September 2023 Newsletter

What we lacked in the number of volunteers, we definitely made up in high spirits this month. With few humans and a lot of monkeys, it’s not always clear who’s running the show around here. And if it’s a shouting competition, well, we all know who wins.


Ask and you shall receive, Jaguar updates incoming! Azura and Nairi, the two young female jaguars are still with us. They are growing at the speed of lightning, weighing in at over 10kg. The bodega team prepare daily enrichments for them and their playful spirits are still high, especially with each other, only now, with bigger teeth and sharper claws! Arthur (assistant manager) is their sole caretaker to keep human contact to a minimum, as we are still uncertain about their future. 

Otis and Ushari (adult male night monkeys) were getting a bit too comfortable around us humans. Trying to stand his ground and show us that he doesn’t want us around, Otis has been jumping at and on us. With Yuna (young female night monkey) due to be released from her outside enclosure, we decided to move the trio closer to the family house, and away from the volunteers. We hope Yuna enjoys the new company! After a few weeks together we’ll release them into their new surroundings, in hopes of them exploring a different part of the jungle and paying less attention to humans. 

For those wondering how Rex the dog is doing, you will all be pleased to hear he is now walking (almost) normally. The cast is off and he’s slowly rebuilding the strength in his leg by playing in the family garden. He still has to take it slow and can’t zoom around as he’d like… which isn’t easy for this eager young boy, but he’s almost there!

Susy Utzinger Orphan Animal Hospital

After gaining some much-needed weight, Afra (scarlet macaw) was moved into one of the Elmo front enclosures. Accompanied by Onanti Papa (scarlet macaw), we hope they’ll be good influences on each other as they both have some weight to put on before joining the other scarlet macaws in the big aviary! 

As Keska (female woolly monkey) wasn’t showing any signs of getting better, she moved back in with the family for more intensive care. After weeks and weeks of nursing, veterinarian help from Europe, and combined efforts from the whole team, she kept up a good fight. Sadly, her lungs and heart had nothing left to give and she passed away. 

We discovered a wound on Delta’s (orange-winged amazon) back. After some time in the clinic, she went back to the Elmo front enclosure, looking healed and healthy. But that didn’t last too long before the wound opened again. As Douwe and Olivia already had Keska in the house, Delta was the last animal back in the clinic. The family took her under their non-feathery wings and are letting her recover in Olivia’s office, while we seize this opportunity to combat the pesky cockroaches in the clinic.


Last month’s new arrivals are all doing well. After checking their faeces and deworming them all, it’s almost time for their next phase. Coya (adult female woolly monkey) was the first to outside as she was getting very bored. Destroying as much of the interior of her enclosure and gleefully engaging with every enrichment she got. She’s now said her first hellos to the outside monkeys, and it never gets old seeing them build new relationships!

Volunteer life

This month has, yet again, shown us that with teamwork and solidarity, we can move mountains. Everyone has worked so hard and helped each other, a truly beautiful sight. And, an unexpected upside of fewer people – nicer dinners! Like pizza, empanadas, fries… is your mouth watering yet? 

We were very pleased to welcome back Carlotta (adult female homo sapiens). Arriving full of energy, ready to take on the veterinary position here at EV. 

As we’re always looking for sustainable long-term solutions and to involve the local community, we asked around if anyone in Bello Horizonte would be interested in joining our team! So, we have now welcomed Estefany (adult female homo sapiens). She’s training to oversee the bodega (where we prepare all of the food for the animals). As for now, she’s learning all about the animals and their special diets (and their oh-so-special behaviours).

A new wave of volunteers is due to arrive, but that our friends, is for the next episode…

¡Hasta proxima!