Esperanza Verde Update / November 2017

With the end of the year coming up, the rainy season starts. No more pumping of water from the river to supply us with water, as fresh water is coming in fully. With fewer volunteers we have long days, as animals need to be fed, cages cleaned and special care given. On top of this, this month has been and still is a lot about taking care of our young howlers as they are having some health issues.

Very good news did Olivia bring us from Holland. There she met with the board of the Jaap van de Graaf Foundation, which donated this year so generously for the costs of animal caretaking at Esperanza Verde. They now have decided to help us again, by financing something we are most in need of at this moment; a quarantine. So far we have been using our clinic as well as quarantine for the arrival of new animals. When something happens to one of the resident animals, we always have to take extra care, or find another cage to treat them. We are so happy that the Jaap van de Graaf Foundation, is helping us with this, and on top of that they will also help finance, the costs for the general animal caretaking (food, utensils and equipment like buckets, plates etc.) for the coming three years. Thank you so much for helping us with our work to improve the wellbeing of the many animals in need.




We can now confirm that Mica (female capuchin) is pregnant, as well are Lia and Nera (female capuchin monkeys)! Macu, the wild male, who came to us several months ago, has been busy! We expect some Christmas babies this year!

Tokay, Tiriko (male saddleback tamarins) and Noema (female squirrel monkey) have been released. After a few weeks of getting used to their new environment we have opened the cage. We believe Noema joined the group of squirrel monkeys resident in Esperanza Verde and enjoys life as a free monkey again. Tokay and Tiriko are roaming in the trees at daytime, and seek the safety of their cage at night.


Other Mammals

Rabito (male red brocket deer) was finally moved to the new deer enclosure (which we have Lush Cosmetics to thank for!), named Pepito. He directly was exploring and eating all the fresh leaves that he encountered in the spacious enclosure.


SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

In the last months the clinic has been very full, and it generally takes two persons to care for all the animals. This month we could move out several animals, but still it is a busy day at the clinic!

The new young howler monkeys, Kaya (female), Darwin and Cesar (male), got sick over the last month. Kaya got better after several treatments and intensive care, but then Cesar fell ill. We started him on the same treatment, but it took a bit longer for him to finally get up again. After a week of being force-fed and medicine, he is eating well by himself again. Kaya unfortunately fell ill again, and is under watchful eye and care of Claire. These monkeys give us a lot of worries, they are very sensitive to stress and become depressed quickly. Their intestinal flora is very special so they need a specific diet and it is not always easy to convince them that leaves are better than fruit It takes a lot of work as they are pretty stubborn! Darwin fell slightly ill as well, but he reacted well on the medicine and extra time spent by our clinic-volunteers with him.


Wallace (male howler monkey) is doing great outside generally, but as if we did not have enough on our hands with the other howlers, he as well got into some trouble. He showed up one afternoon with a swelling of his left arm, most likely from a fall and could not use his hand for some time. Thanks to the medical treatment given he is slowly getting better and is even seen hanging on both hands again. We hope he will fully recover the use of his hand again.

Kurima, the young female brown capuchin, has joined our baby monkey group in the outside cage (Capu (male young brown capuchin, Naka and Tawaki (resp. female and male woolly monkey). They are doing great together, while Tawaki being the smallest at night is still brought to the clinic for a good and warm night of sleep in a transport box.

Mayantu, the baby female brown capuchin, could now take Kurima’s place in the clinic, so she has a bit more climbing space during the day and night, when she is not with her ‘mum’-volunteer or in with the other babies in the outside cage.


Cumala, the new female spider monkey, and Camu, her infant male, were moved to La Sapa cage, where they were joined by Yanay. We would have left them for some weeks together before releasing them all. Unfortunately we had to change this plan, as Kamari got hurt.

Kamari under anestesia
Kamari under anestesia

He was seen just before dark with half of his lip hanging down. As it was getting dark and he was up in the trees it took us till the afternoon the next day to get him in the La Sapa cage. The spidermonkeys got moved in the morning to be able to lure Kamari in. Douwe anaesthetized him with the blowpipe, and could stitch his lip up (a cut from top till chin). We hope it will heal well or at least nicely enough so he will be able to eat normally. He might not be the most handsome anymore, but time will tell. For now we keep him in for his treatment and observation.


Churi (many-banded aracari), has been of big worry lately, and after a lot of research and communications with veterinarians in Europe, we all agreed there is not much we can do for his problem of his toes. He does not seem to have pain and is still his happy old self. So we adjusted his cage to see in which way we can help him best. We moved him back to his outside cage (the Lucia cage) where the branches are broad enough, so he will be able to fly to them and sit steadily enough on them. The volunteers come in three times a day to eat feed him and give him some attention and enrichment.


New arrivals

Severus, a bat falcon, was found by workers of the gas company and brought to us. His wing is intact but swollen and he can’t use it well enough. He is doing better after a week, but needs to move to a outside, bigger cage, to try to fly again. As soon as we have a cage empty we will be able to move him out of the clinic.

Again a new baby monkey joined us; it seems it is that kind of season! New comer is Luna, a baby female night monkey. Healthy and active, reminding us of the arrival of Sira, our adult female night monkey now living outside.



A special thank to Irene Bonte and Kees Kampschuur and their friends from Holland who donated 20 new desks and chairs for the primary school in in Bello Horizonte. Irene and Kees learned of the needs for this while volunteering at Esperanza Verde last year. The kids were very thrilled to receive the new furniture.


Selva Dormida

We have bought 200 small shihuahuaco trees to be planted in this rain season in Esperanza Verdes surrounding forest “Selva Dormida”. Shihuahuaco is a hardwood timber species that has been highly predated upon but has not only for its fruits a high ecological value.