Esperanza Verde Update / September 2017

It’s been a busy month for Esperanza Verde both here in the Peruvian amazon but also back in Europe! Last month Olivia travelled to Holland for visiting not only family and friends, but for the first time Olivia could meet up with several people which have been helping EV for a long time now out of Europe. They all came together in Europe, and had a great meeting, reunion, visit to the Zurich Zoo, thanks to organizer Philipp Zerbe (president of Esperanza Verde International). Olivia finally got to meet Susy Utzinger, who offered her office space for our meeting and invited us all for a lovely brunch at a mountain farm. As well in Holland there was time for a reunion with old/volunteers. It is so great to see all people again and still seeing all have a warm heart for all the work we do here.

Here at the Rescue Centre we were visited by the ministry who delivered a brown capuchin, a squirrel monkey, two saddle back tamarins, a howler monkey, two woolly monkeys and seven
opossums, busy month in all!

We also got a visit from two school classes from the Bello Horizonte primary school, giving us the opportunity to show them around the rescue center and teach them about certain species. The kids seemed to really love seeing the animals and it’s nice to be able to educate the next generation about animal conservation.

Below you are able to read more…



Our baby monkeys are not such babies anymore!

Chiquita, Lupa and Samara (all female woolly monkeys)

They drank this month their last bowls of milk. They’re now old enough to be fine without it. The other woolly monkeys have had their milk reduced as well.


newly introduced is doing well, she is quickly understanding the way of the monkeys here and following along on their daily excursions deeper into the forest

Mayantu (female baby brown capuchin monkey)

Last month a girl from Kayla’s school came to Esperanza Verde with a little baby brown capuchin. We determined her age to be around 5-6 weeks and she was named Mayantu. Due to her young age she is staying at the family house so she can get care in the late evening and mornings. During the day she is brought to the clinic where she has her own enclosure and volunteers help take care of her. A bit of her tail was cut off with a machete when her mother was killed for bushmeat. She needed to learn how to adapt with a missing balance, but she after some weeks she started climbing and did really well. She is great at climbing up, but sometimes she can have some problems finding her way down, good thing we always have a watchful eye on her!


Other Mammals

Lulu (female two-toed sloth)


The last week Lulu has been in her cage. She came down while a volunteer was putting out food for her, and we decided to weigh her. Unfortunately she had lost some weight, so we put her in her cage again and now our focus is on getting her to eat more leaves. Each afternoon volunteers collect leaves and we hope that steaming them will help her start eating them  better.

Soraya (female western amazonian dwarf porcupine)

Our resident porcupine Soraya has recently been enjoying palm fruits! It can be difficult to develop enrichment for porcupines, but we have found that Soraya loves tearing through the tough outer covering to get to the fruit inside at night when she is active. Guava season is also on its way, another favourite of Soraya.


Birds & Reptiles

Sheena (tropical screech owl)

With plans of release in her future, Sheena has been moved to a cage further away from the monkeys. The volunteers are still working hard to catch crickets for her everyday. We have found that larger crickets or grasshoppers can be released in her cage and she will hunt them herself. This is great practice for when she is released!

Zazu (palm tanager) & Chanti (ruddy ground dove)

Last month Zazu joined the birds in Igor cage and has been doing really well, this month he was joined by the ruddy ground dove Chanti. Due to the full clinic we decided to let Chanti try out life in Igor cage where he could also enjoy the company of the other ruddy ground dove Chipi. He quickly got adapted to a bigger cage with more birds and seems to have bonded a bit with Chipi as well.

Martha (yellow footed tortoise)

After months in the clinic beloved Martha is finally parasite free! We had gotten used to having her around and were curious to see when she would lay new eggs. She has now joined the other tortoises in the reptile cage and she seems to be getting along with Pepito very well. During her time in the clinic she laid a total of 8 eggs, 5 of which we got to before they were broken, so time will tell if we will have tortoise babies or not…


SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

As usual, just when we think we have a calm moment in the clinic to get some work done on administration, boom, we are full again! This month we received several young monkeys and opossums from the Ministry of Flora & Fauna Ucayali. All of the animals arrived in hastily made cages and with empty bellies and hearty appetites. As sad as it is to see animals in this state, and to think of how they may have got there, we are happy that they arrived and hopeful for their futures.

Darwin (male red howler monkey) & Wallace (male red howler, juvenile)

The veterinarian of the local zoo, Parque Natural Pucallpa, joined the ministry to hand over a baby howler monkey. His wife was the one who took care of Wallace (male red howler, juvenile) and handed him over, earlier this year. He has been doing a great job taking care of him and we hope Darwin and Wallace will become good friends. For the moment Darwin stays in a cage alone in the clinic. We don´t have him together with the other baby´s yet since he is doing really great being on his own. He is eating by himself and is not too dependent on humans at all, a great sign!

2 Woolly monkeys (male and female) and 1 brown Capuchin (male)

Two woolly monkeys, a young female and even younger male, as well as a young male capuchin were also part of the delivery from the ministry. They are used to being kept together so they are being housed in roomy cage 4 in the clinic. The young woolly male is very dependant on the woolly female and craves contact since he is so young and motherless. Thankfully he is also very eager to eat and drink his milk so we are hoping that with continued attention he will thrive. Sadly the female woolly came to us with a finger that had the tip cut off and a broken leg that had healed in an incorrect position. She is slightly weary of humans, and rightly so given what she has been through, but she is warming up to us with every passing day. The male capuchin was also a bit nervous around us, and was the slowest to take to the milk but he too is progressing each day. They are having some skin problems with require some handling, but we´re trying to keep it as positive as possible. We have high hopes for these young monkeys!

2 male saddleback tamarins & 1 female squirrel monkey

Adding to the array of young monkeys brought by the ministry is a female squirrel monkey and two male saddleback tamarins. The squirrel monkey came to us very thin but she is eating and very active, often playing around with the tamarins. One of the tamarins is blind in one eye, but otherwise seems to be doing well. They’re getting plenty of food in the clinic, as well as some crickets.

1 female opossum with 6 babies

The mother opossum was found in an attic in Pucallpa. We don’t know how long she was kept in captivity but wanted to release her into the wild as soon as possible as it can be extremely  stressful for a mature wild animal to be kept in a cage. She was kept for one night and we decided to release her and her babies the following night. As some may know, opossums play dead when frightened so we didn’t react too much when she didn’t immediately run away with her babies. Unfortunately the next morning we found her dead, most likely due to stress. All of the babies were located near her and brought back to the clinic, where they are doing well in a cage together. We are trying to restrict human contact with them as much as possible and as soon as they’re big enough they will be released.



Tupak Cage

Recently we started constructing a new cage that will be named Tupak after the Toucan that used to live here. The building of the cage has been underway over the past month and is moving swiftly! Douwe and the workers have completed much of the cage and the sign has already been painted by volunteers. It´s important to have available cages so that we are ready to help new animals since they can arrive at any moment, as this month has proven.

Aviary table

The aviary has received some upgrades! The rear wooden feeding table has been replaced with a new tiled one that will be easier for volunteers to clean and has plenty of space for the birds to perch and eat. A second tiled table has also been made and is ready to be put in, which will mean that all three feeding tables in the aviary will be the new tiled version.



working in bodega

We’ve now said goodbye to Alexandra from Sweden who has been our assistant manager since September of last year. She originally came for two months last June but decided that she wanted to dedicate more time to Esperanza Verde. Both the humans and the animals here will miss her and all the great work she has done. We all wish Alexandra the best of luck and are confident that Claire from France will do great with the job going forward!
The volunteers have been busy with all of the new animals in addition to the resident animals. It turns out that cricket catching at night is a great time to view animals. Some of the animal  sightings over the past month have included coral snakes, a rainbow boa, an olingo, opossums, a crab eating raccoon, an armadillo, and a tamandua.