March 2024 Newsletter

Our volunteers haven’t just survived the slippery paths and swarms of mosquitoes, they have been marching on with dedication, tenacity, and heads full of enrichment projects.


Dina left the comfort of the nest Arthur and Carlotta’s made for her and moved in with Mina (female juvenile squirrel monkey) in her outside enclosure. She’s enjoyed her first full days already outside, under the watchful eye of the ´ more experienced´ Mina.

Rala, the young female peccary also under the comfortable care of Arthur and Carlotta, has been going on daily trips to meet the other peccaries. Bit by bit we’ll increase the time she spends with them, but it won’t be long until she has her first sleepover! She’s already making friends, which makes us hopeful that she’ll soon be playing and staying with her fellow peccaries permanently.

Sinya, the young female woolly monkey who joined Mushu and Moana in the Lulu enclosure last month, has followed in their footsteps and spends her days outside. At first, all the outside monkeys’ attention seemed a bit overwhelming. There was a lot of poking, prodding and testing boundaries. But of course, she has won them over, stood her ground and is forging great friendships.

If you have volunteered with Esperanza Verde, you might fondly remember going for glorious walks with Anishka, the neotropical river otter. With the juvenile giant river otter Caucho in our care, the ¨Anishka walk¨ is back in business. And all of Marlon’s famous checkpoints are still intact; Snake Lake, EV Lake and Cayman Cove. Caucho has already caught several crabs, and on one of his first walks the Swedish volunteer Tuva saw him hunt and catch his very first fish. We are beyond excited to follow his progress!

Sad news we are bringing of the passing of Eros (male chestnut-eared aracari) who was found lifeless on the floor one misty morning. It came as a surprise to us all, as he was a very healthy and active bird. But, we fear it’s been hardest for Amora (female chestnut-eared aracari), his long-term enclosure mate and very good friend. Luckily our warm-hearted volunteers have been doing their best to fill her life with extra nice food and distracting enrichments.

We also lost Lyanna, a saddleback tamarin who we released several months ago. We think she was killed by a snake as she often enjoyed sitting with the spider monkeys who might have spooked the snake. She is sadly an example of the difficulties animals face when taken from their natural habitat and raised by humans. Even though she went through rehabilitation, certain skills like knowing what is dangerous and what isn’t, is hard to learn past a certain point.

Susy Utzinger Orphan Animal Hospital

Volunteers spotted a young howler monkey in Bello Horizonte, and thanks to the great relationship EV has built with locals, it didn’t take much to convince them that Cotok would have a much better life at Esperanza Verde. But it wasn’t just his life that improved, he joined Waldo (one-eyed male howler monkey) in an outside enclosure, and they now seem to be having the best of times. Eating, sleeping, playing and attempting to howl together.

Esco a small blue and grey tanager fledgeling was another arrival from the village. As his feathers have been cut down to barely anything, he still has a long way to go. Before moving into an outside enclosure, he’ll need some serious time and care in the clinic.

Did you know that cuckoos will lay their eggs in other birds’ nests? They’ll find a home they like and kick the owners out… House-theft aside, we are still delighted that Cuki (a cuckoo fledgeling), who was brought to us and taken in by veterinarian Samira, is doing well.

What rhymes with Chorus Front and is every volunteer’s “favourite” activity… TORTOISE HUNT, of course! It was time for the classic EV activity of rounding up all the yellow-footed tortoises in the Reptile enclosure. All except one were in good health. Pepito, the longest EV resident, seemed to have lost some weight. After a couple of nights in SUSTOAH, where he tucked in to the freshest lettuce leaves of the centre, he was back to hanging out with his pals.


It’s a rollercoaster of a place our Quarantine. One month it’s jam-packed, the next it’s a ghost town.

The first to check out was Rupano (male juvenile spider monkey). Before being released, he is spending some obligatory time in an outside enclosure, with Moana, Mushu and Sinya, to familiarise himself with the rest of the outside group. It’s taking some time for the youngsters to come around to the idea of sharing their space during the night, but it’s nothing a couple of extra bananas in their food buckets can’t help smooth over.

A young tamandua arrived, his name is Kasmir, and like most tamanduas, he is one picky eater. Until he’s adjusted to new food and milk, he will be staying with the family for some extra comfort. Great for Kasmir, unlucky for the termites hanging around the house…

Construction & others

The Tiliku enclosure is almost finished. The only missing bits are branches and proper enrichments in preparation for Tocay, the white-throated toucan’s soft release.

Volunteer life

Long-term volunteer Lioka set off on her next adventure in French Guyana. We are forever grateful for all the content for our Instagram, her hard work and dedication to be able to identify every single outside monkey, especially the capuchins. Thank you!

We said goodbye to several others, who had extended their trips beyond their original length… but alas home or other travel plans were calling. But don’t you worry, there were plenty of parties to see everyone off with the goodbye they deserved.

And if a tortoise hunt was not yet enough we finished the month with a yearly tradition at the waterfall: Easter-egg-hunt!

A new batch of sprightly volunteers has arrived and we are as excited as ever to guide them through challenges, be impressed by their passion and get to know them better.

Interested in experiencing the beauty of Esperanza Verde yourself? Join us!