July 2023 Newsletter

The scorching dry season is in full swing and with rare rainy occasions, we’re lucky ducks thanks to the cooling river and waterfall. Ready to read about spontaneous solutions, never-before-cared-for-animals,…

June 2023 Newsletter

Getting tortoises ready for release, enclosure maintenance, intensive care of monkeys, enrichment for animals and human life…….and still time for celebrations! Animals Maiko and Daytona Maiko and Daytona Maiko outside…

May 2023 Newsletter

Cabbage, lettuce, spinach and various foliage was in high demand this month… Why you ask? Well, it involves a lot of moving, releasing, and the arrival of the Ministy of…

April 2023 Newsletter

Lots of changes with animals and people, some happy, others sad…. It is all what is to be expected working with so many rescue animals. We might wish from time…

March 2023 Newsletter

New humans and animals brought energy and excitement to our rainy jungle. Some very sad news, a new baby and exciting spotting… March was a mad month. Animals Caiman lizard…

February 2023 Newsletter

Mosquito proof outift We’ve welcomed volunteers from the UK, France, Sweden, Peru, Germany, Russia, Austria and Holland. All here for the animals at Esperanza Verde, accompanied by our beloved friend…

January 2023 Newsletter

Veggies and fruit are collection for the animals Vegetables and fruit scarce at the market Although the political situation in Peru is worrying, things in our region have calmed down…

December 2022 Newsletter

December is a busy month for everyone, and it’s no different at Esperanza Verde (although the “holiday rush” looks quite different in the jungle). While Peru as a country is experiencing a political crisis, we are very lucky and haven’t been affected more than delayed veggie and fruit deliveries. New animals arrived, Sinterklaas was celebrated and Oliebollen were baked – here’s the last month of 2022 for you!

We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who took part in the survey, it was a big help and hopefully you can see some of the changes already!


The very young, yet strong-minded female woolly monkey Moana is coming into her own. As the volunteers take her on leaf walks to introduce her to the rest of the EV residents, she’s not only stuffing her face with tasty greens and fruits. She’s working hard on her climbing skills and doing well – becoming more independent and stronger – atta girl! 

Another young one making progress is Tammo (young male peccary). His time at the family house came to an end – he was moved to an enclosure right next to the rest of the peccaries. This way he can have a safe introduction to the whole gang. Hopefully, after a sniff or two, they’ll all get along. 

Just as the dust was settling from last month’s new arrivals, two baby birds, Lino and Mancha, showed up on our muddy jungle doorstep. A local woman found them when they were still eggs and let one of her nesting chickens incubate them until they hatched! Two days later they arrived here, so we couldn’t tell their species. Our guess, along with the woman who brought them in, is that they’re Spix’s Guans… we’ll just have to wait and see!

Olivia went to Pucallpa for Christmas shopping and came home with a few things that weren’t on the list: Ushari, a baby male night monkey, Milo, a juvenile squirrel monkey, Tonga, a baby trumpeter bird and 5 yellow-footed tortoises. All were rescued by the ministry of Fauna and Flora and even though we were (and still are) low on volunteers and doing overtime with all the baby animals, the holiday spirit was too strong and Olivia’s heart too big. Say welcome to the newest arrivals!

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Kulua, the common potoo, has been eating her crickets faster than you can imagine. The volunteers go out to the plantation every day to catch enough crickets to still her hunger. To encourage her to start flying, we moved her to a bigger enclosure where she can spread her wings and practice some flying. 

Ludo the young male kinkajou was feeling sick, and his future was a little unsure. Luckily, he got better due to our vet Ligia’s care and Douwe’s vigilant eye. He’s been doing so well that we moved him to an outside enclosure to explore and get him one step closer to release.

Daenarys, one of the mealy parrots got a foot injury. Her recovery was quick, but as she seemed to enjoy our company, and we couldn’t get enough of her either, we let her for a few more days in the clinic, before bringing her back to her outside enclosure.

Sayani, one of the few survivors of the group of orange-winged parrots arriving several years ago with a serious fungus infection, causing the loss of one of her eyes – suffered an accident. One of the outside capuchins was able to grab one of her legs through the mesh. Along with her poor sight, she now has to deal with a broken leg as well. Sayani has proven to be a tough cookie though and with her flying ability intact, we believe she’ll overcome this injury too.

Hano and Gado (cobalt-winged parakeets) were moved to an outside enclosure, joining the other cobalt-winged parakeets (Nilo, Silo and Omar) and the three blue-headed parrots Athena, Ares and Zeus. It’s quite the blue crew! Here they can learn to spread their wings and become more independent. 


A huge thank you to the generous donation of Kai Bakker and Jonas Ruyter, founders of Datasnipper for funding the new Loki enclosure. The first poles have been put into the ground and soon the big monkeys from the La Sapa enclosure will be able to move in. This is a big project we are taking on to improve the life of the animals that live here. 

Volunteer life

With the Holidays on their way, we sadly had to say goodbye to our videographer Anna Gruyters. We can’t thank you enough for all your hard work and dedication. We look forward to seeing all your future films and appreciate all the amazing ones you’ve made for us, her latest: https://fb.watch/hIh-kXZ0kD/

Sometimes you run into the most amazing animals at the most unexpected moment. As volunteers were on their way to the family house, they saw a wild two-toed sloth. Spotting this animal is on the bucket list of many volunteers, and this lot got lucky! Then another one was spotted at the waterfall! Another reason to never say no to a night walk. 

Cool things happen around the clock, that’s why Machico at times offers to take volunteers on a forest walk. He knows the area like the back of his hands and on a walk with him, you’ll learn about trees, look for animals and learn all about them and their sounds.

Despite the turbulent protests going on in Peru, life at EV has thankfully been calm and safe. Well, we‘ve had several celebrations, so perhaps calm isn’t the right word…

We celebrated the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas and exchanged presents. Marlon got a hand-made wooden air-hockey table (wonder who made that…), Kayla got her very own board game ‘Kayla’s Kitchen’ and Ligia had to operate on a monkey! We munched on the typically Dutch snacks pepernoten but missed a few as we found the local cockroaches nibbling away at them. 

Christmas was celebrated at the family house with a delicious dinner, presents under the tree and a crackin’ party.

Kayla and Jette made sure the animals didn’t feel left out of the Christmas festivities. They made special animal-friendly Peruvian tamales for all to taste.

All good things must come to an end, so the last day of 2022 was celebrated in style. In local Peruvian tradition, we made a puppet representing all that is old and in the past and burned it at midnight. Creating space for a fresh and clean start to 2023. We can’t wait to save more animals and continue our work, no matter the challenges.

Hasta Luego amigos!

November 2022 Newsletter

We’ve released reptiles, a monkey came, left and came back, new animals arrived and it’s been raining cats and dogs… dive into November’s newsletter and get the latest scoop!

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Last month heaps of reptiles abruptly arrived, but they have just as quickly been released. The 5 caiman lizards, 21 yellow-footed tortoises and 38 mata mata turtles have made it back into their natural habitat. UPA (a Peruvian Animal Charity) and the Ministry of Flora and Fauna arrived for the occasion. With a team of volunteers, veterinarians and management we released the reptiles in several locations. It was a mission-made-possible by a well-equipped clinic (the Susy Utzinger Orphan Animal Hospital), dedicated volunteers and generous donations to keep us up and running. Keep your eyes peeled for a video of this multi-team effort on our Facebook and Instagram, created by none other than Anna Gruyters. 

Morena, the new one-handed adult female woolly monkey, gave us a bit of a scare. After testing the waters in an outside enclosure we released her to join the rest of the monkeys. Two days passed and everything was going swell – until she was gone, nowhere to be found. We feared she might have followed a local on their way to their chagra (plantation) and gotten lost. She was raised by humans, so her instinct is to follow us instead of monkeys. Douwe and Geyler began investigating and asking around, but we didn’t have to wait too long until someone came by to let us know Morena was reaping havoc in their kitchen. Alex, Nick and Marlon set off to bring Morena back and now she’s safe and sound in the clinic. She’s going to need a lot of time in an outside enclosure to truly bond with the rest of the monkey group, but ultimately, it means she’ll be able to live her best monkey life. Free to roam la Selva Dormida, our protected forest.

You ask, and you shall receive – pictures of Yanay (adult female spider monkey) and her baby girl Yayana. Together with Cumala (adult female spider monkey) and Ricuna and Chula (juvenile female spider monkeys) Yayana and Cumba (Cumala’s baby) are well looked after. 

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

We organised a spaying and neutering campaign for the cats and dogs in Bello Horizonte, the local village. Paulina, a passionate and experienced veterinarian from Poland took the lead in the pop-up clinic with the help of Douwe and our resident vet, Ligia. Kayla took care of chatting with the owners, making sure they were all clear on the importance of good after-care. Although puppies and kittens are beyond cute, we organise this to help minimise the number of animals living on the street without owners and proper care. Check out the other amazing campaigns and initiatives organised by the Susy Utzinger Foundation here: https://www.susyutzinger.ch/en/Activities.

While most of the vet team was busy with cats and dogs, Helena, a vet from Germany, has been diving deep into her research on the parasite Prosthenorchis Elegans. With hopes of learning how we can treat future cases more efficiently, we’re glad to have her on the team. 

These past months animals have been arriving from the Ministry left-right-and-centre, and November was no different. 

Chado (juvenile male capuchin) doesn’t seem to have spent too much time in human captivity. He’s passed his quarantine, spent only a short period in a safe outside enclosure and has joined the other monkeys in semi-captivity. Three of our females have already been quick to claim him for themselves, tough life at EV!. 

Ludo (juvenile male kinkajou) is making it very tough to stick to our no-touch policy, but alas, it’s what’s best for this little ball of fur’s future. He has a lot to learn, but don’t we all? 

A common potoo arrived. Now named Kulua thanks to our Instagram followers. A mere fledgling who most likely gave flying a shot a bit too early. The volunteers quickly had to retrain themselves from catching fish for turtles to hunting for grasshoppers. It’s fast fun, but gee are those critters quick. 

Three young black-eared opossums were taken into intensive care by Olivia. Having said goodbye to the tortoises in her home nursery (they were released, don’t worry)… she had more than enough time on her hands to look after the trio. 

Eight yellow-footed tortoises, a dusky-headed parakeet, an orange-winged amazon parrot and seven white-winged parakeets all arrived together after being confiscated. They were on their way to becoming pets or, in the tortoises’ case, food. Luckily they’ve made their way to us and they’ll get to be as wild as they safely can. 


Our EVI team in Europe gave us some excellent news – Puck has found financing to build a bigger, better and more enriching space for the three adult monkeys currently in the La Sapa enclosure. A big thank you to Kai Bakker and Jonas Ruyter, founders of Datasnipper (https://www.datasnipper.com/), for helping us in giving Yanamayo, Selda (adult male and female capuchins) and Moyo (adult male woolly) a home they will surely enjoy. We hope to break ground in December. Seems like Christmas has come early!

Volunteer life

Equipped with strong head torches, a machete or two and Douwe, who knows this jungle like the back of his hand, a group set out for a night walk. During the rainy season the jungle becomes thick and dense, but the trusted guide always magically finds his way back.

This hot month was finished off with a refreshing trip to the local waterfall Regalia. By local, we mean 2 hours away, but in the jungle, that’s about as local as it gets. We said goodbye to the visiting veterinarian Paulina and are getting ready for a busy month with few volunteers. If you’re looking to celebrate your Christmas a bit differently this year, perhaps you’d like to join us? We need all the hands we can get. 

Next time you’ll be hearing from us it will be 2023, so until then, Happy Holidays and an even happier New Year! THANK YOU for your ongoing support during 2022, it means the world to us and the animals. 

Hasta La Proxima amigos!

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October 2022 Newsletter

WOW. This has been the busiest month we’ve had in years. Rammed with reptiles, reptiles, some reptiles, and you guessed it… more reptiles. Get ready for a big, giant update on all the new arrivals and the tough, challenging yet rewarding work we get to do at Esperanza Verde. 

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UPA (a Peruvian Animal Charity) reached out to us with the news that a large group of reptiles had been confiscated at Lima airport, and they wanted to know if we could take them in. Alongside a representative from the Peruvian ministry of Flora and Fauna – Douwe, Dylan (veterinarian and reptile specialist) and Anna (volunteer and professional videographer who made this : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8m1sVTes2Bc) went to Pucallpa Airport to retrieve the scaly, cold-blooded, egg-laying but oh-so-cute creatures. 

Caiman lizards in quarantine
Caiman lizard taking a swim

15 caiman lizards, 26 yellow footed baby tortoises and 38 mata mata turtles arrived at Esperanza Verde. We were prepared and ready, this wasn’t our first rodeo, but the condition of the reptiles caught us off guard, especially the caiman lizards. This specie doesn’t eat when it’s cold and because they spent 1,5 months in chilly Lima before arriving, they were starved and their immune system was compromised. Sadly only five of the original 15 are still alive today. But these five are fighters! Enjoying every single snail the volunteers catch for them to eat (which is their main source of food in the wild).

Thanks to dedicated care from Nick (head volunteer), Douwe and fishing frenzy volunteers the mata mata turtles are doing well. With a steady supply of tiny fish for the tiny turtles our hard work is rewarded watching the mata matas gobble the fish up like vacuum monsters (see for yourself : https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SPh3qbCZS9E).

Most of the yellow footed tortoises weigh under 100g and were seemingly doing fine. But it turns out bacteria and parasites have taken advantage of their weakened immune system. But rest assured, they are being constantly cared for, with the sickest ones staying in a homemade nursery made by Olivia. 

Just as we were getting back into the routine of it all – 211 yellow spotted river turtles arrived – we weren’t lying when we said it’s been a month rammed with reptiles. 

But these turtles were different – 15 days old and ready to be released. They arrived as a part of a conservation project between INNOVA (a local school) and SERNANP (a government organisation). Together with students, parents and officials the turtles were released in the stream that runs through Esperanza Verde. A well-needed beautiful breather amongst the heartache of losing so many animals earlier on in the month. Rescuing animals is hard work, but it pays in moments like these. 

What about the other animals we hear you say… Last month’s newcomer Basco (male capybara) has moved from the quarantine into an enclosure next to fellow resident capybara Bronco (male). They’re still apart, but one step closer to becoming friends (we hope).  

And for those who are curious, Nera’s (female capuchin monkey) baby has been named Nelda and she’s doing very well! 

The bird group at EV has received few newcomers as well. A scarlet macaw, named Onanti-Papa. He´s been raised by locals from when he was bald, most likely taken from his nest. He´s now spending some time together with Aleesa one of the residents macaws to learn more birdy behaviours.

Two baby cobalt-winged parakeets, Hano and Gado, have joined us in the clinic. They were still partly featherless and blueless, but we are doing everything we can to get them flying soonish…

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Kayla joined the team going to Pucallpa, but her task was a bit hairier. The ministry had two female woolly monkeys that needed to be looked after while making their way to us, and who better than Kayla? She’s been teaching monkeys how to climb since she was two! Moana is only 5 weeks old, which meant Kayla acted as her mum, keeping her safe the whole journey to the jungle. Once she arrived Alex (assistant manager) took over as her surrogate mum and with the help of all the volunteers, we hope to raise another strong female woolly monkey. 

Morena (the other new female woolly monkey) is about five years old, she’s very used to people and she’s missing her right hand but seems to manage just fine without it. We’re more concerned about her long history of being a pet affecting her ability to switch her focus from humans to monkeys. It will be challenging for her in the beginning, but we’ve seen worse and the outside monkeys will hopefully kindly show her the ropes. She’ll be moved to an outside enclosure soon and hopefully out climbing, playing and making friends in no-time! 


Busy with the new arrivals all our major construction has been put on hold for the time being. Most of our spare time is spent on maintenance, fishing and hunting for snails!

Volunteer life

While we’ve been working our busy butts off in the jungle, EVI (Esperanza Verde’s International Association) spent a whole weekend in Germany, brainstorming new and fresh ideas to further our mission to protect and rehabilitate wildlife. A huge thank you to them!

In other news, we’ve had a birthday-bonanza this month. Both Marlon and Olivia celebrated their birthdays! To praise another year of being older and (a little) wiser, we naturally had a Nerfgun party. (No one was harmed, except a few egos).

Hasta November amigos!

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