As November comes to a close and we are all chasing down the season, we can all reflect on a year of incredible new experiences. With vital ongoing support from around the world Esperanza Verde continues on its mission to rehome and where possible release animals back into their natural habitats.
With November upon us, we welcomed a visit from the Peruvian Flora and Forestry ministry. It was a great opportunity to ensure Esperanza Verde was conforming to strict guidelines and procedures. It was also a fantastic opportunity to release some animals that had received the necessary care and were ready to enjoy freedom.
Last month we wrote of Machulin the male paca. After a few weeks in an outdoor enclosure, Machulin was released one evening and was quick to embrace his new found freedom. Feeding continues, however, it is difficult to ascertain if it is Machulin or one of the many other night creatures enjoying his fare each night.
Bajus (yellow footed tortoise) along with the five spectacled caimans were released into the small stream (quebrada) that runs through Esperanza Verde. After months within the confines of purpose-built enclosures, both Bajus and the caimans will appreciate having so much more space and independence.
If every cloud has a silver lining then this month surely proved the point. Last month we sadly lost Kiko (male Kinkajou). Kila (Kiko’s love interest) was seen with a new baby attached a fantastic surprise and a great addition to the wild kinkajou population. This is the second offspring between this pairing and leaves a total of three kinkajous frequenting the feeding table of Tiliku each evening. We haven’t been fortunate enough to catch a photo of the baby but hope to do so in the coming months.
Kassai (tamandua anteater) was still very active within his enclosure but was not gaining weight as expected. He was moved back to the family home for closer monitoring. Unfortunately, his condition deteriorated rapidly, and we lost him. No evidence was found on necropsy to establish cause of death. Kassai had previously damaged his tongue and it is believed this attributed to his demise as tamanduas have extremely long tongues which they depend on to feed successfully.
It’s only been a month, yet in that time Eona, our female crab eating raccoon has gone from strength to strength. Her weight has doubled and Eona now enjoys fruits, vegetables, fresh fish and meat daily as she progresses from her diet of milk. Early evenings you can catch Eona being taken for short walks to familiarise her with her new surroundings.
Esperanza Verde’s peccary population this month had a vital change in their feeding schedule. After a suggestion was put forth to start feeding the peccaries at nighttime. By doing so there is little to motivate monkeys to tempt fate by climbing into the enclosure during the day. Read on for other ways we are ensuring monkey safety while still giving the peccaries the best care possible.
SUST Animal Orphan Hospital
Aleesa (scarlet macaw) moved from the SUSTOAH after her brief month of dietary monitoring. She is now in Elmo front cage with Inuk and Upendi (yellow crowned amazon parrots), where there is less chance of this flightless macaw falling and injuring herself.
It certainly doesn’t happen often, but November was the month that there were no new arrivals, and yet still, every day was full of interesting and often fulfilling challenges.
Construction and other
The finish line is insight as the new peccary enclosure nears completion. With the only addition required being a new pond. December will see our latest arrivals Maccus, Conan and Aleric join the existing seven peccaries in their new purpose-built accommodation. Creating and fencing an area so large while still maintaining the integrity of the existing environment was never going to be an easy task. And it is something Douwe, along with Geyler and Hugo (our local workers) have completed admirably. We were fortunate enough to secure two more local workers briefly this month to give this project a further push in the right direction ensuring completion as soon as possible.
We would like to thank The Susy Utzinger Stiftung für Tierschutz for organising a crowdfunding campaign to cover the costs for the building and completion of the new Peccary enclosure. The animal welfare association “Pfötler” from Liechtenstein jumped in and covered the majority of the costs. Without the ongoing support of people like Susy and her team we could not continue to fight the good fight. Thank you SUST for all that you do!
The new bridge spanning the gap between the family house and the rest of Esperanza Verde now has cement footings in place. After these have set sufficiently the bridge construction and assembly will be completed.
With so few volunteers the month came to a close with everyone on sight in good stead. Surely this is the calm before the storm as we all know December will be the month of significant socialising (although still maintaining corona protocols😊). Movie nights with the family were a great chance to all catch up removed from the daily goings on of jungle life.
We recently purchased some new land on the Bello side of the river in order to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables that we can grow ourselves. During the lockdown we learnt that being independent from external food sources for the animals can be vital. This little farm already has some agroforestry growing on it which we already use to feed our animals. Thank you to our good friend Manuel Krauss for his financial help to purchase that land.