March 2021 Newsletter

This month again proved how fortunate we are. Although we are currently only a very small group everybody pulls together when needed to achieve the intended outcome. Not often has it been necessary that the whole family had to help out with the daily chores at the same time, even Marlon helped sorting through the bananas! It was a month of new animals, a new local worker, one new volunteer and two departing volunteers. March reinforced the idea that there is never a dull day at Esperanza Verde.


Last month’s new arrival Payco (young male crab eating raccoon) moved into the recently vacated Pepe enclosure, but it wasn’t just a case of closing him in and leaving him to his own devices. Payco spent a few days within the enclosure and returned to the family house in the evenings so the transition period could be as stress free as possible. He is progressing well in his new home and already his diet is increasing to include more fresh meats and fish.

Rabito, one of our male resident red brocket deer, was unusually absent at consecutive feedings this month. On further investigation he was found to have wounds obtained when “scrapping” with another deer within his enclosure. His behaviour seemed to have changed, thus it was decided swiftly to start antibiotic treatment. Every day he received a nice treat (including the necessary medicine) while he was put through the perceived indignity of being sprayed with a purple disinfectant spray on his wounded tail. Rabito’s behaviour returned to normal quite quickly and is as eager as ever come feeding time.

Samara (female adult Humboldts woolly monkey) is one monkey anybody fortunate to have spent any time at Esperanza Verde would be very familiar with. If she isn’t stealing milk bowls from unaware ‘rookie’ volunteers she is standing in her butter won’t melt in her mouth pose, with her arms in the air wanting something special. Another very recognisable attribute of Samara over the years has been her very obvious lack of fur. March is the month that we celebrate Samara being a very different monkey now sporting a full body of luscious fur. We hope this is a direct result of the changes we have made to her diet as well as supplementing her normal intake of vitamins through giving her adaily vitamin supplement.

If there is one animal that was always reminding you of his presence it is Loki (male adult Humboldts woolly monkey). The grabbing of any volunteer straying too close to the mesh of his enclosure, or the intense shaking of his enclosure numerous times throughout the day reinforced why such a big male was unable to enjoy the freedom so many of our more relaxed monkeys take for granted. One morning this month started without the usual banging and on closer inspection Douwe found Loki laying on the bottom of his enclosure not moving. Loki had died during the night and a necropsy was unable to find any conclusive evidence as to a cause of death and Loki appeared in very good physical health with not a drop of fat evident internally. Every one of the animals adds to the atmosphere and experience at Esperanza Verde and like every other animal Loki’s input will be missed.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

These times are not only hard for us, but they are as well for the local official entities that have to enforce the law. The illegal trade goes on and animals are confiscated or left at the local Ministry of Flora and Fauna, while they don’t have the facility to adequately take care of them. So when the Ministry called us, knowing we are still officially closed, we put our heads together and decided we had to make time and place for a few new comers.

As things were still quiet at the first part of this month, Puck took the opportunity to do a general deworming round for all monkeys. Many welcomed the piece of bread with marmalade and sugar or the extra vitamins or milk, unaware of what was hidden inside!

Traya, the young female, large headed capuchin monkey, who was admitted in the clinic last month seemed to get slowly stronger, but then suddenly took an unfortunate turn for the worst. She died as a result of the infestation of the parasite Prosthenorchis Elegans. A necropsy found that the parasite had caused a perforation of the intestines.

New arrivals

Two of the newcomers are now named Akemi and Kiro (young adult and a very young large headed capuchin, both males). Together with them also arrived Kiano (a juvenile Spixs white fronted capuchin). They all were confiscated some weeks ago by the Ministry. Together with them also arrived a juvenile female woolly monkey, now named Kaluha, who arrived at the Ministry only a few days before their trip to EV. Akemi looked really skinny, and after only a few days having sufficient food availability, his face looked already a lot healthy and fuller. Kiano is a typcal juvenile, happy and follows the lead of Akemi. Normally a young capuchin like Kiro would still be carried on the back by his mother, receiving her milk and learning from her what to eat. Kaluha has taken a bit of this care and carries Kiro on her back While Kiro can learn a lot socially within this group, we will have to provide him with some extra vitamins and keep a close eye on his growth.

Two yellow and blue macaws and a scarlet macaw were among the new animals. They all were confiscated in transport. They all seemed to have been handled for some time by people, as they are not afraid of us and very easily to be managed. They will stay in the clinic during their quarantine period before the next step of introducing them to the different aviaries.

The last of the arrivals were 3 turtles (2 yellow-spotted river turtles and 1 Amazon mud turtle). One of the yellow-spotted river turtles had been most unfortunate, as it seems to have a broken mandible (jaw), as if something crushed it. For now he is under close observation and we hope it will heal sufficiently for him to be able to start eating again.

Construction and other

This month construction was put on hold, as priority was placed on taking care of all the resident animals, welcoming new animals, saying goodbye to volunteers and ensuring we have enough fruit for all the animals. With the Organic finca Don Jorge we are fortunate to be more self-sufficient as for the necessary supply of bananas, yuka, papaya and a variety of other fruit. We are happy to have found an extra local worker to help. We welcome Rolli, from Bello Horizonte, who has joined our team this month, helping at the Finca Don Jorge, as well as helping occasionally out at EV.

One of his first jobs was to get acquainted with our macaws in the Elmo enclosure, giving them some fresh bamboo.


So finally it was time to let Puck go! And with her Sandra left for Lima too. Puck has been our steady rock during this year, and we will miss her dearly. Thank you Puck for sticking around, helping us and the animals for such a long time, setting your own life in Holland aside for the time being. We wish you all the best, and will try and keep things running smoothly till your return! And after many months it was also time for Sandra to return home to Lima, and pick up her life again. Thank you Sandra for coming to EV to give us the necessary help.

Luckily for us, a new volunteer arrived, who had been stuck in Peru because of Covid, and decided to give us a hand. Welcome Peggy, from France!