September 2019 Newsletter

Summer has officially started at Esperanza Verde! Temperatures are soaring and there’s only the occasional bit of rainfall to water the earth. It’s the time of year where the smaller streams dry up and water becomes a constant issue. However, when it does rain there’s a remarkable and immediate response from the plants, with the greens becoming more vibrant overnight and new growth being observed wherever you look.



La Sapa cage was still the place to be this month. The interior of the cage received a makeover with old branches rehung and new branches added. The quantity of monkeys passing through this cage over the previous few months has really taken its toll on the enrichment. It’s been great to see how quickly an enclosure can be refreshed to enrich the lives of its ever changing inhabitants. Kres (female large headed capuchin) was given the green light to join the outside group. She has since been seen reuniting with Biko and Rayka (male and female juvenile large headed capuchins). Increased vigilance with locks and wires will hopefully mean an uneventful outside life can be enjoyed by a monkey who is eternally keeping volunteers and staff on their toes.

Cumala (adult female black spider monkey) has continued to be the source of particular interest this month. After her time with the male spider monkeys it seems that Cumala is getting larger and larger. Watch this space as it may mean that a new baby spider monkey is on the way. Fingers crossed!

Armando (young male red howler monkey) is going from strength to strength. Climbing and playing with the other monkeys and finding more independence with each day. As grown up as he likes to think he is, he can still be heard grumbling when he isn’t getting the attention he thinks he deserves from the volunteer keeping an eye on him each day.

The soft release of Yuria and Tito (equatorial saki monkeys) has continued into October, with both monkeys appearing to get more comfortable with their new freedom and surroundings. After initially being bullied by the other monkeys, they both now seem far more acclimatised. A soft release means that their enclosure is kept available to them to sleep in and receive some additional dietary support as needed. After weekly weight checks showed Tito’s weight had declined more than we’d normally expect to see. The decision was made to give them a few more weeks within the enclosure to ensure there was no underlying reason for his weight loss. Early indications show Tito’s weight increasing again and Yuria eager to return to the outside world.

Panki (baby male woolly monkey) was a sad moment in an otherwise exciting month at E.V. If one of the baby monkeys ever misses milk feeding, red flags are always raised as this is a time when babies are generally guaranteed to be seen. Panki was found on the ground and taken to the clinic. He seemed lethargic and was uninterested in food or drink. Panki’s demise was rapid and later that evening he passed away. The cause of death was internal problems caused by parasites. Although only a recent arrival at E.V. Panki is a loss that is deeply felt but all.


Other Animals

Mokwai and Rumani (crab eating raccoons) are still visiting every night, and eagerly await their evening feeding. Both raccoons are notching up superficial battle scars and it is unknown if they are from another animal or from each other. As they are both males it may come to a time where the more dominant of the two claim this as his territory while the other chooses to move on to a different area.

September saw of all of the remaining white winged parakeets in the Tupak enclosure caught, as it was apparent that a sufficient number had regained the ability to fly. After a quick wing quality check, the birds were again separated into flyers and non-flyers. Flyers were moved to a specially designed release cage, where they spent the evening de-stressing before the monkey proof hatch was opened to allow them to leave. After just two days another fifty birds had taken the opportunity at freedom, leaving just seventy in Tupak. In a few more months these birds will be revaluated for flight and hopefully released.


SUST Animal Orphan Hospital

Smyke (yellow footed river turtle) has been returned to the reptile enclosure. We are sure he will miss all the love and extra attention he received in the clinic, but it is great to have him back experiencing the greater freedom and the much larger pond.


New arrivals

This month saw another baby yellow footed tortoise come across from the village. After a quick check up it was released behind the family home. This was not the only new reptile arrival for September. A volunteer cleaning in the Pichu Aviary found a baby turtle (as yet unidentified species) residing in the aviary pond. It is unknown how it got in there, but as with the tortoise, a quick check up was in order prior to releasing back where he/she came from. At 120 grams it is only small but looks to be doing well while fending for itself. Volunteers were quick to name him Crush and although only small, everyone is keeping an eye out for sightings.

Government animal seizures are always welcome as they continue to hamper the illegal wildlife trade. This month saw four birds seized from a restaurant in Pucallpa. All four birds are in the SUSTAOH until the end of their quarantine period, when they will be moved to the Pichu Aviary. All four are too tame to be released into the wild, but should appreciate the added space to fly around in. The four birds are Tango (Orange winged amazon parrot), Rodi (Mealy parrot), Kit (Festive amazon parrot) and Aleesa (Scarlet Macaw).

Esperanza Verde had a visit from a couple from Pucallpa at the start of the month who wished to re-home two monkeys they had purchased. Douwe took time to explain the realities of purchasing illegal animals to the couple. Even if you believe you’re doing it with the best of intentions, it still adds momentum to the illegal wildlife trade. Seeing Douwe explain the stark realities shows the obvious passion both Olivia and Douwe have for their work here.

Yanamayu and Kuymi (adult large headed capuchins) spent their quarantine period in the SUSTOAH before being moved into La Sapa enclosure. Kuymi (female) is just over one year old and moved with Yanamayu into La Sapa so she was able to build a relationship with Kres. After this settling in period Kuymi was let out of the cage at the same time as Kres. Although sighted frequently, Kuymi is most often seen spending time on her own. Yanamayu remains in the enclosure with Apollo, another male capuchin. We hope that they will bond and form a strong friendship.

On visiting nearby Pucallpa, Douwe was asked if E.V was able to take an adult male Woolly monkey who was to be seized by the ministry. After seeing this magnificent animal chained to a tree out in the hot sun, there was only one decision to be made. Kamayo has now completed his quarantine period and has moved in to La Sapa. Moving went without a hitch and Kamayo appears unimpressed by the posturing of Loki (male woolly monkey). Both monkeys have so far kept their distance and other than a minor interaction appear to be living peacefully.

Animals coming to the rescue centre can appear from anywhere. Douwe was walking Marlon to school in nearby Bello Horizonte when he was given a Margay kitten. Initially the Kitten refused to eat and had to be force fed by Douwe for two days. Thankfully on day three the kitten (Diego) began to suckle and drink as expected. Diego is currently being cared for directly by Olivia and Douwe and is being fed milk five times a day.


Construction and other

More volunteers has freed up both Douwe and Gieler to concentrate on the quarantine.
September has seen more of the smooth cement coat completed, one set of doors and windows fitted, and work has begun on the kitchen. When it’s written down it doesn’t sound like much, but the visual difference is huge! Take a look at the pictures and see what a vast improvement and mammoth workload has been completed this month. Work on completing more doors and windows has been hindered, as power cuts in the village has meant that it hasn’t always been possible to weld when Douwe is free to try.



This month the volunteers were treated to a night walk with Douwe. Although so many fabulous and new sights are to be seen every day at E.V. the nights offer a whole different world to ensure you are in awe all over again. Always the true entertainer, Douwe turned up fashionably late, but with a more than satisfactory excuse, as he had a small caiman in his arms. After a short explanation it was released again in the nearby stream. Quiz nights appear to have become a monthly ritual and now music quizzes have also joined the fray. Between that and the bonfires, there is never a dull moment.