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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September 2022 Newsletter

New arrivals and hard goodbyes – September has flown by, surprising us with wild herons, a sad farewell and the beginning of a new dream project.

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September arrived and so did a capybara, named Basco and Drago a mealy amazon. A week later a baby collared peccary, now named Tammo, two cobalt-winged parakeets called Silo and Nilo and a yellow footed tortoise made their way to Esperanza Verde too. New arrivals remind us of where wild animals truly belong and that these have sadly been taken out of their natural habitat. We’re glad we can give them a second chance here at Esperanza Verde.

Another new arrival was Nera’s (adult female capuchin) 4th baby! We’re workshopping the name with big capuchin-lovers Olivia and Kayla having final say. We can’t wait to watch this tiny thing grow up.

As we welcomed new animals with promising futures, we sadly said goodbye to Kamayo (adult male woolly monkey). His story is one of rapid deterioration, we suspected parasites and brought him into the clinic for intensive treatment, as his condition wasn’t improving with medicine. After consulting our network of veterinarians, we decided an operation was necessary. Sadly, he wasn’t strong enough to pull through and passed away. The necropsy revealed too much fluid around his heart and in his belly cavity – it seems there wasn’t much we could do to save him.

Sencha (juvenile female coati) got a taste for freedom and she seems to love it. She is now fully released, makes an appearance every now and then and seems to be getting up to a lot of sniffing, eating and exploring!

Unlike the volunteers, Wayra and Gaia (juvenile female ocelots) have been chilling, A LOT. The exciting bit is, they’re doing it together! It took 10 months to introduce them safely to each other and it’s amazing to see our hard work paying off.

A wild rufescent tiger heron appeared with a foot injury. We quickly helped it back on its feet and watched it return to the wilderness gracefully (with only one failed take-off attempt).

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Keska and Panchin (juvenile female and male woolly monkeys) have made a pit stop in the clinic as they weren’t looking as healthy as we’d like. We’ve been examining their poo, monitoring their eating and giving them extra attention to get them back on track and exploring the jungle.

In moving news, four animals have left the clinic and moved into their very own enclosures! Sipra (juvenile female tamarind) moved to an outside enclosure and the three blue-headed parrots Athena, Zeus and Ares are in Tupak. Apparently, they had a pretty wild housewarming party, but not one of us was invited… whatever. Although they did invite some wild ones of their own kind…


The newly built sustainable solar-powered water pump is pumping away and saving us all from trips to the river that aren’t swimming-related. A big thank you to the ¨Förderverein Esperanza Verde¨ in Germany, their members and donators for financing this new pump!

Many dreams of ours have come through since Esperanza Verde began, and now, we have a new one – to build the Loki enclosure, (named after one of our earlier residents. A bigger and more enriching space for Yanamayo, Selda (adult male and female capuchin monkeys) and Moyo (adult male woolly monkey) who are currently in La Sapa. The La Sapa enclosure is good, but these monkeys will, sadly, be kept in an enclosure for life and they deserve something great. A place where they can swing as wide as they want, explore smells and hiding places and have the best possible life, despite their previous one as a pet. The location has been picked, the paths are being cleared all that’s missing is the funding to make the actual enclosure (a pretty important part) and we are currently looking for help to finance this dream project of ours. If you or someone you know might be able to help us, please get in touch: info@esperanzaverdeperu.com.

Volunteer life

Volunteering isn’t only about cleaning animal poop, chopping food for 150+ mouths or getting locked in enclosures by clever capuchins, it’s also about making weird, once-in-a-lifetime memories. And this month, the volunteers did well.

The first-ever ‘Super-Secret Ninja Party’ happened (or did it…). With star-throwing competitions, elaborate outfits and other ninja-related shenanigans the winner of the ‘Ultimate Ninja’ title was Death in the Night Ninja aka. Marlon (juvenile homo sapiens and Olivia and Douwe’s son).

Hasta Octubre amigos!

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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!

July 2022 Newsletter

This month was one of several visits. We received a small workshop from the Civil Defence department and learned about forest fires and more importantly; how to prevent them. The Ministry of Flora and Fauna visited us for the yearly inspection ensuring EV meets and exceeds its animal obligations. And last but not least we welcomed the help of two veterinarian students from Romania.


Our most cheeky resident Cumala (Female black spider monkey) gave birth to her third baby, now named Cumba. Mother and daughter are doing fine. In her first week Cumba already was very aware of her surrounding, looking at everything or everyone coming close to her.

Eros (chestnut eared aracari) was moved from the quarantine to the Elmo front cage where he directly got a visit by Amora (the chestnut eared aracari in the main cage) checking him out, seemingly eager to get his attention.

Chela (young female crab eating raccoon) was moved from the quarantine to an outside enclosure and with the visit of the Ministry we initiated the first stage of her release, a small walk in the outside world.

Alicucu, the adult tropical screech-owl, who came in some months ago, is now healthy, new feathers have grown, very human-shy, flies well and catches his own crickets. With the Ministry visiting it was time to let him go. We opened the door of his enclosure and well you can imagine, he flew quickly out and after some landings he flew out of sight.

Sencha, juvenile female coati, had an exciting walk on the wild side of her enclosure. We let her out for some time to get to know the surroundings. She loved it, and it seems she can´t wait to explore the jungle more.

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As Cumala enjoys showing herself and therefore often finds herself in our path, it was easy to determine the baby is a girl. With Cumba and Yayana (Yanays baby, only about two months younger) brings the count of the outside female spidermonkeys to a total of seven. Male youngsters, Alessi, Ashuke and Miyo, are joining this happy female group more and more.

Eros seems to be eager to join her, and we can hear them have seemingly happy conversations during the day. As Eros can´t fly yet because of his feathers, we are taking it slow, as it will be a big step for him to go to a huge enclosure, with as well all the blue and yellow macaws.

We can now start taking Chela on outside walks in the late afternoon so she can start exploring the forest. Showing her the small river stream, teaching her to catch some snails or fish so at some point she will be able to manage to take care of herself in the beauty of Selva Dormida, the surrounding forest of Esperanza Verde.

As Sencha is still young and would normally have the protection of her group, we will take it slow, guiding her through the different stages of release till she is fit to be on her own in the outside world. We are sure Sumo (the male adult coati) will help her out!


SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

This month we had an exciting visit from two veterinary students from Romania; Mada and Catalin, who stayed with us several days and helped us out wherever needed, e.g. a medical check of several tortoises.

Omar, and Jack, both cobalt-winged parakeets, were returned to the outside enclosure Igor. The next morning, we found Omar, with some injuries on his head and leg, and a broken leg, while Jack seemed very happy being back with his old troop of birds. Luckily Omar´s spirit did not seem to be broken; he directly took well to the intensive care by Olivia, and all the extra attention coming with it.

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Mada, from Romania, has been already involved for years in animal rescue and is doing a lot of work for the SUSTOAH in Bucharest, Romania. Together with her fellow vet-student Catalin they helped us a lot in the clinic and especially with a medical checkup of eight tortoises.

The eight tortoises that have been spending the last weeks of their quarantine time in the Momo enclosure were all taken to the clinic for a medical check, they were measured, weighed, and given deparasitation. They were then moved to their more permanent and spacious enclosure, ´Pepito´.



Next to the ongoing construction of the new margay enclosure for Grety and Diego (female and male margay), there is always enough to be done here at EV.

Dry season is proving to become a challenging one already, it has not rained for weeks, and buckets need to be washed at the river. Volunteers can go for a nice swim in the river or to the waterfall, but many of our animals are dependent on a continuous water supply. Douwe is already on it and is coming up with an eco-friendly solar powered pump.

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Every year when needed we have been pumping water from the small river with a gasoline pump. In the last years the dry seasons got longer and the need for water in EV bigger, and pumping water was done several times a week, with a lot of carrying around of the pump to the right spot in the river. We are now looking into a solution by building a well and having it operated by a solar powered water pump.


Volunteer life

This month we were able send all volunteers on a well-deserved day out to the beautiful waterfall Regalia. Everyone had a fun and sunny day in the water.

As July turned the corner Kayla finally turned 18, although she already became independent some time ago 🙂 . All were invited to her party in the village to celebrate her birthday with food, drinks, and lots of dancing.

June 2022 Newsletter

Another action-packed month here at EV, with the year just flying by! With new animals and lots of new volunteers, we’re gearing up for a great dry season. There were some fantastic wildlife sightings; An adult two-toed sloth appeared near the houses one night, a good reason to wake everyone up to have a look! Another spotting was a beautiful rainbow boa as it crossed one of our paths.

This shortened newsletter comes to you with a novelty: a “read more” button to find out more, if you wish, in certain sections!


Ashuke, Miyo and Alessi, the young male black spider monkeys are now going out to explore the (sometimes scary) outside world. They’ve gained more confidence and are travelling further from their enclosure, often for several hours a day, and starting to have more interaction with the other monkeys.

Lots of volunteers will remember Takido (juvenile male crab eating racoon) from their stay here. Sadly, he passed away this month, after having disappeared on one of his evening walks. We will miss him and the nice walks we had while exploring the surroundings.

Rasta, the mouse opossum, who was found abandoned in the attic of the volunteer house a few months ago, has been doing extremely well, now weighing almost 10 times his original weight (start was 6 grams), and is in continuous care in the volunteer house. He has a spacious enclosure and seems to be very pleased with all the attention and enrichment he is receiving.

At long last, Gaia and Wayra, the two juvenile female ocelots moved into their new enclosure thanks to the Susy Utzinger Foundation in Switzerland, who financed this project as well as the upcoming new enclosure for the two margays. A big thank you to the Susy Utzinger Association for your help financing this project and to Douwe and the construction team for all your hard work!

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Alessi is doing very well, frequently playing with juvenile female spider monkey Ricuna amongst the foliage around his enclosure. Miyo is very different. He is very confident in his enclosure, yet he seems to become more timid outside when a big monkey is close. He then runs and cries. All and all not so strange; imagine being taken from your mum and then thrown roughly into the world of illegal traffic. They have now finally found a safe haven in Esperanza Verde, but it will take some time to regain their trust and adjust. Spider monkeys would normally spend at least 3 years in a close relationship with their mother, learning the essential skills to become independent.so you can imagine these three are a bit traumatized and need a lot of time to adjust and trust.

After arriving in July 2021 Takido received intensive care from Assistant Manager Alex until he was able to move into an outside enclosure. He grew steadily and learned to climb and eat fish and snails. To assist his release process, we took Takido on ‘night walks’ along the river, where he would occasionally spend the night outside before returning the following evening. Unfortunately, after one of these occasions, some local children discovered Takido near to the river with significant injuries, that he was unable to overcome.

More frequent than not animals that have been hand-reared from so young have a very low chance of survival if released. Rasta is one of those, as he has had no mother to teach him the ropes of living in the wild (although the mother already chose a human area being the volunteer house!). Mouse opossums in the wild live about a year, so we decided to give Rasta a permanent home at the volunteer house. He is much loved by all the volunteers and receives a lot of exciting enrichment, making his life as fulfilled as possible. And he has also proved himself to be an excellent insect hunter.

Bringing Gaia and Wayra together has been a long and slow process and thanks to all the hard work and patience of dedicated volunteers, research, and advice of cat behaviour specialists from different countries, it has paid off. At feeding time, they are still separated but for the rest they now spend day and night together in the new enclosure, together. Douwe, Geiler and the other helpers did a great job on the construction and as well on the interior, it really looks beautiful. Wayra and Gaia are showing their appreciation while they explore the new surroundings with the new smells, trunks, branches, sleeping boxes etc. It is beautiful to see how they, after their initial awareness of the new surrounding and smells, run and jump around on the branches. Gaia especially is loving the extra space and spends her whole day running, jumping and climbing amongst the branches and platforms!


SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

All is relatively quiet in the SUSTOAH, with some birds in treatment, and Otis (male nightmonkey) still being under observation, allowing extra time for checkups.

The new baby tamarin Sipra was moved directly to the clinic. She is very young and needs a more intensive 24 hour care. Quickly she has become the highlight of the SUSTOAH.

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Sipra seems to be really enjoying her enclosure, which is full of new and exciting things to play with. Her favourite spot is a tiny hammock, where she takes her post-lunch nap basking in the afternoon sun. On arrival, seemingly from the result of neglective care, the end of her tail showed signs of necrosis and she’s receiving ongoing treatment in the SUSTOAH to manage her condition.

The eight tortoises that have been spending the last weeks of their quarantine time in the Momo enclosure were all taken to the clinic for a medical check, they were measured, weighed, and given deparasitation medication and after a follow up will be ready to move to a more permanent enclosure.



This month we had three new arrivals from the Ministry of Flora and Fauna, a chestnut-eared aracari, named Eros, a young female crab eating raccoon, named Chela, and a very young female tamarin monkey, now named Sipra. All were confiscated from the illegal trade in animals.

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Eros (chestnut eared aracari) is very tame and his wings were cut extremely short; a method commonly used to prevent pet birds, who have been captured from the wild, from escaping. He was named after the Greek god of love, which we hope will play in his favor when we eventually introduce him to Amora (already resident chestnut eared aracari)

Chela, the crab eating raccoon is estimated to be around 2 months old. She seems to have settled in nicely, enjoying all the enrichment in her enclosure, especially the small addition of a pond. Although very young and some contact is necessary we hope to keep it at a minimum, giving her the best chance to have a successful release back into the wild.



All focus is now on finalizing the new margay enclosure for Grety and Diego (female and male margay), the second part of the project financed through crowdfunding set up by the Susy Utzinger Foundation. While the construction team is tied up, we are very happy to have some handy volunteers who can take up maintenance jobs, like fixing mesh of enclosures, renewing steps, building up the interior of small enclosures etc.

Volunteer life

We were lucky enough to welcome back our good friend and returning volunteer Theres, from Switzerland, and as always, she finds enough jobs that need to be taken cared off.

There was lots of cause for celebration this month, celebrating the local tradition San Juan, having lunch at the waterfall. It is always fun to have so many different cultures together here, as it gives us the opportunity to learn other traditions as well. This time it was the celebration of Midsummer, a Swedish tradition, with a delicious dinner for all.

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Theres had met Douwe and Olivia during their time working in amaZOOnico, a rescue centre in the Amazon of Ecuador. She always is a tremendous help, assisting in the bodega, helping with the tours, a lot of cleaning jobs and doing her favourite job: raking paths (which is especially important during dry season as snakes can hide beneath leaf piles, unbeknownst to us). We send a big thank you to Theres for joining us once again and hope that she will visit again next year.

The local tradition ‘San Juan’ celebrates Saint John the Baptist, patron saint of the Amazon and of all its waterways. As part of the tradition lunch is packed in a leaf package, called Juanes. We had our lunch at the waterfall and took some nice relaxing moments in the water and sun before heading back to take of the animals!

And thanks to Assistant Manager Alex, we also celebrated ‘Midsummer’, with a delicious dinner of cheese pie, meatballs and finished off with apple crumble, all whilst wearing homemade ‘flower crowns’, to help us celebrate in style.


May 2022 Newsletter

May was another eventful month with both good moments along with some sad ones.

Olivia, Kayla and Marlon returned home this month after a well-deserved break in Holland. With the permanent team complete again and a steady group of volunteers, EV returned to a semblance of normality.


Maida (female howler monkey) has been doing very well outside and often seen playing with the woolly monkeys. Most of the time she spends the night with Darwin in the enclosure, but on some nights, she ignores even her vitamins to spend a night in the wild with the woollies.

Miyo, Ashuke and Alessi, the juvenile male spiders were released from their enclosure. At first, they seemed happy to explore the outside world, but they got very scared every time too many monkeys took interest in them. With the outside world seeming overwhelming to them, it was decided to bring them in again and start to bring some of the outside monkeys into the Lulu enclosure with them. Soon we will open their enclosure again and see if they have gained enough confidence….

Anishka, our female neotropical river otter, has been in the process of her release now for a while. She seems to have taken a liking to being a permanent tour, in which a volunteer takes her on walks during the day. Even though the aim is for her to roam free, most of the time she prefers to come back and sleep in the safety of her enclosure (Tiliku). She enjoys walking in the jungle exploring the waters, playing and frequently catching crabs, fish, and even a catfish of about 50 cm! And who knows someday she might find herself a partner!

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Omar the new cobalt-winged parakeet was introduced to the other (non-releasable) parakeets in the Igor enclosure. It seemed to go well, but after a few weeks he was found with an injured wing and taken to the clinic. He was soon joined by Jack, another of our resident cobalt-winged parakeets, also suffering an injured wing. They are getting along well, and we hope they will recover with the extra attention and care received at the clinic.

Cesar, our male juvenile black spider monkey, unfortunately passed away at the beginning of this month. Volunteers had noticed he wasn’t his goofy self anymore and it quickly took a turn for the worse. Within a few days, even though treatment was started, he passed away in the presence of the volunteers at our clinic. A thorough necropsy was undertaken but revealed very little as to a cause for his demise. We will always remember him as the weird monkey walking on his hind legs with one arm up in the air.

Zeus, Ares and Athena (new blue-headed parrots) came from the quarantine to the clinic as two of them, Zeus and Ares sustained chest injuries from falling. Both came to EV with their feathers on both wings cut very short. Something that is done to avoid them from escaping. Unfortunately, they have been cut so badly that they can´t even break their fall while spreading out their wings, and basically fall flat on their breast. They have both been put in a smaller enclosures to prevent them from falling from dangerous heights. Athena, who has already started growing new feathers joined them later.

Otis (adult male night monkey), who has now spent months coping with a deep knee injury, started again with a new herbal treatment, as any other treatment has not worked. One of the volunteers with experience in natural treatment has come up with a plan and let’s hope it will help him. Otis has been in the clinic for a long time so hopefully we will see some change soon.


After spending some time in quarantine, Amora (chestnut-eared aracari) has now moved to Elmo enclosure. After some time in the smaller front part of the enclosure, Douwe guided her into the main enclosure while keeping a close eye on her. She quickly adjusted to the huge area, and is doing very well, standing her ground to all the big birds. Her big beak might help here as well!

Sencha (juvenile female coati) has finished her quarantine-period and has been moved to the Lucia enclosure near the general kitchen, where she is enjoying herself, digging in the dirt, making use of her nose and paws to find some nice earthy critters. Not surprisingly, Sumo, our outside adult male coati has now shown up, after hardly ever being seen in the vicinity, to inspect this new young female.

Yuno (juvenile male kinkajou) fully recuperated from his injuries sustained during his release last month, so we decided to give him another go at the wild world. So off he went and then already in his first week he apparently had another fierce encounter, this time coming back with an ugly bite in his nose and a small puncture in one of his legs. We know from our experiences with kinkajous in the past, it can take a long time, especially for a male, to make his own territory here, with already several wild Kinkajou living outside. But the successes in the past show us not to give up too quickly so after some time to heal again we will give Yuna another chance at finding his own territory and eventually a partner.

Construction and other

With a good group of volunteers, there has been more time to work on enrichment for many of the animals, even fish were caught for Takido (juvenile male crab-eating racoon), the margays and ocelots.

Darwins recent behaviour change and sudden interest in volunteers, which resulted in him needing to be confined. While in cleaning his enclosure, he bit one of the volunteers. Volunteer and animal safety are always primary concerns, so immediate measures were taken to modify Arana enclosure ensuring Darwin was able to be kept separate from volunteers when cleaning and feeding to prevent any further incidents.

Volunteer life

Janick Jaussi, who officially said goodbye to his work as a volunteer about a month ago, was staying with his boat in Bello Horizonte to complete the finishing touches. He completed this and one afternoon sailed away for his big tour from here to Brazil ending his journey at the Atlantic Ocean. There was a little party on his boat before he left, and all volunteers sung him a song to wish him all the best and luck on his travels: sail away…sail away…sail away.

A welcome reprieve from the daily occurrences at Esperanza Verde is a trip to Regalia. After a busy morning preparing animals breakfasts and cleaning, the volunteers were rewarded with, a nice boat ride and a slippery hike, finally arriving at the beautiful waterfall ´Regalia´. Despite the buckets of rain from the day before, it turned out to be a very good day for a swim and some took the leap from the top of the waterfall!

April 2022 Newsletter

April proved itself to be packed full of activity, with lots of highs and some lows. The start of dry season brought the sun out, volunteers are keeping in good spirits and enjoying the increase in temperature with way less mosquitoes! And as schools are functioning normally again, we even enjoyed the first visit this year from a group of local school children from Bello Horizonte. They enjoyed an educational tour from Douwe, while several volunteers and Geyler kept a watchful eye out to avoid any trouble from our more juvenile monkeys. A few days later we were gifted by several beautiful drawings of the animals at Esperanza Verde from the young visitors.


A sad month regarding our howler monkeys, regretfully we lost both Watson (juvenile male howler) and Armando (adult male howler) within a short space of time.

Many old volunteers will remember Armando from their time with us, since his arrival in 2019 he has dealt with numerous health concerns. Volunteers noticed one evening that his breathing had become irregular, and he was suffering with a fever. He was taken to the clinic, but he quickly deteriorated and sadly passed away the next morning. During necropsy it was revealed that Armando only had one functional lung, a condition that he most likely dealt with since he was very young and the acute infection of this lung meant Armando didn’t have much of a chance for survival.

Watson, who only recently joined us at Esperanza Verde, seemed to be doing well since moving to Lulu enclosure with Maida (juvenile female howler). Unfortunately, things went slowly downhill for him, he became very apathetic, stopped eating and was quickly losing weight. Every effort was put into getting Watson back on track and the volunteer team did a great job of pulling together and putting in the extra hours. Unfortunately, one morning we discovered he had passed away in his sleep.

However, there was good news for Maida (juvenile female howler) this month. She was making good progress in Lulu enclosure and was seen engaging with the outside woolly monkey group, most notably Lupa and Chiquita (adult female woolly monkeys). Following the loss of Watson, we decided to start opening the door of Lulu during the day, giving her the opportunity to explore the outside world and engage with the other monkeys, returning to the enclosure overnight. She seems to be loving her newfound freedom and is seen happily eating leaves and scouting out the trees around the whole centre. Darwin (adult male howler) was also moved into Lulu with the intention of the two howlers keeping each other company.

Another happy release we welcomed this month was of the three young male spider monkeys Ashuke, Miyo and Alessi. Their door is opened now each morning, allowing them to come and go as they please, there´s slow progress so far but the trio are gaining more and more confidence. Outside adult female spider monkey Katinka is showing a special interest in all three monkeys. Both Ashuke and Miyo have experience of life outside the enclosure so the hope is that they will assist Alessi with the transition.

Takido (juvenile male crab eating racoon) also took some exciting steps towards release this month. In the past months he has been taken on nightly walks along the river by volunteers using a lead, but towards the end of the month we were able to start walking him without the lead. Takido appears to be loving the extra freedom along the river route, occasionally disappearing into the bushes but very quickly returning. He also had a few encounters with Payco (free living, adult male crab eating racoon), engaging in a few small fights. Hopefully they will be able to establish a hierarchy between the two without serious injuries, to be able to coexist outside.

We would also like to introduce all of the readers to the latest arrival here at EV, whose appearance surprised us all. Yanay (adult female spider monkey), to everyone’s astonishment, emerged from under the volunteer house with a newborn baby earlier this month! She kept her distance from us for a few days and was very protective but has since become more comfortable in her new role as a mother and both her and the baby girl, named Yayana, are doing well. Mashi (juvenile male woolly monkey) and Dilana (juvenile female white fronted capuchin) have taken a particular interest and are frequently seen cuddling with Yanay and the new baby.

Yuno, the earlier released adult male kinkajou, has taken up residence in Aguatena enclosure once again. He had been sleeping near to the port and was being checked for wounds every few days by volunteers. This time he was found with some serious injuries to his tail and snout. It seems he had some more misfortune on the outside and encountered another wild kinkajou. He will remain inside to receive medication and recuperate.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Thankfully this month we saw Biko´s release (adult large headed capuchin) from the SUSTOAH and his reintroduction to the outside capuchin group. His wounds had healed nicely, and he seemed eager to get back outside. He re-joined his band of troublesome friends Nando (adult male white fronted capuchin), Rayka (juvenile female large headed capuchin) and Cesar (adult male spider monkey) and has got back into his usual routine very quickly.

Igor enclosure has welcomed back some old and a new members this month. Chipi, one of our ruddy ground doves was moved to the SUSTOAH after it was noticed Chipi was not using one of their legs. Fortunately, recovery was quick enough, and after only a short stay, he returned to his friends. Pichu (white-eyed parakeet) and Picor (white winged parakeet) who had a long stay at the clinic, were returned to the Igor enclosure, along with new addition Minya (white winged parakeet). All birds are doing well and enjoying the extra space the enclosure provides.


We welcomed another new arrival this month, Sencha the juvenile female coati. She had been kept as a pet for the most of her young life and is estimated to be around 3 or 4 months old, meaning she is extremely tame and completely unafraid of humans. Her playful and lively personality, which is typical of tame coatis, is keeping the volunteers on their toes and our plan is that she will soon join Sumo (adult male coati) outside.

The quarantine building started to get less crowded this month as we were able to move quite a few animals out into their new homes. Rio (green winged macaw), Koda (blue and yellow macaw) and Zuna (yellow crowned amazon parrot) joined the Elmo aviary and Denani (scarlet macaw) moved into Pichu. All the introductions went well, and all birds seemed to have settled in nicely.

All 8 yellow footed tortoises were able to move into Momo enclosure to finish up their quarantine period, once it’s over we hope to move them into newly completed Rincay enclosure, joining Bronco the juvenile male capybara.

And as always when room is available at Esperanza Verde, it never lasts long before the space is needed again. We got to welcome another member in the family; Rufo, an abandoned green winged macaw with a broken wing. He has clearly been with humans for some time, as he loves to be petted on the head. He was found abandoned by his owners and brought to Esperanza Verde.


The improvements to Rincay enclosure were completed this month, the huge task involved replacing all posts and installing a more reinforced fence that will withstand the mud slides rainy season can bring. Rincay was previously being used to house non-climbing animals such as tapir and deer, giving them a large area to roam around in, with lots of leaves to forage for. This meant it was perfect for Bronco’s (juvenile male capybara) next step! He is loving the freedom the bigger enclosure brings and while he is no Michael Phelps, Bronco is often seen practising his swimming technique and loves to cool down in the big pond.

After Broncos move, the focus now is on finalizing the project of the bigger enclosures for the cats. Wayra and Gaia, our juvenile female ocelots, will be the first ones moving out of their temporary enclosure to finally being full-time together in a large enclosure enjoying sufficient space and privacy. Thank you, Susy Utzinger, for making this happen!

Volunteer life

Things here at Esperanza Verde have been awfully quiet during April. On an unrelated note: Olivia, Kayla and Marlon were able to take a holiday this month, leaving Douwe and assistant manager Alex here to oversee things at home. The family are grateful to have some time to rest and visit family in The Netherlands and Olivia’s ongoing support while she is away is hugely appreciated. The team of dedicated volunteers will continue the good work and upkeep high standards and we´re looking forward to welcoming them all home in May!

In Olivia´s absence, Douwe has stepped up to the mark by hosting the infamous weekly meeting, his enthusiasm for these events comes across clearly and he seems to be enjoying his new role. He even took volunteers on a leaf-walk this month and shared his extensive knowledge of the flora growing around the centre. Volunteers perform leaf-walks twice daily to supplement the diet of the leaf eating animals (for example the howler monkeys), to replicate their diet in the wild as much as possible.

It was also Douwe´s birthday in April, and after a long day working at the Don Jorge plantation, he celebrated together with the volunteers around a bonfire and with a homemade birthday cake.

March 2022 Newsletter

After the worldwide upheaval of the previous two years we are grateful that we again have a steady group of ever-changing volunteers working hard to keep the “wheels in motion” with animals getting the care and attention they so deserve.


Payco (adult male crab-eating racoon) was released again this month from the Pepe enclosure. The wound on his back was healing slowly so he has been a resident for a long time. Once it had fully healed, he was ready to take on the outside world once again! He seems to be doing well and is spotted eating on his familiar outside feeding table. He even accompanied volunteers on a night walk with Takido (juvenile male crab-eating raccoon).

Katinka (juvenile female spider monkey) was very happy to be let back out of the new Araña enclosure to rejoin her friends outside. Following her surgery last month, her wound had healed well, and further treatment could be completed outside.

Darwin and Armando (male howler monkeys) were moved to the Araña enclosure, to make room for Maida and Watson (the younger, female and male howler monkeys) as they transition from the family house. Darwin and Armando have settled into their new surroundings well and are enjoying the change of scenery. Darwin´s deafening howl can be heard across the site and is a welcome sound to everyone´s ears. Unfortunately, the transition was delayed as Watson landed himself in some trouble this month. While exploring in the trees, just outside of the family house with Maida, he was involved in an altercation with Samara, one of the adult female woolly monkeys. He sustained bites to the head and serious damage to his left ear, but thankfully Lisa, a visiting veterinarian and previous volunteer was on hand and able to stitch him up. His wounds are healing well, and after a week of intensive care he is now making, together with Maida daily visits to Lulu enclosure with the intention of moving there before being released to enjoy the freedom and security available to them at Esperanza Verde.

We also took the next step in introducing Wayra and Gaia (juvenile female ocelots) to each other. The pair were originally in Parda enclosure (with two compartments), which allows us to keep them separated but this month the exciting moment came where we could open the hatch segregating the two and they got to meet face-to-face. Introductions are going well, with Wayra taking the more dominant role but appears to be quite tolerant of Gaia. The pair have had some small fights but are now starting to relax into each other’s company.

There were some unexpected guests at the volunteer house this month. Volunteers were surprised to discover some mouse opossum babies in the attic of the house and after it became clear that their mother was not going to return, the decision was made to move the babies into a self-made incubator. Unfortunately so small not all made it but after a bit of a rough start Rasta (male) starting at a weight of 6.6g, is steadily gaining weight and greedily drinking milk via syringe under intensive care by our dedicated volunteers.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Panchin (juvenile male woolly monkey) had a short stay in the clinic during March. After sustaining a fracture to his leg last year, he seemed to have made a full recovery, until a volunteer spotted him limping outside. The cause of the limping is currently unclear but suspected to be unrelated to the original injury. He was moved to Lulu enclosure, together with Keska (juvenile female woolly monkey) where he made a full recovery.

Keska (juvenile female woolly monkey) has made incredible progress over the last month after sustaining a head injury in February. She became more mobile and started to climb once again and was moved from the family house to the clinic, then shortly after into the Lulu enclosure, where she was joined by juvenile male woolly monkey Panchin. The two were released together shortly afterwards. It was amazing how quickly Keska recovered and we were all so happy to see her climbing in the trees again, only a month after her head injury! We are all impressed with the resilience and strength she’s shown us.

The juvenile male spider monkey (now called Alessi) that we received from The Ministry of Fauna and Flora a month ago has been doing really well in the SUSTOAH. Upon arrival he was very shy, curling up in a ball and hiding under the t-shirts in his cage, but has since become very playful. He was introduced to the young male spider monkeys Miyo and Ashuke in the Lucia enclosure. The three seemed to be getting on well during the day, they had been seen sleeping together and eating from the same plate. Alessi seemed to have gained confidence under the influence of Miyo and Ashuke and we decided to make the move permanent. All three young spider monkeys are often seen cuddling together in their box and Alessi looks like he is enjoying spending time with his new friends.

At the end of the month, Biko (adult male large headed capuchin) made a trip to the SUSTOAH after sustaining some wounds outside. Volunteers heard some capuchins fighting high up in the trees and shortly after discovered that Biko was injured. The wounds were cleaned and had to be stitched up. He will now remain in the clinic to receive further care and will return to the outside soon, where we are confident, he will resume his usual mischievous behavior.


All the new arrivals in quarantine have settled in nicely and are doing well. Amora, the adult chestnut-eared aracari, is a firm favourite already, her inquisitive and playful personality is perfect for enrichment. Volunteers are getting creative to make her stay in the quarantine building more enjoyable, before she can move into one of the outdoor aviaries. Enrichment is very important for all the animals, especially those in the SUSTOAH and quarantine building, as it stimulates them to engage in natural behavior, play and search for their food.

Yuno (adult male kinkajou) was released this month from Aguatena enclosure, his taste of freedom was short lived, as he returned a few days later with some wounds that required treatment. Kinkajous are territorial animals and fighting between males is common in the wild. As kinkajous are known to us to be tough animals, we were not surprised Yuno made a speedy recovery so we could open the hatch again for him to give it another try outside. We hope with the experience learned he will act more carefully in the future.


The work on Rincay enclosure has continued and is making progress, although with all the rain fall it has not always been possible to work outdoors. We do hope that soon the enclosure will be fit for Bronco (male young adult capybara) who now resides in Momo enclosure, and a start can be made on the Ocelot and Margay enclosures. The extra rain means Douwe can work in the village welding doors and other prefabricated parts for the cat enclosures.

Volunteer life

This month we were lucky to receive a visit from Lisa, of Germany who has been with us as a veterinarian volunteer a few years ago. She is a very busy bee, she spent every day of her 2 week stay completing the huge task of checking the fecal samples of all animals in enclosures and many of those outside, here at Esperanza Verde. Her interest in parasites is extremely helpful to us, especially all her research at home in Germany on the parasite Prosthenorchis Elegans, from which many of the outside monkeys suffer. Her findings also made for some interesting dinner conversation with the volunteers, and a good reminder on the importance of hygiene when working with animals.

The mosquito crisis has continued this month and seems to be worse than previous years, with each new day bringing increasing numbers of our blood sucking friends. Volunteers showed great strength, battling through the day and maintaining the same high standards as always. With the end of rainy season approaching, we´re hopeful that we will get some relief soon. One very important lesson this month has taught us: DON´T SCRATCH!

There are quite a few changes happening in the volunteer group, with lots of goodbyes and some new faces popping up. Everyone is very thankful for all the hard work done by the volunteer team, and we wish you the best for your travels home.

February 2022 Newsletter

Another great month at Esperanza Verde. Rainy season started with a bang at the beginning of February, with water almost reaching the volunteer house… and the mosquitoes are loving it!


It was time for Ashuke and Miyo, our two new juvenile male spider monkeys to meet the other monkeys. Ashuke already had some experience from a previous release but he wasn’t very outgoing so we felt that being with Miyofor a bit could boost both of their confidence levels. So, when we opened the door for both, the first monkey to show interest in the 2 new releases was Yanay (adult female spider monkey). Of course, Biko, one of the outside large headed young adult male capuchins was directly inside for a leftover snack, while Ricuna and Chula (two juvenile female spider monkeys) came to play a bit with the two newcomers. Both Ashuke and Miyo will take their time to adapt, so late afternoon they return safely to their enclosure for the night. In time they will both be able to sleep and live outside.

Payco, the adult crab-eating racoon was once again brought back to the Pepe enclosure. He was doing really well outside it seemed, but the wound on his back reopened and to avoid any further infections we decided to give him some more time for healing. It is going well, and the fur is now starting to cover the bald spot, so we are aiming for another release again next month!

Maida (young female howler monkey) who had been struggling last month is definitely on the right path now, getting treated well at the family house, she now seems to never stop eating! She has been going outside quite a lot and has made friends with the woolly monkeys, especially with Lupa, one of our adult females.

An adult pygmy ant eater was found by one of the locals in their garden. We relocated it to a safer area within the land surrounding EV, while explaining to the volunteers about this animal’s behavior and life in the jungle. This proves the importance of having a good relationship with the local community and the importance of education about local wildlife. It is great to notice the concern locals have and the effort they take sometimes to get an animal to safety.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

This month we were very pleased to welcome Philipp, Florian and Lukas from Esperanza Verde International. Philipp has been involved with EV since many years, as a good friend, veterinarian, and as president of the International Esperanza Verde Association (EVI). Philipp first met Douwe and Olivia in Ecuador while volunteering as a vet-student for the rescue centre AmaZOOnico. Florian is a veterinarian as well and highly involved in the Association (e.g., organization of the members and contacts). Lukas took charge many years ago of the website for EVI, without ever having visited. So for him this was the first real-life EV experience, finally enjoying the beauty for real instead of digitally! The purpose of their trip (they thought…) was to take a holiday and relax but of course we are grateful for the extra help and have taken every advantage of having two veterinarians and a IT-expert here as much as possible!

Cesar (male adult spider monkey) who had his hand almost cut off, has made a remarkable recovery and got the all clear to go outside with the others again. All the outside monkeys welcomed him with open arms, Biko (adult male large headed capuchin) and Nando (adult male spix white capuchin) were very happy to have their playmate back.

Two yellow-footed tortoises Momo and Diablito, that were previously released, were found near the center of Esperanza Verde. After a quick checkup in the clinic, we discovered they had parasites, so we kept them in for further treatment. Momo was soon up and about, and out, but Diablito developed some eye problems, so he will be a guest for a bit longer.

Doquino (male adult agouti), from the Pepito enclosure, where he lives with three others, was brought to the SUST-hospital for the treatment of a swollen foot. He only needed a short treatment, loving the attention that he received from the volunteers, before he was returned.

Katinka (female adult spider monkey) was one of several animals that profited from the visit from our Swiss friends. She needed some stitches as a wound was not closing on its own so together with Douwe, the veterinarians Philipp and Florian, she underwent a small operation and is now recovering in the recently reconstructed ´Araña´ enclosure.

Several opossums (black-eared opossums) of the quarantine group, were able to be released, first going into an outside enclosure where they could go in and out, with food still provided. Unfortunately, some of the others were found to have some health concerns and were kept in the quarantine for treatment. The last of the group of opossums was Tila, who was treated for a bitten tail. She was moved to the outside enclosure and as with the others we expect here to find her way in the jungle soon again.

Keska, one of our newerjuvenile female woolly monkey, suffered a head injury. The woollies were making a lot of noise which caught Geylers attention. His first thought was a snake moving in the bushes, but upon further inspection it appeared to be Keska laying in a puddle of water. She was still alive but very cold and non-responsive. Philipp, Florian and Alexandra, reacted quickly and got her warmed up and gave first aid. She then was moved to the family house, for further intensive care and observation. We were all afraid for her survival, but she made it through first night. Philipp reached out to a well-respected neurologist friend and further treatment was set up. Every day she seems to improve. Although we are still unsure what the future will hold for her, we stay hopeful. Her body functions, but her brain is not fully aware of what it can do. She is fighting, and we will do all in our power to help her regain her independence again.


The ministry of Fauna and Flora reached out to us for help with several animals that they confiscated. With a steady group of volunteers willing to give a bit of extra help we were able to accept the newcomers. Our visitor veterinarians helped with the general health checks and treatments.

Watson (juvenile male howler monkey) arrived with a fractured elbow. He was not doing well, not eating, so we made the exception of shortening his quarantine period and bringing him, together with Maida to the family house. It seemed to have been the best decision for both. Maida is stimulating him to eat leaves and other healthy veggies, while Watson is giving her some warm company. They really started to behave like siblings, with a lot of playing and squabbling and at the end of the day sleeping happily together.

Minya, a white winged parakeet who had had her feathers cut, is staying in the clinic at the moment while going through her quarantine period. Once finished she can be introduced into Igor cage where the other parakeets reside.

Alicucu, an adult tropical screech-owl, is healthy, except for his feathers being partially cut. We hope we can keep him wild enough for an eventual release back into the wild. Volunteers are catching crickets or grasshoppers on a daily basis for him so he keeps up with his natural diet. As soon as he can fly fully again, a release will be possible.

A young male spider monkey. We estimate him to be about 4 to 5 months old. He seems a bit skinny and we had to remove a bullet from his inner leg. Young monkeys who have been kept as pets can often have bullet fragments in their bodies, from when they were captured.

Eight yellow-footed tortoises, all saved from being eaten! They were confiscated while being on their way to the food market. In this part of Peru, tortoises are unfortunately still a common dish for many locals.

Amora, an adult chestnut-eared aracari, was confiscated, together with Koda, a yellow and blue macaw, Denani a scarlet macaw, Rio, a red and green macaw, Tilo, a Tui parakeet, Omar, a cobalt winged parakeet, Zuna, a yellow crowned Amazon parrot, and three blue headed parrots; Athena, Ares and Zeus. They all seemed well fed, although several have cut feathers. They were pets for some time, so after the quarantine they will join the other in the different aviaries.

Construction and other

February proved another very busy month in construction.

Thanks to some extra material still available we were able to complete the rebuilding of the Araña enclosure, one of the old structures with wooden posts. It is now a solid enclosure, with metal tubes and able to resist the climate of the jungle.

As mentioned in last update, thanks to the SUSY Utzinger Association in Switzerland we are now able to finance the construction of the new cats’ enclosures. All mesh has arrived and the area has been cleared, some more sand and cement and we are good to go!

As Bronco, the capibara, is starting to outgrow the Momo enclosure (the garden surrounding the cabin which Alexandra is occupying) he is becoming restless. The renewing of the Xena and Rincay enclosures became more urgent. Xena and Rincay are two of our open enclosures built in the earlier years for animals that are unable to climb (think capibara, peccaries, deer or tapirs). The replacement of the wooden posts was planned in 2020 but were delayed. After a short inspection, Douwe soon found out that one of the enclosures needed a bit more than only the replacement of the posts, basically totally new fencing around the enclosure of about 30 m2.

Douwe, Geyler and the construction team took advantage of the recent rain deluge and were able to take a huge part of the sand and new mesh required for these constructions as well as for the new cat enclosures to site by the flooding stream that runs through Esperanza Verde. A welcome reprieve limiting the need to carry 90kg rolls of mesh the full distance from the main river to site.

Volunteers life

We were happy to welcome back Emma and Kim, two former volunteers who stayed with us during the first lockdown period of covid.

Sadly it is also the end for our Swiss volunteer Janick who stayed with us for a total of 10 months. He will now go over to working full time on his boat so that he soon can start his new journey across the Amazon river. Janick has written earlier about his boat-project and fundraising for Esperanza Verde, and soon he will start his dream. Thank you Janick and we wish you the absolute best on your way to the Atlantic ocean!

We thank Philipp, Florian and Lukas for their visit, their ongoing help, and always being there for us helping us with all your expertise. We are happy you are all part of the big family of EV and we hope you enjoyed your stay, and could see and experience now firsthand what your help has and is achieving here at EV. A special thanks to Philipp from all the volunteers, as has become our own personal night walk guide which was super interesting and highly appreciated by all!

January 2022 Newsletter

This January was rather calm down here at Esperanza Verde. We are really happy to see new volunteers arriving, which allows us to have a normal schedule again. They seem to enjoy all of the advantages of being a bit secluded in this part of the rainforest, a nice jungle bubble.


Last month Ashuke (male juvenile spider monkey) was released. He spent most of his time on top of the enclosure and seemed afraid of the outside monkeys. We decided to give him the opportunity to ease into more social contact by letting him join Miyo, the younger spider monkey in the clinic. At first, he was still a bit afraid, but as Miyo is a lot more confident, he was easily won over and they soon were sharing a box together at night to cuddle up. They were then moved to the outside enclosure Lucia, and we hope to let both of them out soon so they can join the others. At least Ashuke has become a lot more confident in playing with Miyo and soon hopefully other monkeys as well.

Maida (female juvenile howler monkey) was introduced last month in Lucia cage to our two other howler monkey males Darwin and Armando. It went well and they all got used to each other, but something was wrong, she started eating less and less and dropped a lot of weight. She then was taken in by Olivia for more intensive care. It took some time, included some force feeding, and searching for the right leaves and mixes she would eat, she slowly improved and even showed her happy face quite a few times. She looks a bit like Darwin making a funny headshake with an open mouth while putting her hand in, gently biting on it. She goes out sometimes and seems to enjoy the company of the woollies outside. Lupa, one of our older female woolly monkeys, has taken a particular liking to her and has adopted a protective attitude towards her.

Last month we introduced Gaia and Wayra (juvenile female ocelots) to each other for a short period of time during the day, in two separate adjacent cages with mesh between them. It seemed to go rather well, without any real aggressive behavior towards each other, even when they both had food on their own sides. We took it a step further by leaving them for several hours instead of 20-30 minutes, with regular checkups. There is still a long way to go before we can put them together in the same cage. We are indeed aware of the risks involved in this process, so we are taking it very slow, baby steps!

Samara (female adult woolly monkey) has been struggling with the parasite Prosthenorchis Elegans for a long time. Even though she was never as bad as Moyo or Martin (two male woollies who not so long ago were under treatment in the clinic for the same parasite), she was losing fur, until she was almost bald, leaving very few fur patches on her body. However new fur has been growing for a few weeks now and she looks like a newborn baby with a new shiny and soft coat of fur.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Cesar (black spider monkey) is still recovering from his wound from a lawnmower. Even though he ripped out his stitches twice, it is now healing up very nicely. We do not know yet if he will regain

feeling or movement in his hand but we are very hopeful for him! Now a big job for the person working in the clinic is to make Cesar enrichment to keep him entertained until he can be released.

Picor (white-winged parakeet) who went back to the Igor enclosure last month, was brought back to the clinic. His foot was fine, but his beak was injured, he had a previous (healed) break in his lower beak but now his upper beak has been split, for unknown reasons. Thanks to some Wonderglue we were able to fix it, he will stay in the clinic until we are sure that it has healed.

Delta (orange winged amazon) finally got to join the other birds in Igor enclosure again. She will continue to get regular checkups to make sure she is doing well. Berto, another orange winged amazon, seemed to be very happy seeing her again, he kept on making funny noises while approaching and grooming her.

Otis (adult male Ma’s night monkey) was moved from the outside enclosure Lucia to the clinic in order to give him more intensive care, an extra examination and cleaning of his knee injury, as it is still not getting better.

Ricuna (juvenile female spider monkey) was found one afternoon limping on her left leg. No fracture or wound was found but after keeping a close eye on her for a day, we decided to take her in as she seemed to stay still, lying around on the floor and not eating anything. We noticed she was way worse than we thought, she had a fever, no coordination and no strength. We acted quickly and started treatment. We gave her liquids by syringe on the first day, then she started drinking by herself and got stronger day by day. After a while she started eating solid foods again and got control over her body. Now she is back to her normal self again, and we are so relieved and happy that all went well, however we are still clueless as to the cause. She was extraordinarily happy to be out again, immediately being picked up by Yanay (our ´Big mama´ adult spider monkey), and Chula (the daughter of Cumala, adult female spider monkey) was happy to see her teenage friend back again to play.

All the yellow footed tortoises have been weighed and moved from their temporary enclosure Xena to the newly renovated Reptile’s enclosure. Before moving them, they all received a medical check at the clinic. The new enclosure will sustain them for a long time, finally having replaced the wooden posts with galvanized tubes and new mesh.


The opossums in the quarantine are anxious to get out. In the wild at this stage, they would start fending for themselves. While we are awaiting the arrival of representatives of the Ministry of Flora and Fauna for their official release, we decided to separate them into smaller groups to avoid any aggression and hope it will soon be possible to let them all run free.

Ido (biggest male opossum) took time for his final release. His release started last year, and he has sometimes been staying in the outside enclosure Aguatena with the hatch to the big outside world being open 24 hours. He then finally decided not to return to the enclosure, so we hope he has found his way in the wild again. We are sure there will be enough food for him to be found in this area!

Yuno, the male juvenile kinkajou, was then moved to the Aguatena enclosure outside and will hopefully start his soft-release period soon.

Construction and other

Great news for our crowdfunding campaign with the Susy Utzinger foundation in Switerland: enough money has been raised together to start getting the materials we need. Thank you to everyone who has already donated to help Diego, Grety, Wayra and Gaia towards a bigger enclosure!

Meanwhile the old Araña enclosure has been taken apart and a new one has almost arisen. Only a few details are left and then we will have a cage that is fit for bigger birds, monkeys and other mammals. First it will give some more space to Cesar for his further recovery!

Volunteers and other

Even with few volunteers at the start of the year there are still some nice projects going on! One of the volunteers, Jay, fixed up the firepit so we are all waiting for the end of the rainy season for some great bonfire nights.

We had a presentation about CPR and the basic gestures we should all know in case of an emergency, human or animal related. Then we talked about the natural disasters that can occur in this region, what could happen, and what to do in an emergency.

We had a visit by a big group of people brought by a local shaman. They received a tour given by Douwe and Olivia, about the problems of the illegal animal market in Peru, how it affects the future of animals and the work we are trying to do to give all of them a second chance here at Esperanza Verde.

Good news came with the arrival of volunteer Sjoerd from The Netherlands, who took the initiative to ask the company AVH Dairy, which produces goatmilk powder, for a donation. They donated goatmilk powder, as much as Sjoerd could carry. We got in contact to thank them, and they said they would be happy to donate more in the future. This is great news for all the howlers, sloths and other special animal species to whom the normal human baby milk powder (based on cow’s milk) is often upsetting to their stomach. Thank you to AVH Dairy from the Netherlands for your generosity!