July 2021 Newsletter

The dutch tv show ´Floortje van de einde van de wereld´, who filmed an episode here in 2015 recently re-ran our featured episode in The Netherlands and immediately we received some new volunteer applications as well as several donations. So a huge thank you to the whole team of Floortje and Floortje herself for making such a wonderful show and drawing attention to the work we do here. Thank you to all the people who donated and are donating. Because of your generosity we are, and will be, able to continue to take care of all the animals in need. You help us make a difference.


Yauri & Ricuna (a young male woolly monkey and a young female black spider monkey), were let out of the Lulu cage where they had spent a few weeks getting acquainted with the outside monkeys. We opened the door and after a few moments of hesitation they both ventured out. Yauri was greeted by a cuddle from Tushko (juvenile male woolly) and found his way quickly in the trees. Ricuna seemed to have attracted a surrogate mum in Yanay (one of our adult female spider monkey), and a playmate in Chula, the daughter of Cumala (adult female spider monkey). Ricuna seems to be very confident whereas Yauri is more cautious, however, has won over our alpha male Monano who intervened when one of the other monkeys was over zealous in his playing with Yauri. In the evenings Ricuna and Yauri are given the option of returning to their enclosure where they have the option to sleep in safety and comfort.

Kiro, (young male large headed capuchin) is on the same daily routine as Yauri and Ricuna and he has found a new best friend in Biko (male juvenile large headed capuchin). Kiro is still a bit young to spend the night out by himself, especially as the capuchins will often move too fast for him, leaving him on his own during the day. It will take some time, but with his self-assured character he will get there soon enough.

Maruja (adult female woolly monkey) and her baby Manuk are a constant reminder of a successful animal release, and as he is getting older, Manuk is gaining more confidence. Now he can be seen venturing a little distance away from his mother and climbing in the trees. And Monano (male adult alpha woolly monkey) still keeps his ever watchful eyes over them.

Rihana, the young female collared peccary, was moved from the clinic to the corridor enclosure connected to the Noroc enclosure where the rest of our peccaries (12 in total) are living. She had time to get to know the others while having the safety of a fence still in between. It seemed she was forming a bond with Kohana as well as with Timo, the adult male of the group. She was often seen lying down on her side of the fence, while Kohana (the oldest female peccary) was lying down on the other side. After a few weeks we let her go into the main cage, and she directly was greeted by Kohana, doing the typical peccary-hug (rubbing their scent onto each other through the glands on their backs), and soon after by Timo. All seemed well, and Rihana was seen following Kohana around. Unfortunately, on the second day after her introduction, Douwe checked around the whole enclosure to search for her, and found what was left of Rihana. It seems that she was killed and eaten. We had high hopes as she won over the two alphas of the group so this was a very unfortunate outcome. We take all possible steps to prevent any animal harm trying to give the animals the best chance to have a life as close to freedom as possible in their natural surroundings. Sometimes nature prevails and no amount of planning and care can prevent regrettable outcomes.

Selda and Yanamayu (female and male large headed capuchins) were ready to go out of the clinic and once again joined the woolly monkey Kamayo in La Sapa. After having recovered from a bad case of the parasite P. Elegans Yanamayu gained weight again and is now starting his (strange) personality again. Now they are both in La Sapa and even though they have respect for Kamayo; Selda has been seen teasing him by running up and tapping his tail and then running to hide. It almost seems she has forgotten of her love for Olivia and has fallen for the big fellow.

Dani, short for Daenarys (mealy parrot), has been a resident at Esperanza Verde for a long time. She can’t fly because of a damaged wing and lots of volunteers remember her as the bird who will happily take a ride on your hand to get to the food table quickest way possible! Since more birds have been joining our aviaries lately, she has been having a harder time fitting in and got bullied a lot. After having started in the aviary Pichu, then Igor, then Elmo (all enclosures with other parrots), she is now back in the Igor enclosure, which she shares with a group of smaller non-releasable birds. She has started to make her old noises again, which we are taking as a good sign of her feeling comfortable again.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

As the clinic hardly had any animals in daily care it gave us some time to do more administration as well as laboratory work. We even got some time to give the inside walls a paint refresh. But of course it will never last long before the clinic fills up again. This month we saw Mashi (male woolly monkey), Payco (male crab-eating raccoon), and Moyo (male woolly monkey) being admitted.

Moyo, (adult male woolly monkey) was in semi-captivity for a long time. He was enclosed a few months ago en La Sapa as he lost weight and was coping with the infestation of Prosthenorchis Elegans. While being inside, we could control his diet and treat him. Unfortunately, his condition was deteriorating and we admitted him to the clinic. Here he has been able to get constant care from the person working the clinic as well as the management team. He has good and bad days. The worms of the parasite are coming out but it takes a big toll on Moyo, and he is hardly eating. He needs to be handfed, given medicine and given some extra attention. For now we are keeping him as comfortable as can be, hand feeding and keeping him warm. We are hoping he will show improvements soon and be returned to the comfort of Esperanza Verde freedom.

Payco, (male crab eating raccoon) was brought to the clinic one Tuesday morning. Douwe, Olivia and Alex, woke up hearing some intense fighting and screaming in the dark morning hours. Douwe quickly located Payco, who was hiding under a tree. He seemed in pain, and was breathing strangely. We brought him to the clinic for a checkup and discovered that he had severely damaged his nose. Thanks to the quick response of our vet-team in Europe, we were advised how to proceed and before the working day was about to start the operation was done. Payco recovered remarkably quick. After eating porridge for 10 days he is now back in his old enclosure, Pepe, again and will soon be ready for his release once more.

Mashi, (juvenile male woolly monkey) was discovered with an enlarged left testicle by a volunteer while giving him his daily vitamins. He was moved to the clinic for observation. The testicle was growing bigger, without any visible wounds, so again with help from our Europe-vet team we started treatment. It took some time to get the effect we longed for, but finally it started to have effect and the testicle became smaller. Mashi was not at all happy to be inside, banging the door and windows, when someone would pass by. So, as he is easy to treat and observe outside, we decided to let him out while continuing his treatment. He was a very happy monkey the day we let him out. We will of course keep an eye on him and his testicle!

Besides taking care of sick animals, unfortunately sometimes dead animals pass through the clinic. An important part in animal care taking is to perform necropsies to understand why an animal has passed away. This month one of the scarlet macaws named Ermina was found dead in Pichu cage. There is a water pond available for the birds in Pichu cage and we believe she fell in there during night and drowned, which was confirmed by the necropsy.

Construction and other

Another room at the volunteer house has been re-floored, a necessity after years as wood quickly rots here in the rainforest humidity! Geiler, Douwe and Craig together with help of one of our workers for Finca Organica Don Jorge, Rolli. Volunteers also pitched in to provide them with the necessary sand for the concrete. Not the easiest job to be carrying bags of sand for 250 meters from the river to the house, even in a wheelbarrow!

Two Dutch volunteers, Dex and Rose, have been working hard to leave us a beautiful painting on the bare wall of the new toilet at the volunteer house. Here at Esperanza Verde we always appreciate some art and cannot wait to see the finished product. So far they are not getting too bothered by monkeys and can paint in peace.


July has been busy with volunteers coming and leaving and we are now at the crazy number of 7 volunteers! To everyone who has been here in the past that must seem as a really low number of volunteers as usually we are with a group of 10-12. We have seen, even with Covid, that we will make it work. But, with “low” number of 7 volunteers we have able to do more enrichment for the animals and spending extra time with sick animals. Furthermore, we are able to continue our daily tasks such as raking paths and keeping the bodega and volunteer house clean.

Machico has also taken some of the volunteers on a forest walk. On this walk it is possible to admire some of the huge trees that exist here in the amazon and if volunteers are lucky (and quiet) they sometimes even see animals in the wild they wouldn’t normally get to see.

We want to say a big big thank you to our VET-Team in Europe! What would we have done without you, and not only this month in particular? Philipp, Katja and Lea, and all the veterinarians who assist you in getting the best care here at EV for the animals: THANK YOU!

July is always a month with at least one celebration as Kayla turned 17! All volunteers were invited to the family house where Kayla had served up a buffet, games were played and cake eaten. A good night, thank you for the wonderful food Kayla and happy birthday!