October 2020 Newsletter

Another month has passed by rapidly. While we wished it would sometimes be quiet and boring at Esperanza Verde, it never seems to be. We are always kept active thankfully and have not been brought to a standstill by the virus. This month had a special surprise in store when Douwe and Olivia were asked to join the launching of the week of Forestry, by the Ministry of Flora and Fauna in Pucallpa. Olivia represented Esperanza Verde at the ceremony was awarded on behalf of EV for all the hard work towards flora and fauna in the region.


Traya (juvenile young large headed capuchin), made the move from the SUSTOAH into Pepe enclosure this month. With her quarantine period having passed without any issues, she now had just a small barrier between her and the other monkeys before being released to join our outside troop. Shimi (young male squirrel monkey living outside) recently was caught when he was seen limping with one arm. After a medical check, he was closed in with Traya, giving him a chance for a well-balanced diet and recovery while providing companionship for Traya. After some days they already formed a friendship and they were released a week later. Traya is a welcome addition to the outside monkeys, frequently being seen playing with the other young capuchin monkeys, while Shimi found his own way again in the outside world at EV.

While swimming with the otter, Marlon had a gruesome discovery. After a night of heavy rainfall, he found Kiko lying dead in the small river near his house. He apparently had drowned as no further issues were discovered at the necropsy. After many years of being many volunteers favourite, Kiko will be sorely missed. He is leaving behind a beautiful daughter, now adult, and his partner Kila. Both Kila as her daughter are still showing up once in a while at the kinkajou feeding table. While Kila is unafraid of us, her daughter disappears as soon as we come closer, which is perfect as this is natural behaviour for wild kinkajous.

SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

It is amazing how many things can be achieved when need arises. One of the village cats, a male Tricki, was found with an injured leg needing amputation. Although no owner could be found, Enrique, our temporary emergency volunteer from Pucallpa stepped up and took the responsibility for another cat to add to his ever increasing “pride”. A couple of days recuperating in the SUSTAOH after the surgery, the cat went with his new owners, Enrique and Marji, to Pucallpa where he is settling in well and isn’t letting his missing leg slow him down at all.

Aleesa (one of our scarlet macaws) was looking out of sorts within Pichu Aviary. She can’t fly and had several superficial wounds on her breast from falling. She is now spending some time in the SUSTAOH for monitoring. Although there appears to be no underlying issues, it is a good chance to monitor her diet and ensure she is getting the best possible care prior to returning to Pichu.

Talisha (female Humboldts Woolly monkey) was found injured, covered all in mud. After cleaning her, we discovered that the extent of her wounds would give us no other choice than making her as comfortable as possible and letting her go. Another very sad loss of one of the daily characters at Esperanza Verde.

New arrivals

While Esperanza Verde is still officially not in a position of taking new animals, it doesn’t stop animals from being given to volunteers and staff alike when being in the village across the river.

Two new juvenile male white collared peccaries, Conan and Alaric, were delivered one evening from the village. Both peccaries were settling in well at the SUSTAOH, when they were joined by another young male peccary, Maccus, after less than a week. After the medical check-up and deworming, the new peccary was introduced to the previous two. Now all three peccaries remain in the clinic where they spend every day outside the SUST OAH enjoying the fresh air, until they finished the quarantine period and join our existing peccaries in the soon to be completed new Xena enclosure.

Machulin (female Paca) was being kept as a pet in Bello Horizonte. When people try to domesticate wild animals, it seems easy when they are small, but becomes too difficult as the animal grows. Machulin came to us after having had an encounter with a pet cat resulting in one of her ears now missing. Like the previous pacas, Machulin has a good chance in the wild again, and will be rehabilitated for her release.

While Olivia was at the Ministry in Pucallpa she received a special request and one hard to say no to; a very young female crab eating raccoon, Eona. So again, as mostly with her trips to the city, she returned with a new animal. She was left abandoned at the ministry in Pucallpa. She still is bottle fed as she is so young. Once eating solids and grown up enough, she will become another animal released to enjoy the sanctity of Esperanza Verde, and hopefully she will find her way to Rumani or Mokwai, our earlier released crab eating raccoons.

Construction and other

Work is mainly focused on getting the new peccary enclosure ready, and as with previous months this is never far from the forefront of everyone’s minds. The new enclosure is far bigger and remote from all existing enclosures and walkways. This is important to make it less appealing for monkeys to pass there. The team makes remarkable progress although losing at least two days a week to ensuring continued food supply for all the animals.

A new bridge spanning the creek to the family house and Tiliku enclosure is Douwe’s prime focus when not figuratively fighting ‘fire’ that arise on a frequent occasion. The existing bridge was washed away in a heavy downfall earlier in the year, and a fallen tree has been functioning in its place since. There is no way to know how long this tree will last, so a new bridge will be very important as it will be the only way of access to the centre for the family during the coming rain season. Douwe is pre-building the bridge in the village prior to reassembly and cementing in place when completed and shows just another talent in his already extensive repertoire.

With the corona crisis testing supply lines worldwide, self-sufficiency has never been highlighted more than this year. Prior to lockdown Douwe and Olivia were looking at another plantation further down the river. This plantation has been organically farmed and the owner was well known by us, as Douwe frequently visited him and received on several occasions a variation of fruit. As the owner was not able to take care of his land he was looking for a buyer who would keep his way of farming in place. This purchase has now been completed and adds another 23 hectares to Esperanza Verde. This plantation allows for more crops to be grown ensuring continuity of supply, and has a lot of potential for future organic projects.


October is the month of birthdays for the family: Marlon’s and Olivia’s. And who says you can’t make a party with only a few people. Both days were a great break from our daily routine, with cake, pie and dancing. And of course the Southern American tradition: a Piñata to smash.