March 2023 Newsletter

New humans and animals brought energy and excitement to our rainy jungle. Some very sad news, a new baby and exciting spotting… March was a mad month.


It’s not often volunteers get to see the fruits of their labour, rehabilitation is a lengthy process and visits are far and few apart (a card would be nice, just once in a while…). But as they made their way into the dense jungle, for a well-deserved after-work swim in the waterfall, one of the previously released caiman lizards was spotted. In its natural habitat, thanks to the hard work of the volunteers and our community around the world. Did you miss the reptile release? Anna made a captivating film about it (

Juvenile squirrel monkey Milo is now fully free to roam outside with the other monkeys. He’s doing well and was even spotted socialising and eating with other groups of monkeys, well done Milo!

Milo’s not the only one taking steps towards semi-captivity, Morena (adult female woolly monkey) has joined her fellow troop of woollies in semi-captivity. She’s a big fan of hanging in trees. It which might seem obvious because she’s a monkey… but some monkeys at EV seem to stick to the ground. Hopefully, Morena will be a swinging inspiration, and that with only one hand available.

A baby was born: Milana (adult female capuchin) had her first baby! Her mother Mica is well known, she was the first monkey Esperanza Verde rescued! Seeing three healthy generations of capuchins, integrated into a lively group is a wondrous sight.

Susy Utzinger Animal Orphan Hospital

It saddens our hearts whenever we bring bad news, but alas, animal rehabilitation and wildlife rescue isn’t for the faint-hearted. Diego (adult margay) died this month. His movement was off, so we brought him to the clinic. After two weeks of tireless work by volunteers, specialists and vets (both here and in Europe), he passed away. Everybody fought so hard, especially Diego, but it wasn’t in the stars. He had several enriching years with Grety (adult female margay) and he will be hugely missed.

While we were still healing the wounds from the loss of Diego, another cut came. Sipra, the juvenile saddle-backed tamarin, quickly passed away after she was found on her feeding table motionless and cold, but still breathing. The necropsy revealed her bad luck, she had the vicious parasite Prosthenorchis Elegans.

Last month we found a wounded dwarf porcupine. He healed quickly and was released by Douwe and the whole volunteer team, going into the night to find a nice spot.

If you’ve volunteered with us, you know the ‘find all the turtles in the reptile cage’ game very well. If you haven’t, it’s what happens when we need to examine the 18 yellow-footed tortoises. The tick removal and weighing went well, and back down the 27 steep steps from the clinic again they went. A great team effort!


A male juvenile capuchin, a white caiman and four yellow-spotted river turtles walk into a bar… called Esperanza Verde… which is actually a wildlife rescue centre…

New month, new animals: Maiko (male juvenile capuchin), caiman Lakosta and yellow spotted river turtles Korra, Ircha and Dago. Ircha, also a yellow spotted river turtle, weighing in at a teeny 12,3 grams, got a special place in the clinic to buff up a bit.

Sometimes, animals just get dropped off out of the blue. Princesa Keeva (female adult collared peccary) was one of those animals. After her mandatory quarantine time, she moved in with Tammo (male juvenile collared peccary) in the corridor enclosure next to all the other peccaries. Tammo was over the moon to have a new roommate, but Keeva still needs to learn what it really means to be a peccary. She was raised by humans her whole life, so she’s got a lot of catching up to do.


When birds can’t fly, they can’t be in the same cage as ones who can, it just isn’t safe. But they shouldn’t have to be in a worse cage for that. So Douwe and the team are working on a new enlargement that will be attached to the big aviary, Elmo. With low heights, they can’t plummet into the ground and a safe space from bullying birds (yes, they do exist).

Volunteer life

It’s a full house in the jungle, which feels great saying. Because we finally have enough people to not just work to get by, but create enrichments, progress important projects and help out with construction.

Kayla and Olivia met each other in Quito to begin their wild journey through Ecuador, visiting old friends, Merazonia rescue centre and amaZOOnico rescue centre, where Douwe and Olivia started their life in South America. Kayla was even born there, and now, she’s returning. She’s bringing her lifetime of experience and will return with even more knowledge to share. We’re so excited for her adventure and send her all our love for this amazing experience.

Anna has done it again! Created another amazing video that is. This one’s about the volunteer experience. From how the heck you get here to the day-to-day work. Have a look, if you like it, please share it! (

More happy times at EV as Bigna, friend, multiple times volunteer and godparent of Mica (see above) has come for a visit. And Philipp, friend, all-round consultant and EVI president, surprised us with his visit, just a few days before Olivia´s return home. It´s going to be a great few weeks with them joining the whole family here at EV!

And what would a month at Esperanza Verde be without a trip to Regalia waterfall? We don’t even want to imagine it. A relaxing and well-deserved day for the superstars that are our volunteers.

Hasta luego amigos!