Esperanza Verde Update / 01.07.16 – 16.08.16

It has been a busy month here at Esperanza Verde, so apologies for the late arrival of this update! As always the needs of the animals under our care are the priority and with the arrival of several new ones we have had little time for much else. Having had no significant rainfall in the last 2 months, water is in short supply and trips to the waterfall to shower have become part of the daily routine. Also Olivia, Douwe, Marlon and Kayla went back to Holland all together for the first time in 5 years to visit family and friends. For nearly 3 weeks the volunteers were left in charge, though Machico our head worker kept a close eye on things.



Samara and Pashko (young female woolly monkey and baby male)

These two are amongst our new arrivals. They were confiscated by the government and currently reside in our clinic under quarantine. Both were very dirty when they arrived so after a quick health check they were given a bath! After much wailing during the process, they were pacified with a warm blanket and hot water bottle.

Chiquita (baby female woolly monkey), Khali & Cinty (baby male and female capuchin monkeys)

All three baby monkeys are enjoying life outside of the cage although Khali still sleeps inside over night alongside Sira. Khali is no longer fed milk from the bottle but is instead given it from bowls like most of the other babies.

Sira (female night-monkey)

Sira stays in the Roko cage and is still fed milk from the bottle. She is let out to play for around an hour each afternoon where she is supervised by the two volunteers on monkey tour. On occasion she can be unwilling to integrate with the other monkeys and stays close to the volunteers. She is most comfortable sitting on people´s heads however we discourage this now by pushing her onto the shoulders. Slowly she is growing in confidence and playing more in the trees.

Lupa (baby female woolly monkey)

Even though Lupa can often be found playing with the other baby monkeys she is becoming more independent. Sometimes she is difficult to locate for feeding as she can often be found with Yanay, our female spider monkey, either at Olivia and Douwe´s house or over by the new spider monkey enclosure. Like all of our monkeys Lupa was orphaned at a young age, but Yanay is trying hard to give her some motherly love and attention.

Xira (female young white-fronted capuchin)

Xira is one of the more independent baby monkeys. Like Lupa she can be difficult to find but for different reasons. She spends a lot more time high up in the trees and only quickly comes down for food and milk. We hope this behavior will rub off on some of the other monkeys!

Other Mammals


Lulu (baby two-toed Hoffman sloth)

Although she has only been here just over a week, Lulu has stolen the hearts of everyone. The first few days were tough establishing a feeding a routine but she has taken to life at EV well. Our volunteers bottle feed her milk and take her on walks to find her favourite leaves twice a day.

Baby Coati


There are three new coati babies! Sadly the mother, one of our released Coatis, was found dead, probably killed by a dog passing through with a farmer. Without milk the babies would have likely died, so the decision was made to scoop them up and place them under our care. The three babies now reside within the clinic and are being tried on different kinds of food. Their favorite is currently a mashed banana mix with cereals, but we aim to introduce more solid foods into their diet as they grow older. Whilst timid at first they now are more curious and inquisitive in behavior. They love watching people arriving at the clinic but quickly hide when their cage is cleaned. We have high hopes of releasing them back to the group once they can eat solid foods.

Zambo (young male tayra)

Zambo has made a remarkable recovery but still resides in the clinic. The volunteers take him for two walks a day, either to the plantation or the Mirador (view point). He is full of energy and loves to play and attack people´s boots and crocs. We have recently realized his love for playing with water and he now swims in the river and has a water tray in his cage that he loves to play with.

Agoutis, Milo and Chula (young male and female)

The agoutis have been seen on various occasions out of the reptile cage often by the compost heap and by the river towards the waterfall. During the tortoise hunt in the reptile enclosure, Milo had a lot of fun playing hide and seek with the volunteers. Although they were originally in the reptile cage it is clear they can jump the fence when they feel like exploring but still come back for food.

Kila (female kinkajou)

Kila is a new kinkajou that was brought in from the village. At first we were very wary that she would not get along with Kiko, but they were introduced and took to each other instantly. The two can even be seen sleeping together in the same box!


Anteater (tamandua)

This month the ministry brought us an anteater. After a quick check up and a few termite nests for food, it was deemed safe to be released. A few days after its arrival we all gathered round to see its release just on the other side of the river behind the volunteer house.



The parakeets have been separated to distinguish those that can and cannot fly. The ones that could fly have now been released. The remaining 100 parakeets have been moved to the Pepe cage and the Igor cage is currently empty.

Churi (Arasari)

Churi was briefly moved into a cage with the two festive amazon parrots. However after a few days he was attacked and ended up with an injury on his leg leg. Now separated he is recovering nicely, and enjoying the peace and quiet of being in his own cage once again. He is much happier and is back to his energetic and talkative self!

Dario (blue headed parrot)

Dario was found by our cook Elena after she discovered him in her garden. His feathers on his wings have been cut so he was probably caught by someone recently. However he is by no means tame so we assume he wasn’t in captivity for a long time. At first we feared he may be sick due to some wheezing but we later discovered this only occurred when people were nearby and he was stressed.

Rhaegar (mealy amazon parrot)

Rhaegar was rescued from a shop in Curimana. The shop owners, who had him as a pet, gave him up to Douwe when he was purchasing a few supplies. Rhaegar is unfortunately incredibly tame but he loves life in the clinic and all the attention from our volunteers. He is always talking to his visitors and does love to make a mess and chew anything in sight!

Great Egret

The Great Egret has officially been released! After some medication and brief stint in the aviary, he was released down by the big river and we hope is doing well.


Spider Monkey Cage

Spider Monkey Enclosure

Since Douwe returned to Esperanza Verde work on the new spider monkey enclosure has begun again. Now the metal mesh is in place, the doors are completed and some of the cement has been poured. Once completed it will be a vast new enclosure for Lucio and Rimaq, our male spiders. Even though she is released Yanay, our female spider (and Lupa her adoptee) spend most of the day with our workers, we like to think checking the quality of their work.

Other Construction

A few of the volunteers have been working hard to fix the broken steps and repair the paths around Esperanza Verde. The baby monkeys of course loved to lend a hand or rather hinder the process. The old tree nursery near the kitchen has also been deconstructed and the materials from it that are still fit for purpose will now be used elsewhere.


Lately there have been regular trips to waterfall (Regalia), forest walks with Machico and a night walk with Douwe! During the night walk we were fortunate enough to see a coral snake swim beneath a layer of leaves in the river. We all love feeding and caring for the animals but these trips are a great way to have a break every once in a while!

Since the last update we have also seen the arrival of Lauren and Iain, two old volunteers who returned to help look after Esperanza Verde whilst Olivia and Douwe were away. Also a big thanks to Isabel for being on hand as veterinarian!

As always a big thank you to all the supporters who enable us to keep this project running. We would not be able to operate without the help from them or the volunteers.