January 2022 Newsletter

This January was rather calm down here at Esperanza Verde. We are really happy to see new volunteers arriving, which allows us to have a normal schedule again. They seem to enjoy all of the advantages of being a bit secluded in this part of the rainforest, a nice jungle bubble.


Last month Ashuke (male juvenile spider monkey) was released. He spent most of his time on top of the enclosure and seemed afraid of the outside monkeys. We decided to give him the opportunity to ease into more social contact by letting him join Miyo, the younger spider monkey in the clinic. At first, he was still a bit afraid, but as Miyo is a lot more confident, he was easily won over and they soon were sharing a box together at night to cuddle up. They were then moved to the outside enclosure Lucia, and we hope to let both of them out soon so they can join the others. At least Ashuke has become a lot more confident in playing with Miyo and soon hopefully other monkeys as well.

Maida (female juvenile howler monkey) was introduced last month in Lucia cage to our two other howler monkey males Darwin and Armando. It went well and they all got used to each other, but something was wrong, she started eating less and less and dropped a lot of weight. She then was taken in by Olivia for more intensive care. It took some time, included some force feeding, and searching for the right leaves and mixes she would eat, she slowly improved and even showed her happy face quite a few times. She looks a bit like Darwin making a funny headshake with an open mouth while putting her hand in, gently biting on it. She goes out sometimes and seems to enjoy the company of the woollies outside. Lupa, one of our older female woolly monkeys, has taken a particular liking to her and has adopted a protective attitude towards her.

Last month we introduced Gaia and Wayra (juvenile female ocelots) to each other for a short period of time during the day, in two separate adjacent cages with mesh between them. It seemed to go rather well, without any real aggressive behavior towards each other, even when they both had food on their own sides. We took it a step further by leaving them for several hours instead of 20-30 minutes, with regular checkups. There is still a long way to go before we can put them together in the same cage. We are indeed aware of the risks involved in this process, so we are taking it very slow, baby steps!

Samara (female adult woolly monkey) has been struggling with the parasite Prosthenorchis Elegans for a long time. Even though she was never as bad as Moyo or Martin (two male woollies who not so long ago were under treatment in the clinic for the same parasite), she was losing fur, until she was almost bald, leaving very few fur patches on her body. However new fur has been growing for a few weeks now and she looks like a newborn baby with a new shiny and soft coat of fur.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Cesar (black spider monkey) is still recovering from his wound from a lawnmower. Even though he ripped out his stitches twice, it is now healing up very nicely. We do not know yet if he will regain

feeling or movement in his hand but we are very hopeful for him! Now a big job for the person working in the clinic is to make Cesar enrichment to keep him entertained until he can be released.

Picor (white-winged parakeet) who went back to the Igor enclosure last month, was brought back to the clinic. His foot was fine, but his beak was injured, he had a previous (healed) break in his lower beak but now his upper beak has been split, for unknown reasons. Thanks to some Wonderglue we were able to fix it, he will stay in the clinic until we are sure that it has healed.

Delta (orange winged amazon) finally got to join the other birds in Igor enclosure again. She will continue to get regular checkups to make sure she is doing well. Berto, another orange winged amazon, seemed to be very happy seeing her again, he kept on making funny noises while approaching and grooming her.

Otis (adult male Ma’s night monkey) was moved from the outside enclosure Lucia to the clinic in order to give him more intensive care, an extra examination and cleaning of his knee injury, as it is still not getting better.

Ricuna (juvenile female spider monkey) was found one afternoon limping on her left leg. No fracture or wound was found but after keeping a close eye on her for a day, we decided to take her in as she seemed to stay still, lying around on the floor and not eating anything. We noticed she was way worse than we thought, she had a fever, no coordination and no strength. We acted quickly and started treatment. We gave her liquids by syringe on the first day, then she started drinking by herself and got stronger day by day. After a while she started eating solid foods again and got control over her body. Now she is back to her normal self again, and we are so relieved and happy that all went well, however we are still clueless as to the cause. She was extraordinarily happy to be out again, immediately being picked up by Yanay (our ´Big mama´ adult spider monkey), and Chula (the daughter of Cumala, adult female spider monkey) was happy to see her teenage friend back again to play.

All the yellow footed tortoises have been weighed and moved from their temporary enclosure Xena to the newly renovated Reptile’s enclosure. Before moving them, they all received a medical check at the clinic. The new enclosure will sustain them for a long time, finally having replaced the wooden posts with galvanized tubes and new mesh.


The opossums in the quarantine are anxious to get out. In the wild at this stage, they would start fending for themselves. While we are awaiting the arrival of representatives of the Ministry of Flora and Fauna for their official release, we decided to separate them into smaller groups to avoid any aggression and hope it will soon be possible to let them all run free.

Ido (biggest male opossum) took time for his final release. His release started last year, and he has sometimes been staying in the outside enclosure Aguatena with the hatch to the big outside world being open 24 hours. He then finally decided not to return to the enclosure, so we hope he has found his way in the wild again. We are sure there will be enough food for him to be found in this area!

Yuno, the male juvenile kinkajou, was then moved to the Aguatena enclosure outside and will hopefully start his soft-release period soon.

Construction and other

Great news for our crowdfunding campaign with the Susy Utzinger foundation in Switerland: enough money has been raised together to start getting the materials we need. Thank you to everyone who has already donated to help Diego, Grety, Wayra and Gaia towards a bigger enclosure!

Meanwhile the old Araña enclosure has been taken apart and a new one has almost arisen. Only a few details are left and then we will have a cage that is fit for bigger birds, monkeys and other mammals. First it will give some more space to Cesar for his further recovery!

Volunteers and other

Even with few volunteers at the start of the year there are still some nice projects going on! One of the volunteers, Jay, fixed up the firepit so we are all waiting for the end of the rainy season for some great bonfire nights.

We had a presentation about CPR and the basic gestures we should all know in case of an emergency, human or animal related. Then we talked about the natural disasters that can occur in this region, what could happen, and what to do in an emergency.

We had a visit by a big group of people brought by a local shaman. They received a tour given by Douwe and Olivia, about the problems of the illegal animal market in Peru, how it affects the future of animals and the work we are trying to do to give all of them a second chance here at Esperanza Verde.

Good news came with the arrival of volunteer Sjoerd from The Netherlands, who took the initiative to ask the company AVH Dairy, which produces goatmilk powder, for a donation. They donated goatmilk powder, as much as Sjoerd could carry. We got in contact to thank them, and they said they would be happy to donate more in the future. This is great news for all the howlers, sloths and other special animal species to whom the normal human baby milk powder (based on cow’s milk) is often upsetting to their stomach. Thank you to AVH Dairy from the Netherlands for your generosity!