Another fantastic month at Esperanza Verde and it is hard to believe half of the year is behind us already. Covid-19 cases continue to escalate within Peru and although country wide restrictions are being eased slightly EV maintains strict policies ensuring the health and wellbeing of all in their care, be it animals, volunteers and staff.
Rumani, the male crab eating raccoon, recovered well from a leg injury in the Pepe enclosure, and could be released again. He is able to climb and walk very well and we are happy to see him exploring in the outside world again. He has been seen since occasionally coming to feed on the food placed out for him at night by volunteers.
Kapa (female Paca) was also released this month, after she fully recovered from her little scrap with the outside world. Kapa really seems to embrace her freedom and is often not seen for days at a time. When she arrives, she can generally expect someone to run to the bodega to get her some food.
Freedom is not always appreciated. A point proven by Kiko (male kinkajou) who after being allowed out earlier this month, far prefers the comfort and service provided within his enclosure. And when he finally decided to go out to explore the outside world again, within days he had an encounter with a wild male. Luckily, he got away with only some scratches and we believe it will all settle soon outside again between them as it has before.
Kassai, the young male tamandua, was very young when he came to us several months ago. He is doing very well under the intensive care at the family house. He is getting a little more independent and is exploring the outside world bit by bit so Douwe has started to build a small outside cage for him. Not only will this be another step for Kassai in his process of rehabilitation, it will also be nice to get his strong odour out of the house. Again it proves a wild animal should never be held as a pet!!
A beautiful relationship had been growing between Lupa, one of our female woollies, and Alaya, our young and wildish red howler monkey. Lately Alaya chose to stay with Lupa during the night instead of sleeping inside with the howler boys. Unfortunately while following Lupa, she came too close to one of our peccaries. Even a warning bite of a peccary can prove to do enough damage and we had to put Alaya to sleep. We are working hard to find the perfect solution to avoid the monkeys from coming too close to the peccaries.
June was a busy month for the yellow footed tortoises. They were all being located, measured, photographed and treated for parasites. This is always a volunteer favourite as being able to interact with the animals on any level is always a highlight. The three recent arrivals which had been still quarantined were now ready to join the rest, but not before they were given swimming trials to ensure they all had the ability to exit the pond unassisted. All three completed successfully and now reside with the other 17 tortoises in the Reptile enclosure.
Momo (yellow footed tortoise), who escaped a few months ago after rain had created an outlet within Rincay enclosure, was found again just outside his old enclosure. After weighing and treating he was returned to Rincay enclosure. The fear of leaving him outside is that a nearly ten kilogram tortoise which is not afraid of humans is a welcome addition to many tables within rural Peru.
SUST Animal Orphan Hospital
Casha (female porcupine) has been moved to the outside enclosure Araña. She will remain for a few more weeks to ensure all is well with her health. Finally after a long period of intensive care she has gained weight, which is always a good sign in wild animals following treatment.
One day Douwe returned from the village with Lumisha (Humbolts female woolly monkey). She was a pet for two months with a family, which originally were planning to eat her. When she was caught she broke her wrist and had damage from a bullet in one of her legs. These injuries healed, and don’t seem to bother her that much. Lumisha is approximately 12 months old and has not had a lot of contact with humans. After her quarantine period in the SUSTOAH and a short stay in an outside enclosure, Lumisha will be a welcome addition to the outside monkeys roaming freely around EV. She already gets a lot of attention from the outside females Chiquita and Samara.
Another animal we got from the village was a young agouti male thought to be less than one month old. Pisco had lived with one of the local families for nearly two of those weeks and was not in great shape on his arrival, only being able to use one side of his body. After a few weeks of special care within the family house, Pisco moved to the SUSTOAH where he now has full motor function and is gaining weight and confidence as expected.
The honour of being the first animal delivered from the ministry since lockdown went to Anishka (Neotropical river otter).With an age of approximately 6 weeks she is the latest animal that joined the ever expanding family of animals at EV, and another animal enjoying the one on one attention of living within the family house. With such a young otter still finding its feet and learning the nuances of survival, having the close supervision of Olivia, Douwe and family is just another important step on the road to independence.
Construction and other
Quarantine is close to be completed, requiring a few minor touches before being signed off as another successful EV construction project. Painting will be completed once travel becomes available for shopping, after Covid lockdown.
The additional toilet being added to the volunteer house has come ahead in leaps and bounds with new drainage, a new cement access way and a new floor laid. The next step will be to enclose the area, but this will wait until timber is available post lockdown.
After many days of erecting poles and tying wire in the beautiful hot sun by workers and volunteers alike, Lucia enclosure nears completion with the only requirements being a cement floor in the front cage and a cement footing to ensure enclosure security.
June saw two more volunteers leave Esperanza Verde. Thanks to the help of several embassies and Lauren in the UK, we could help secure travel arrangements and ensure safety on their trips. Due to the current travel restrictions all volunteers currently onsite are long term volunteers and any ‘loss’ is felt in so many ways by the team that remains. We wish both Zack and Emile well on the closure of this adventure and the beginning of their latest undertakings. Volunteer numbers now reside at six, and with assistance from both Douwe and Olivia, all processes and feeding continue as normal.
San Juan, a local celebration of a saint took place this month, all of the volunteers were treated to an event down at the EV waterfall, where lunch was supplied and is representative of the head of the saint. A great time was had by all, and the perfect weather and company made for a very pleasant atmosphere.