December 2020 Newsletter

Another year has passed by, and although challenging at times, we can all celebrate and reflect the successes that have been achieved. Esperanza Verde has been very fortunate to have the support of so many people worldwide, for which we are all so very grateful. To close the year we had a nice meeting of EVI digitally, even represented by EV in Peru! With sustained support Esperanza Verde can continue to rescue and rehabilitate animals removed from their natural habitat.


This year, we are not only extremely grateful to the Dutch foundation St. Jaap van de Graaf for financing for the third year the largest part of the daily animal costs, but also to all the people who donated through out of this year through the foundations which help Esperanza Verde. With your money we have been able to cover all the daily food costs for the animals during this year. Thank you all for helping us out during these hard times.

It is always rewarding to see new offspring being born and this December certainly was not a month to disappoint. Rioma (large headed capuchin) was the first of our released troop of capuchins to show off her latest baby. Never to be outdone, we also welcome three new squirrel monkey babies. The new monkeys are seen most days along with the other capuchin monkeys frequenting one of the three elevated feeding tables.

Kohana (our oldest female peccary) gave birth to two baby peccaries.

Life within the family house has gotten slightly less hectic this month with Anishka, our female neotropical otter, now becoming slowly accustomed to living in the newly refurbished Tiliku enclosure. Douwe has modified the pond allowing for an underwater exit and entry point. This allows Anishka to come and go at will without the concern of other animals entering. Although having not yet developed the skills to hunt for herself, this gives her very few restrictions while still having the security of daily feedings and a safe sleeping area.

Maccus, Conan and Alaric (juvenile male white collared peccaries) were taken for a walk to the new peccary enclosure month by Douwe and Geyler. When moving animals Esperanza Verde always endeavours to move animals in the calmest way possible. And if you were fortunate enough to witness the three peccaries walking from one end of EV to the other you would have been amazed at how relaxed they all looked. All three peccaries are in the newly completed enclosure where they are being given time to settle in and familiarise themselves with their new territory. Then the ‘old’ group of 7 will be brought closer with a fence separating them from the three new peccaries, before bringing them together. New introductions can be complicated and every necessary step is being taken to ensure the introduction runs as smoothly as possible.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Kira(Ma’s night monkey)had a brief stay in the SUSTOAH after being found with an injured leg. After a treatment of antibiotics to treat the infection Kira was back into Lucia enclosure where she remained until she had fully recovered and was let out again.

Our resident saddleback tamarin monkey Tonka was caught as he did not look well. After a check-up in the clinic, and established a problem due to the problematic parasite Prosthenorchis Elegans, we enclosed him in the Lulu enclosure for treatment. Unfortunately, the next day Tonka was found lying in his cage deceased. On necropsy it was discovered one of the worms had perforated his intestine. This parasite is a huge problem as it is transmitted through the consumption of cockroaches and other beetles that eat infected faecal matter. As these animals are freely living all over in the jungle it is hard to treat as the change on re-infestation is very high.

And while Kira went out, we admitted one of our other female night monkeys living outside, Moira, to the clinic. As we suspected her of having to deal with the same parasite that caused the death of Tonka earlier, we started her treatment quickly. Our small lab confirmed the diagnosis, and so far she has been reacting well on the treatment. She will stay some time to ensure hopefully a full recovery and the necessary weight gain. Her partner Maru (both were living nearby the manager house) will have to do without her company for now.

Rainy season is coming and this does not always come well for all. It sometimes comes with a lot of rain and cold all at once. While entering the Pichu (aviary) enclosure, Koru, our purple gallinule, was found in the pond, exhausted but still breathing. Normally he had no problems coming out of it, but we suspect that, with the heavy rainfall during the night, this time he had not been able. We tried our best to warm him up and give him extra support as quick as possible, but after several hours he succumbed of the effects of the near drowning syndrome.

Construction and other

Another quality construction came to completion this month. The new bridge spanning the gap between Esperanza Verde and the Family house is finished and is truly a credit to both Douwe and Geyler. Douwe’s design, along with all the work completed prefabricating ensured that once the bridge placement was started in earnest, everything came together incredibly efficiently. Geyler and Douwe took only a matter of days to install all the frame work, pour the cement and complete any further excavations as required, ensuring even in the heavier rainfalls, the family house will always be accessible.

Both the new peccary enclosure (see November Update) and the bridge were completed as projects of urgency. Towards the end of December work was now able to continue on the extension to the bathroom in our volunteer house. Geyler has started the rendering over the block walls ensuring an even surface ready for further installations as they come ready.

Sadly, December is the month we say goodbye to Geyler. Geyler is leaving EV to focus on his own plantations and endeavours. After six years, Geyler has been a reliable and invaluable team member who knew so many different facets of the day to day running of Esperanza Verde and was always available to help with whatever required his attention. We are sure all previous volunteers and visitors to Esperanza Verde will join us in wishing Geyler well. We will miss him.


Joining the team for the next two months is Sandra, a returning volunteer helping out while her job is on hold due to Corona, from Lima, Peru. And just before New Year we were joined by two veterinarian students from Lima, who will help us out throughout January.

Sinterklaas (a typical Dutch tradition) was another chance for the entire crew (well our small group of the year) to get together, exchange gifts and have a great night together. To the uninitiated this may seem like another Christmas, but was so much more. Everybody selects names randomly and then there is a lot of thought and creativity put into making a gift and poem specifically relating to the person you have selected. Needless to say,the laughs were abundant and a magnificent night was had by all.

New land

Not only is the new land purchase (see November update) future proofing supply of some of the daily essentials when feeding a multitude of different species. It is also providing added varieties of food that the animals don’t often get to enjoy. The last month has seen the first harvest of corn being fed to the animals and it appears to be a favourite with so many while also providing enrichment. Watching the variation in how each animal “attacks” the task of corn on the cob is a pleasure in itself. Other fruits already being enjoyed are fresh oranges, avocado, caimito, macambo and starfruit.

December also saw the purchase of 200 new trees to be planted on sight adding to the biodiversity within this organic paradise. Not only fruit trees but also hardwood trees that were near on extinct within the local region.

🎅 Christmas

This year has been coming to its end and although it has been tough, we made its Christmas into a great happening. Puck and Kayla went to the effort of wrapping individual gifts for the animals and unquestionably the paper being ripped off is a sure sign of enjoyment. Guests from the village joined the team for dinner at the general kitchen where Craig had prepared us an amazing four-course dinner. The Christmas spirit was plentiful and we all came away happy and excited to see what the next year has to offer.