Babies becoming kids, a released animal being attacked, a new part-time daddy is born and an all-time favorite returns for a visit – these are only a few of the last week’s big happenings. As you see, it never gets boring here at Esperanza Verde with all the cages being full and plenty of animals living freely around the house. Everybody is enjoying the beginning of the dry season and the beautiful, peaceful jungle surrounding that makes you feel as far from civilization as only imaginable.
Chiquita (baby female woolly monkey), Khali & Cinty (baby male and female capuchin monkeys)
Two of the three babies, Chiquita and Cinty, made a big step last week: first night out and first sleepover outside the baby cage. Luckily baby Khali is giving us some more time to get used to this new teenager behavior by staying in his hammock overnight and still enjoying his milk out of a bottle. Nevertheless, all of them are getting more and more independent. The distance from people keeps getting bigger and they hardly seek human attention anymore. We are very happy about this development and find it great to watch them becoming a part of the big monkey family.
Sira (female night-monkey)
Sira is such a great enrichment to Esperanza Verde. Everybody enjoys giving attention to and spending time with her. She, on the other hand, rewards us with not only her hyperactive character but also with drinking a lot of milk, sometimes even double the amount she is supposed to drink. Since the baby monkeys are now higher up in the trees, she is lacking some play mates though. We try to give her a bit of extra attention to make up for it.
Lupa (baby female woolly monkey)
Lupa is still the most independent baby monkey of the group which is great to see; she can be an example for the other baby monkeys. Her search for safety at the other woolly monkeys is still the same, especially with Willow and Kamari. These grown up male woolly´s are really protective over her. But the last weeks, Lupa herself is changing. She often leaves them, to play along with the other baby´s or to see if there is something left from the food plates. She understands that the other woolly monkeys are creating a safe base for her, but she doesn’t want to spend all her time with them. It’s funny to see how Willow tries to boss around on her – behaving like a part-time father – and that Lupa is acting more and more like a teenager.
Nera (female capuchin monkey)
Within the varied group of capuchin monkeys, 1 ½ year old Nera was acting a bit strange. Many times she was sitting on her own without moving much. She also lost a lot of weight, so that we decided to bring her to the clinic for some deworming. We found out that she suffered from three different species of parasites as well had two worms in her neck and one in her belly from a botfly. Those parasites are relatively easy to remove, but other species were more difficult. She reacted well on the treatment and could be released after a week being in the clinic.
Kiko (male kinkajou)
At this moment we are keeping Kiko back in his cage again, because he had been attacked by another wild male kinkajou. Olivia and Douwe heard some noises in the middle of the night and Douwe run out and could separate Kiko from the wild male. The wild male was holding Kiko’s head while biting him. His left eye was pretty damaged. We were a little bit afraid that he lost his sight, but for now it seems that it’s recovering slowly. The night-shine is back in his eye! We hope that he will gain confidence again and we hope to be able to try and release him soon.
Zambo (young male tayra)
If you would not know in which condition this little tayra arrived, you wouldn’t guess how bad he was actually doing not that long ago. Judging from his energy and never-ending eagerness to live, he is now doing better than ever. Also, it seems like he recently discovered his teeth. What may sound cute in the first place, can get very exhausting the same time. He is literally biting everything from leaves to wellies which sometimes can be a big challenge for the volunteer working with him. For this reason we try to keep him busy with two long walks a day as well as some ball playing. He loves the extra attention and we in turn love to see him that happy and full of life!
Kohana (baby female peccary)
When we first put her in the cage with the adult female peccary Quintisha, the about 6 month old Kohana was a bit stressed and found a way to sneak out of the new situation. In search of escape she used a small hole in the fence and was later on found in Rincay´s (the tapir) cage. As he is best friends with almost everybody including all the animals, he didn’t really seem to care about his new company. Douwe fixed the fence and re-released her back into Quintisha’s cage. They are slowly getting to know each other and we hope this is the start of a long-lasting nice flat or better cage share. Quintisha seems to be really enjoying it and invites Kohana to lay with her.
Unfortunately last week an egret became a victim of local kids throwing stones at him. Fortunately not all kids are this way and he was saved by other local children.
He needed some medical care for a head wound, and we took a fecal exam, which showed a high number of parasites in it. He was treated and released, but due to his, let’s say not really existent ability to fish, he needed an extra treatment and is now again one of the patients in the clinic. We released him again, and within a couple of hours he showed up at the clinic, and the release site was not that close by! So it seems he wants to join us living here at Esperanza Verde…giving us lots of work fishing for him! Let’s see what we can do for him!
“Look, there is Elmo” said Geiler, one of the workers here at Esperanza Verde, probably not thinking about the impact these few words would have. Immediately everybody had a big smile on their face and stormed to the construction site of the new spider monkey cage where the sloth was sighted. What a nice surprise! This after several months of doing a no-show!
Bathroom: check!, Furniture: check!, nice exterior painting: check! Now it is only waiting for new (very lucky) long-term volunteers to be occupied by…
New spidermonkey enclosure
The new material that was ordered finally arrived, so we can continue the work on this new enclosure. This will be the biggest project for the time-being we will be working on.
In the last period we experienced some very nice group activities such as two guided night walks with Douwe where we sighted a wild sloth, some caimans, snakes and loads of spiders. Also we had the chance to swim and jump off the big waterfall Regalia, do a forest walk and enjoy a delicious lunch in the jungle at the waterfall, on a local holiday. This made our stay even more enjoyable and exciting. Unfortunately, we also had to say goodbye to some very motivated volunteers: Melanie, Valentine, Lore and Mona – thanks for your hard work and great team spirit! And a big thanks to all supporters who enable us to keep this project running in this wonderful way it does.
Au revoir et à bientôt !