Esperanza Verde Update / February 2017

The last three weeks here have brought a lot of changes with new animals and volunteers arriving. At the beginning of the month three new animals were brought here: a juvenile giant anteater (released a day after arrival), a tamandua and a baby howler monkey. Most of the volunteers who were with us over New Years have now left and a stream of new volunteers have arrived. We now have a big group again which means plenty of helping hands and time to do extra jobs such as carrying sand bags and bricks for the storage building and guest cabin.


Wallace (male baby red howler monkey)


One of the new arrivals is Wallace, our 4 month old red howler monkey. When Wallace arrived he was in a good condition and he was, and still is, very active. Since he is still very vulnerable as a baby he stays with the family during the night and several long-term volunteers take turns “babysitting” him during the day. Taking care of him is a full time job as he gets milk several times a day and eats all through the day, often together with Lulu. Then, as a healthy young animal should, he loves to climb and play. Of course he has stolen everyone´s heart so finding volunteers to look after him is never a problem.

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

After spending several weeks in the La Sapa cage Willow and Samara are now back outside with the other monkeys. Even with necessary precautions they managed to escape, most likely aided by our adult capuchin monkey Mica who can open lots of different locks. Both are happy to be back outside and for now we have decided to leave them outside. Willow was very excited the first week but has calmed down now and at least for now he seems to keep more of a distance from the volunteers. Making the decision to enclose them in a cage was hard and seeing them outside again makes us all happy. It is especially nice to see how caring Willow is for the younger monkeys and he takes a lot of time to play with them.

Spider monkeys (males Rimaq and Lucio, female Yanay)

Yanay, who was released last month, is still enjoying her freedom and carrying Lupa (young female woolly) and Pashko (young male woolly). She has also taken up her habit of following on the Zambo walks again. She loves observing everyone and playing peek-a-boo with people.

Squirrel monkeys

Both Silvana and Camila´s babies seem to be doing well. Camila we spot on a daily basis but Silvana not as often. Camilla´s baby keeps growing and sometimes she is brave enough to leave the back of her mum to enjoy being with the other adult monkeys including the capuchins. We are yet to see what the sex is but everyone is patiently waiting! The guess so far is it being a male!

Other Mammals

Tamana (juvenile female Tamandua)


One of the new arrivals is Tamana, the young female tree anteater. She is very friendly and in good health. We find termite nests for her every day which she gets once or twice a day. For now she is enjoying her time in the Araña cage waiting for her official release back in the jungle.

Kiko and Kila (male and female kinkajou)

At the beginning of the month we were about to release Kiko and Kila again after Kiko recovered from his wounds after another fight. However Douwe noticed that Kila had two fungus spots, one on her foot and one next to her eye. Since she needs treatment for it we were forced to keep them enclosed for a bit longer. Hopefully she will recover quickly and we can let them out of their enclosure again.

Zambo (male tayra)

At the beginning of the month we had a very different Zambo from the usual hyperactive and happy tayra that we are used to. He felt ill for about a week, not wanting to eat or move much. We still tried taking him on short walks twice a day and he did want to go although he would just walk beside or behind you on the path without exploring much or being difficult in any way. As Zambo is very loved by all the volunteers we were all happy when he started being difficult again which basically meant that he was back to normal. He is now again very happy and energetic.


Rhaegar & Daenerys (male and female mealy amazon parrots)

Rheagar is still loving being in the clinic where he gets lots of attention and has lots of people to talk to all day long. Some volunteers have been taking phones and iPods into the clinic to play music for him; he seems to particularly like the soundtrack of The Lion King. Several weeks ago he got several beautiful new (short) tail feathers. We took Daenerys from the Pichu cage to the clinic to check how she was doing and she has gotten a clean bill of health. Rhaegar has some parasites and is being treated for them now. Once he is clean too we will move both of them into the Igor cage with the remaining parakeets. We hope that they will become a close couple so we can eventually move them back to the Pichu cage.


After several weeks of opening and closing the hatch in the Igor cage every day most of the birds have now left the cage. Sadly two birds died by unknown causes. Another parakeet moved into the clinic because of a wound on its chest from falling on the ground (this one can´t fly). The others are doing well though and will soon be joined by Rhaegar and Daenerys.

Rosalinda (swallow-wing)

Sadly Rosalinda died at the beginning of the month. We all miss her as taking care of her was a big part of the day whilst doing Zambo tour. We hand fed her multiple times a day and caught fresh crickets for her every day.

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)

Khali, who had a wound and two small spots on his side from worms or botflies, is now all better. The antibiotics did their work and luckily he has been fine for several weeks now.

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)


Ossi, who arrived here last month has been doing well and is growing slowly. We introduced him to Roko cage where also Sira, our night monkey lives during the day in the front cage (at night she is able to go out by herself). They are living in different compartments of the cage but we hope they enjoy their neighbourship. Ossi was quick in exploring his new cage and now seems to enjoy it.

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. The main reason she is in the clinic was because of her weight. We are now almost certain that she is not actually the type of porcupine that we thought and that she is just a smaller species and therefore is not gaining weight. Now we know this we are trying to decide what to do with her, hopefully she can go back outside soon.

Lulu (female two-toed sloth)

Lulu climbing
Lulu climbing

Lulu is doing really well; she started eating more raw vegetables (instead of steamed) and enjoys her walks every day. And she seems to have a growth spurt at the moment! Over the last few weeks we have tried to get her more comfortable being near trees and after several days of smelling and licking them she made some attempts to climb them. She started by grabbing a tree with one arm and then quickly letting go again, one turned into two and eventually she let go and started climbing by herself. Since then she has been very eager to climb and she constantly looks around during the walk and reaches out her hand more quickly. Now the volunteers have a hard time getting her back down!

Rabito (adult male deer)

Rabito is still living in the garden area of the clinic. He looks much better than when he arrived but the skin problem keeps coming back. It seems to be caused by a fungus, and luckily is not affecting any other animals or humans. We are in contact with our network of veterinarians to find the best solution. At the moment we are treating him with an anti-fungus shampoo which, instead of spraying on him, we now rub into his skin with a sponge, and he likes it way better! We hope to see results soon.


The parakeet that was brought into the clinic from the Pepe cage is treated with a cream on his chest every day. We hope he recovers quickly so he can move back into the Pepe cage with the others.


The Zambo path which needed improvement was finished this month, just before more heavy rainfall. It was finished just in time and walking to the cage has become much easier.

The work on the quest house and storage building is progressing. As we are now in full rain season work gets a bit harder and maintenance of paths more important. Water always finds a way to keep us busy!

We are happy that with all this rain we have hardly any problems with our water supply, and can shower freely at the hose again.


This month has seen a lot of volunteers leave and new ones arrive. We have a lot of new volunteers arriving again over the next few weeks. Alex came back a couple of weeks ago after a nice holiday and jumped right back into her assistant manager duties. This month there were two Regalia visits. During the first one the weather was perfect, it was warm and sunny. During the second visit we were not as lucky as it was not as warm and rain started pouring down at the end of the morning. Machico took the volunteers on another nice forest walk where they saw squirrel monkeys, tarantulas, a vine snake and a lot of other small animals. They also came across tracks of different animals and found a tree porcupine nest by following the familiar sour smell that we all know from Soraya. All in all it´s been another eventful month as Esperanza Verde.