jungle and as much as experience teaches you things there are certain things that just instinctively they're just they don't fit.
  • Andrea Wady 22:48
    Yeah. No. Anyway, that was our life with, you know, some of the crazy stories with wildlife. And actually, there's so many more. There's so so many more. And I was just thinking of you with your rattlesnake. And I do remember watching a snake grabbed a frog on the forecourt of where we did we had the stables and it was a garden snake or what I can't remember what they called them vine snakes bright green, beautiful. So this snake just shot out grabbed this frog but only got his head and front legs in his mouth. And it was hilarious. Bless
  • Chris 23:27
    him the frog was given a good fight because he was literally leaping up and down taking half of half the snake with it. Because he had his massive back legs hanging out either side and every time the snake's head landed back on the ground again the frog went fine and literally was bouncing backwards and forwards with this snake hanging on to him for all he was worth. But the front one the front one in the way yeah he got away he got
  • Andrea Wady 23:53
    away yeah, he got away. I always
  • Callie King 23:56
    root for them to get away 100%
  • Chris 23:59
    Or you always root for the underdog? Yeah,
  • Callie King 24:01
    I mean, I know there's the cycle of life and all that but you still got to root for them to get
  • Andrea Wady 24:04
    away. 100% Yeah, anytime. Do you not have many wild animals where you are in Mexico? When
  • Callie King 24:12
    I think wildlife I think big things in like Colorado. We saw bear all the time. We had mountain lion. We had coyotes. We had deer, elk, all the all the big things. But if I go the other spectrum, there's tons of wildlife. I swear we have every species of ant in my kitchen. Large and small. Yeah. There's scorpions in the house on the regular. The worst is when they are on the towel and you forget to shake out your towel and you wrap your towel and so there's a scorpion running down your leg. Yeah,
  • Andrea Wady 24:48
    have you been stung yet? Now? Yeah, that hurts. No,
  • Callie King 24:53
    not yet. And we do have snakes. Luckily there's not the dangerous ones or not Common, but there is a snake that has a home somewhere around my house. And one day I was rushing to leave and I was rushing out and went to grab the door that is like you know exits kind of the little patio area that we have. And there was this gigantic five foot snake just laid out sunning himself in front of the door. Oh, it's always I like snakes, but it's always a bit of a surprise. Yeah,
  • Andrea Wady 25:25
    and if he knew your history, he'd probably go next door.
  • Chris 25:29
    You like snakes just a little bit too much.
  • Callie King 25:32
    I think he had more to fear.
  • Andrea Wady 25:34
    So you better look out for rattlesnakes in your bed tonight, you guys, we're gonna have to draw this to a close. It's been so much fun and you know don't have nightmares. For every crazy animal story that we have. We have so many.
  • Chris 25:51
    There's a lovely fluffy bunny story.
  • Callie King 25:54
  • Callie King 26:03
    I want to hear this fluffy bunnies.
  • Andrea Wady 26:07
    Guys, thank you so much for listening. We hope you don't give you nightmares. There's lots of really good animal stories. But you know, that was our life. And it was exciting.
  • Callie King 26:18
    Check your trails, check your swimming holes, check your towels.
  • Andrea Wady 26:22
    And we hope you can join us next week for more stories more sharing and more grabbing life by the reins. Thank you so much.
  • Chris 26:31
    Thanks, guys. Thanks, guys.
  • Callie King 26:35
    Thank you for listening to grab life by the reins. If you want to see ridiculous photos from our adventures be the first to know when we release new episodes and be a part of war shenanigans. Join our email family at grab life by the reins.com.
  • Andrea Wady 26:51
    We'll see you in the next program.