No one warned me of the dangers lurking within the jungle around Iguazu Falls. I was hungry and thirsty, desiring a much-needed break. We stopped to satisfy my cravings. I craved an empanada and a coke. Upon purchasing these two treats, I came back to my table, still unaware of the danger gathering in front of me.
The Set Up
Below the table, the coati gang organized itself. They come out of the jungle and only obey its laws. Coatis don’t care about money or cameras. In fact, they don’t know what these are. Food is their goal. These racoon wannabes profited from the errors of these strange beasts eating and drinking in front of them. Many commented on the cute gang members with their hidden agenda.
Normally, I’m careful. I’ve never been robbed or attacked in over ten years of travel. I placed the bag with my chicken empanada on the table and opened the coke. Thirst was a priority in the 29-degree heat. Suddenly, as I took a welcome sip of the refreshing coke, the coatis went into action, leaping on the table and ripping my bag apart. They fought each other for the prize, my delectable empanada while I looked shocked at the sudden demise of my lunch.
I put the coke down, my hand resting on the table, still shocked and surprised by what has just occurred. Suddenly, the gang leader looked at me, walked forward and scratched my middle finger. Rabies I thought. Is the skin broken? Will I have a painful regime of shots?
On examination of the finger, relief, no broken skin. I placed a napkin on it to make sure there was no blood but found none — relief. People approached me wanting to help. One lady sprayed disinfectant on my finger. I thought everything was fine, one less empanada and a minor scratch. But in Argentina, doctors must examine animal scratches. Fortunately, I could do this just before I left the park.
I soon returned to the store, bought another chicken empanada and ate it before going outside and returning to the rainbows, the falls and the coitis.
Iguazu Falls’s location