December! Grab your poncho, the rain has arrived! The Ministry of Pucallpa visited for a few days this month; they completed relevant documents and government checks. During their stay they also witnessed the release of several animals, including a very young yellow spotted tortoise, three spider monkeys; Cumala, Camu and Yanay and lastly some white winged parakeets, a blue headed parrot and a palm tanager.
The wet season has arrived and the mosquito population has definitely increased. However to our delight, the amount of monkeys seen with botflies has decreased. Although we are always constantly monitoring the monkeys for them and we are ready to remove any that are discovered. All the monkeys at Esperanza Verde have received deparasitation medication and it seems to be having a positive effect.
We had some amazing news to report this month – the birth of the first brown capuchin monkey at EV!
Mica, the 7 year old female brown capuchin who we raised here but is now released, gave birth to a healthy female baby, just two days before Christmas. She seemed very tired on the day, and since she has been given a bit of special treatment, to make sure that she eats enough.
Kurima and Capu (female and male brown capuchin) have been released from Pepe cage and are fitting in well with the other capuchins; they are still receiving milk twice a day and now eat from the monkey tables.
Wallace (male howler monkey) has started to show an improvement in his behavior and morale, after dealing with an injury to his arm. His arm is still not in perfect condition and we speculate one of the bones has been fractured. However he has been seen climbing while using both arms which he wasn’t doing before. Additionally he has also been playing with the other monkey´s which suggests he is not as uncomfortable anymore. He has integrated more deeply into the monkey society and he is taking the first steps towards becoming an independent monkey.
Tawaki and Naka (male and female woolly monkey) remained in Pepe cage after Kurima and Capu´s release. Tawaki seemed to be trying to make contact with the volunteers. To help discourage this behavior, we put Loki (male woolly monkey) into the enclosure with them.
We then witnessed a strong bond develop between Loki and Tawaki. With this positive progress, we decided to release the three monkeys. Kamari has been seen taking Tawkaki up into the trees during the day, however not unfortunately to sleep at night. Likewise Naka seems happy to play during the day, however no monkey has invited him to sleep with the group either, so we decided it’s safer to put them into the cage at night for now.
Cumala, Camu and Yanay (female, young male, and female Spider Monkey) were all released from La Sapa cage, with the ministry present. All three are slowly finding their feet outside of the cage. Cumala and Camu are very close and we are almost certain that they are related now. They have all been seen climbing to the monkey tables to feed which is promising. After a week of being out of the cage they have been seen playing and interacting with the other monkey species which is great. Updates to follow!
After her weight having fluctuated in the past few weeks, Lulu (female two toed sloth) had finally put on weight and it was decided she was in a healthy condition to be released again. She has been provided with a bed and foods every night as a precautionary measure. It is lucky we did this because she was spotted about 3 weeks after her release; eating from the food table and she has put on weight yet again!
Churi (female many-banded arasari) is now in Lucia cage again; his problem with his feet resulted in him not feeding from the flat surface his plate sits on. As a result, one of our volunteers fitted a branch over his plate. This has been a very successful addition to the cage as he often sits on the branch to feed. Our volunteers also spend extra time with him to ensure he consumes enough food.
Severus (the bat falcon) was moved from the clinic to Tupak cage. After a few days of close analysis of her flight, she was released. She flew perfectly out of the cage and has not been seen since! Good luck Severus!
After Severus was released a black shiny cowbird arrived, and after establishing it would eat and only needed to learn to improve it’s flying, it was put into the release cage, Tupak. When released fully he flew straight out of the door. Although we had high hopes for him, we are sad to report that a few days after the release she was killed by one of the capuchins in the area.
The Igor cage is now the cage for non-flying birds. We took several white-winged parakeets that could fly out of the cage in preparation for their release.
As well we decided to release Zazu, the palm tanager and the blue headed parrot, Dario. Both were hard to catch, not being tame, and fly very well. All were brought to another cage and a few days later a small hatch was opened. They all left within an hour. Neo (orange winged Amazon parrot) was moved from the clinic to join the non-flying birds in Igor cage and seems to be bonding well with Pichu, one of the white eyed parakeets.
SUST Animal Orphan Hospital
After busy recent months the clinic is now quieter. At the moment we are left with the three howler monkeys Darwin, Cesar and Kaya, the young female brown capuchin Mayantu and a porcupine which had to have part of its tail amputated due to rot. He is now recovering well and is starting to eat.
This has provided us with more time to care for the howler monkeys. They are now taken to the outside cage Roko for most of the day. There they can enjoy the sun while climbing, playing or resting and have some contact with the troop of outside monkeys. They are all, together with Mayantu, taken for a leaf walk to collect sufficient leaves for them to eat.
Kamari, the alpha woolly monkey who had been seen with a split lip, was consequently sedated and Douwe operated on him. After successfully repairing his lip, we put Kamari into La Sapa cage where he remained for one and a half weeks while on antibiotics. He has since been released and has retained his alpha male status.
Chiquita (female woolly monkey) was discovered to have a bite on her left leg. The wound was serious enough to hinder her from using the leg so it was decided that she would be moved to Pepe cage with the baby monkeys. Her wound was cleaned up and has been healing well. It seemed there was another problem going on, so she was moved to the clinic where she could be watched more closely. She is coping with several parasites among them the, for us, famous and disturbing: Prosthenorhis Elegans. She has been administered antibiotics and deparisitation, and given extra vitamins. Although improving medically, being deprived of her freedom and friends, she was mainly sitting in a box on the floor and looked depressed. Fearing for her mental state, we released her and we hope that she will able to recover fully and continue to gain weight outside.
Otis, a male night monkey, was rescued by a man from a nearby town and handed into our care. This is the same man who brought us Luna (female night monkey) and Curima (female brown capuchin). A family had killed Otis’ mother, so the man talked to the family, and they gave the baby with him. Knowing it was so young he decided to take it straight to us the next morning. We estimated Otis to be not even 2 weeks old. Douwe and Olivia took him into their care. He has been growing nicely and starts to crawl around a bit.
A young armadillo was given to the daughter of Machico, one of our workers. The daughter brought him straight to us. The condition of the animal was not great to start, and although at first it seem to do well on the milk we provided, we are sad to say that he died due to his malnourished state.
One day Geiler, another of our workers, found a wild porcupine hidden under the plastic that covers our sand for constructions. He warned Douwe and when they went for a better look, they noticed a very bad smell. On closer inspection, the tail of the porcupine was half severed and with infected maggots. They caught it and with the help of the vet student, Donna from Australia, Douwe prepared for an operation. The tail had to be partly amputated. However the wound is now looking better and the porcupine is almost ready to be released again. In many ways he was lucky that he was found, as he might have not survived from this injury.
December is also the month of celebrations. As the family is Dutch, we enjoyed the celebration of a typical Dutch holiday, San Nicolas. Everybody made presents with a poem and some surprises, and we had a great evening with some Dutch sweets and music!
Christmas was celebrated with a nice cheese-fondue dinner, and special made gifts for everyone. Here in the jungle you get very creative, and so everybody got a special stone with their favorite animal painted on it. At New Year, after having pizza, some oliebollen (a typical Dutch sweet dough ball) we all went to the port for some fireworks, and then had a campfire with the local traditional burning of a puppet!