Why a book about a tamandua or lesser anteater? We make an important contribution to the balance of nature but are seldom seen or appreciated. We have remarkable tree-climbing abilities, being able to walk straight down a tree trunk, anchored by our prehensile tails and sharp claws. We eat termites and ants, thus benefitting you humans. We harm no one and are key to the natural environments. I want you to know me. - Tammy Tamandua
Nick Katris saw the tamandua climbing and descending a tree at Observatory Lodge. Nick, Luis, and I started photographing with our long lenses. Of course, I snapped constantly as I adore tamanduas, and I have only seen five. I had seen another on the ground at Observatory.
Do Costa Ricans enjoy wildlife? A local guide, Andy, on the Osa Peninsula stopped the car when he spotted a tamandua eating termites in a tree. I immediately started taking photos like mad. When the tamandua finally disappeared, I lowered my camera and got a surprise. I was in the midst of 20 or 30 Costa Ricans, all watching, photographing, or using binoculars. They had all parked and gotten out to see the tamandua. I was so absorbed in my work that I had heard nothing.
It is important that everyone help wildlife to survive and that as many as possible enjoy seeing, while not disturbing, wild creatures.
What do I know about wildlife? I have watched and photographed it since I was a small child. I have visited most Spanish-speaking countries during my vacations from teaching Spanish. My first trip to Costa Rica was in 1970. My philosophy of life is to entertain as well as to educate others and to promote conservation. I want everyone to be able to see and to appreciate nature and wildlife; therefore, I write photographic books. Most books describe animals and birds. I want you to see everything I can see while I travel so that you can understand as much as possible how creatures live, what they eat, how they move, and what they do where they are visible.
I chose Spanish-speaking countries for two reasons. First, I speak the language and photographed everything I could for many years for my students to see as they learned the language. To communicate successfully with people of other countries, you need to understand their customs and culture as well as their language. Second, people are familiar with huge African and Asian animals. Unfortunately, little attention has been paid to the wealth of Latin American wildlife; I am trying to do my bit to help remedy the lack. While my books are written for children, I hope adults too will enjoy the photographs and humor expressed in them. - Carol Creager