Esperanza Verde Update / 20.12.16 – 31.01.17

A new year has started and as usual a lot has happened at Esperanza Verde! Besides celebrating a wonderful Christmas, New Years Eve and various birthdays, we also welcomed some new animals: two newborn baby squirrel monkeys and a baby olingo called Ossi. A lot of work has been done on the cages, Willow and Samara moved into the La Sapa enclosure together and the parakeets were moved to the Pepe cage. The construction of two new buildings has started: a storage building and a guest cabin.

After that great start of the New Year we hope for a lucky and exciting 2017.


Willow and Samara (male woolly monkey and young female woolly monkey)


Unfortunately, but for the safety of the people living and working here, Willow had to be enclosed in the La Sapa cage. After some warnings and an actual bite (luckily not too severe) we had to make this decision. Douwe prepared the cage with the help of the volunteers and added some nice enrichment to provide Willow with a range of opportunities to play and to be entertained. However it was a tough day for all, as we had hopes this day would somehow never come. After several days he was joined by Samara so he won´t become lonely. Both are doing well and we are looking for other solutions in the future, but for now we will have to keep them inside and provide them with enough stimuli, like enrichment, and hope they will adapt well. Kamari for now seems to stay on a distance, and still takes care of the group outside.


Spider monkeys (males Rimaq and Lucio, female Yanay)

Yanay was released about a week ago after spending some time with the males in the cage. None of them have given an indication that there has been any romance between them so we are not very hopeful that she is pregnant but we will have to see. Now at least she is enjoying being outside again where she can spend time with the other monkeys and observe everything that is going on in the area. She took up carrying Lupa (young female woolly) again and also takes turns carrying Pashko (young male woolly) with Kamari


Squirrel monkeys

camila with baby
camila with baby

Silvana, one of the several released squirrel monkeys 2 years ago, gave birth, and shortly after it was Camila´s turn. Both happened around Christmas time! We are all really happy that the babies seem to be healthy and doing well. Especially Camila´s as this is her first and she was raised her in Esperanza Verde. We spot her several times a day around the volunteers´ kitchen so she is easy to keep an eye on.

Other Mammals

Timo (young male collared peccary)

Quintisha and Timo
Quintisha and Timo

Timo has moved in with Kohana and Quintisha in the Xena cage. They are getting along with each other pretty well. After some time receiving his own separate food in smaller pieces he now really joined the grown-ups and is eating together with the females. He still can whine sometimes when Douwe or Olivia pass by but this also will soon pass. We are happy the female take such good care of him.


Takari (adult male paka)

We are very sad that Takira, who we´ve had for about a year, escaped. He loves to dig and we´d spend some time every couple of days filling up the holes that he had dug along the fence. We are not sad because he might not survive, but more that he was a very nice animal to have around. We knew this would be possible within this enclosure, therefore we chose it, so he could decide himself if he would want to go or not. At one day he did not return and we left the hole he dug and the door open, but we suppose he found himself a better, less disturbed area (by monkeys!) to rest during day. We just hope he stay close to the heart of Esperanza Verde so he won’t encounter human-hunters.


Kiko and Kila (male and female kinkajou)

However friendly Kiko is to us and his female companion he doesn´t seem to be able to stop the wild male outside from getting to him. After two months without any trouble, they were even all three close together without a fight, something happened again. Again he got bitten in his face, this time he ended up with a puncture wound on his nose, which gave him some trouble breathing normally. We closed him in together with Kila and started him on antibiotics. He is fine now and we will try again!


Zambo (male tayra)

Zambo in the first month at EV
Zambo in the first month at EV


Zambo now
Zambo now

Zambo is back to his old self after losing a claw and some trouble with his leg. He is enjoying his new cage which has been given a lot of nice enrichment and decorations. Volunteers continue to give him further enrichment by changing things in his cage every couple of days. He loves the rotting pieces of wood and big palm leaves that are regularly put in his cage. He is at times still difficult on walks, but he is still young and we have hopes he will adapt fine. Together with the volunteers who walk him on daily basis we regularly talk about his development and behavior and we all learn how smart little Zambo is. He had a long way from the tiny, very sick tayra on arrival to the beautiful animal he has become now!




The Aratingas in the Aviary cage finally have been caught in an adventurous night-operation with the help of the volunteers and were moved to the Igor Cage, ready for release.



After last month´s release we separated the left parakeets again in flyers and non-flyers and moved the non-flyers to the Pepe Cage to provide them with more space. The flyers moved in with the aratingas in the IGOR cage. After a week of observing the flyers carefully we deemed them fit to be released and started opening the hatch in their cage during the day which we still do every day and will continue to do until they all leave the cage. For the ones who remember him, Pichu, the aratinga, he is still with us. His feathers seem to grow normal finally, but he still is not able to fly sufficiently.


Rhaegar (male mealy amazon parrot)

Rheagar moved up in the clinic after being found with a bloody tail. He mostly likely was harassed by one or more of the others. He is doing fine and rehabs quite well. He loves all of the attention he gets here and the hustle and bustle of people walking past all day long. He has also picked up quite a few new words in several different languages. His feces was checked and he is putting on weight, but we will keep him for a bit longer to decide what would be the best to do further.


Pauki (russet-backed oropendola)

Pauki back
Pauki back

Happily we can announce that we saw Pauki again. He looked healthy and is doing well. He just showed up for several days, and Olivia even got to weigh him, all good!

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital


Several animals are treated or given special treatment (e.g. milk and vitamins for all baby monkeys) on a daily basis from out of our Hospital. In this section we mention some of the more special cases.


Khali (young male brown capuchin)

Kayla noticed that Khali had a wound on his side. It seems it was from a worm of a botfly which got infected. Mostly likely other monkeys already got the worm out but instead some bacteria’s went in. With antibiotics and local cleaning after almost two weeks of daily care it healed nicely, except for a new worm popping up. It is rain season and these botflies often appear more at this time.


Sira (female nightmonkey)

Sira is doing well too and is usually seen on our kitchen window during the morning which is our cue to go outside and bring her back to her cage for the day. The weight loss she experienced some time ago is slowly coming back with the special vitamin mix she receives on a daily basis.


Ossi (young male olingo)

A new animal joined the Esperanza Verde family in the hospital: Ossi, the young olingo. He was handed over by a local man who found him lying on the floor crying, when he was walking home from his plantation through the forest. After a few weeks of living in the manager´s house he finally moved up to the clinic where he will receive his vitamins and will be raised there until he hopefully can be released.


Soraya (young female prehensile-tailed porcupine)

Soraya, was brought to the clinic to receive a more intense treatment and to make sure she eats enough. In the clinic she can be checked regularly, including a feces check-up. During one of those check-ups we found out she had a problem with lice, not easy to get them out from between the quails! We found out which treatment would work most and after several week got rid of them all. We just hope she finally gain some significant weight, it is about time!


Lulu (female two-toed sloth)

Lulu two toed sloth
Lulu two toed sloth

Lulu is doing really well, she started eating more raw food and enjoys her walks every day. And she seems to have a growing spurt at the moment!


Rabito (adult male deer)

Rabito is still doing in the garden area of the clinic. He looks so much better than at his arrival, but the skin problems keeps coming back. It seems to be caused by a fungus, and luckily is not affecting any other animals or humans. But treating him locally is not possible, as he will never be still enough to treat his whole body. We are in contact with our network of veterinarians to find the best solution.




Zambo Path

The volunteers started to improve the path towards the newly constructed Zambo cage so access is now much easier. It took already some sweat and tears carrying all those stones, pebbles and sand! Thank you all.


New storage building

Douwe and the workers started building a new building for storage of food and a special compartment for tools near to the volunteer kitchen. This will create more living space for volunteers and it will provide a more adequate storage of fresh vegetables and fruit as well as other items.

The tools which are for now stored also in the volunteer kitchen will get their own room where they all can be organized neatly.


Guest Cabin

We started we the guest house, so we can give special short-time visitors, as veterinarians, researchers, people from the Ministry among others, their own accommodation.



A lot happened during the last weeks. After days of heavy rain, the river went almost up to the volunteer’s house and everyone helped to remove wood and other construction material from underneath the house to save it from the coming flood. The volunteers enjoyed a great night walk again with Douwe where they spotted various animals and Douwe found another wild caiman. One of our long- term volunteers, Sean, also took everyone on several shorter night walks where they spotted some night monkeys. The volunteers also spent a few nice bonfire nights, celebrating a wonderful Christmas together with the family and an exciting New Years Eve. Firework was lit at the port and thanks to our musically talented volunteer Kars we sang and played guitar at the bonfire.  Furthermore we celebrated the birthdays of various volunteers such as Alex, our long-term volunteer, who we sadly had to say goodbye to on the 11th of January. Alex will luckily come back at the beginning of February to stay for several months and we are looking forward to greeting her again.

Holly, our artistic volunteer with a talent for painting started a wonderful artwork of Lulu on the bathroom door in the volunteer’s house. Unfortunately she didn´t get to finish it before she left but that is all the more reason for her to come back.



We wish you all a very happy new year!