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Animal road signs from Latin America

If you’re heading away to South or Central America on a holiday or big OE you’ll see signs for animals that we don’t get in New Zealand, plus a few you’ll be familiar with

 sloth-crossing-sign-costa-rica Sloths are one of the slowest moving creatures on the planet. They rarely get more than a few metres per minute, therefore aren’t equipped to jump out of the way of your vehicle. Keep an eye out for them if you see this sign.
 snake-crossing-sign-guatemala This Guatemalan sign warns of snakes on the road. If you do happen to run one over, don’t get out to investigate whether it is dead as it could give you a fatal bite.
monkey-crossing-sign-costa-rica Monkeys can be crossing the road if you see this sign. They may be inquisitive if you stop your car. Look out for them in troops.
 respect-wildlife-sign-argentina You might see this sign in Argentina
 marsupialis-area-sign-columbia-america This is the common opossum, which is widespread from Mexico through to down to the northern parts of South America. It has a huge number of names as you travel around the continent (despite most of the continent speaking Spanish, but it is commonly known as chucha, which you can see on this sign, or by its Latin name, Didelphis Marsupialis:  guazalo, mbicuré cangrejero, zarigüeya cangrejera, runcho, rabipelado (in Venezuela), faro (also in Venezuela), zorro marsupial pelón, zorro cola pelada (in Nicaragua) and zarigüeya común americana.
 coatimundi-crossing-sign-south-guatemala Coatis, also known as coatimundis, Brazilian aardvarks, cholugos and other names, are the size of a large cat and are common from Mexico down to the south of Brazil.
 turkey-crossing-sign-guatemala The Ocellated Turkey is found primarily in the Yucatan Peninsula and is a large bird up to 5kg. It’s found only in Mexico and the northern parts of Belize and Guatemala, and is near-threatened.
 llamas-warning-sign-argentina Llamas are large, primarily domesticated animals related to camels. They’re found in the Andes.
 jaguar-crossing-sign-guatemala Jaguars are found in forested areas and this sign is from Guatemala.
 iguanas-warning-sign-nicaragua Iguanas are native to Mexico and Central America. They can grow up to 1.8m long
 human-dog-sloth-monkey-crossing-costa-rica Sometimes you might see signs with multiple animals, such as this one in Costa Rica shoulding a human, dog, sloth and monkey
 deer-crossing-sign-guatemala Deer can be found in some areas. This is a Guatemalan sign.

Darren is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists and the NZ Motoring Writers' Guild

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