Sad-eyed Monkey in Cage

A sad-eyed monkey in a cage frets nervously and moves back and forth, anxiety written in all its behavior. The pitiable creature is one of many in the “mini zoo” at the badly mis-described eco lodge Maloka.

At the end of a lane of raucous bars in the Yarinacocha district of Peru’s Amazon river city of Pucallpa, whose pounding disco music shakes the ground all night, Maloka is more Mad Max than Amazon. There you can have your disco, your shamanic ceremonies at night, a large buffet, and a shower, all within easy reach of vast swaths of human poverty and suffering. Welcome to what was once the greatest rainforest on earth, where savage destruction is the rule, where reason has long vacated the scene, and where devastation is simply the order of the day.

Read Disappearing Resources of the Amazon, by Chris Kilham.