August 2022 Newsletter

August was a month of many moments, both big and small, so when we take a step back and look at the big picture, a lot has been packed into 30 days and nights. Releases, rereleased, finished construction projects, game nights and oh-so-cold nights. Here’s a peek into an action-packed August at Esperanza Verde.


The young male spider monkeys, Miyo, Alessi and Ashuke, are exploring the outside world more confidently, Eros and Amora, two chestnut eared aracaris, seem to have caught each other’s attention and Diego and Grety, the male and female margay, have moved into their new home.

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The three youngsters Alessi, Ashuke and Miyo (juvenile male spider monkeys)explore the outside world more confidently, our volunteers are working diligently to discourage them from seeking human contact. They still spend nights in their enclosure (Lulu), but during the day they’re free to roam around and find their way.

Love is in the aracari… Eros and Amora (male and female chesnut eared aracari) have been spending more quality time together. Twice a day a volunteer brings Amora into Eros’ enclosure and they seem to be hitting it off. We’re hoping once Eros’ feathers grow back and we put him in the main Elmo enclosure, that he’ll share with macaws, Amora will be an ally and he’ll finally be a part of a group (yay, friends!).

The female and male margays, Grety and Diego have moved into their brand-new enclosure! With more space to play, explore and hide from each other (everyone needs some alone time), we want to say a huge thank you to the Susy Utzinger Foundation for funding their new space. And of course, to the whole team who worked tirelessly to bring it to life. Watch the beautiful video made by our Dutch volunteer Anna.


SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Otis (male night monkey) has finally moved out of the clinic after a long stay, yellow spotted river turtles were weighed, and all the outside woollies and capuchins got (delicious)deworming treatment.

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Otis’ knee has been giving him a lot of trouble and for a long time his odds were stacked against him. Treatment after treatment and pinched by many veterinarians and others, this month his recovery took a miraculous turn. His wound closed up nicely and his strength is being built up, day by day. Soon we’ll be able to release him and watch him (from a distance) enjoying a free life again (finally!) in the jungle.

As the big pond in the reptile enclosure was being cleaned and refilled, we took the chance to weigh the yellow spotted river turtles and administer parasite (deworming) medicine to them all. The heaviest one was… Smoothie, coming in at a healthy and impressive 9,890g! Well done to the volunteer who carried Smoothie all the way up to the clinic… and back down again.

We regularly give all the outside woollies and capuchins medicine, trying to keep the always returning parasite P. Elegans under control, and Alexandra (adult female homo sapiens) did a great job finding each and every one of them (there are a lot of good hiding spots in the Amazon).



As long as there are animals, there are construction projects. With the margay enclosure finished, we’ve set our eyes on our next project – a front cage for La Sapa.

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Everyone loves a big enclosure, except for a volunteer looking for animal poop. We’re adding a front enclosure to La Sapa to make feeding and cleaning easier and safer for volunteers. It also let’s us clean the main enclosure more thoroughly by having a space where Yanamayo, Selda (male and female capuchin monkeys), Moyo and Kamayo (male woolly monkeys) can be kept safely away from whoever is cleaning. It’s a win-win.

Bridges have been painted, clips have been replaced, holes have been fixed (Biko (sneaky adult male capuchin) managed to get into the volunteer house twice, before we realised there was a hole in the attic). As volunteer numbers drop, caring for the animals becomes our priority, but Douwe and the team always have another project on their mind.


Volunteer life

The zombie apocalypse has arrived to the jungle… or is it Manager Alex… on a cold morning… transformed into a walking blanket? … yup. The Amazon jungle isn’t always hot hot hot, we had a couple of 10C mornings after some surprising rainfall. But as the sun rises, enclosures get cleaned and buckets carried – all the volunteers start working up sweat and beg for the cold to come back.

Isis and Anna (two Dutch volunteers) hosted a game night with challenges, a display of secret skills and plenty of prizes at stake. Everyone’s game faces were on as the night took off!

A special thanks to Anna Gruyters, for providing us with so many beautiful photos and making great videos. Two of the videos (ocelots and margays) are already to be enjoyed, and others will be coming…..

As August comes to an end, we’re looking forward to welcoming a new group of volunteers – if you know anyone who might be interested, send them our way.

Hasta luego!