The latest news (05.11.15 – 19.11.15)
After nearly three weeks the paintings on the doors at the kitchen are nearly finished. Elmo got companionship of a squirrel monkey and in Tupaks portrait Kiko makes a cameo.
One of the oldest cages in Esperanza Verde (Pepe) is out of use and is currently being demolished. The wood of the cage was old and mouldy, so we moved the inhabitant (Kiko, the young kinkajou) to a better and bigger cage and started to break it down. Pepe cage served well for a long time and always reminded us of the small and humble beginnings of Esperanza Verde.
Two women from the ministry of Pucallpa came by to inspect our project and stayed for a while in the kitchen dorm room. Of course we expect everything to be in order, while giving Olivia a bit more of administration.
We did it! After long discussions we decided to release one of the spider monkeys. Her name is Yanay, the only female spider monkey, and until now she lived her whole live in captivity. We were afraid that she may run away because she might have trouble interacting with the other monkeys. But as she most likely has been living a big party of her baby life with people in a house, she might want to stick around the houses and us humans.
It took her only one day to get used to living outside of the cage though. It was really interesting to see her face while discovering the outside world. Her thoughts were probably: “what is this”, “what is that” and “I wonder what this is”. Nevertheless, we have to be very careful in this crucial time. We don’t want her to be too familiar with the humans, so we forbid every interaction between her and the volunteers. The goal is that she knows she can live with us but not among us. Now she lives in the Esperanza Verde area with all the other monkeys. Especially Kamari (a male woolly monkey) seems to be a good friend to her. She already knows where she can get food, on the monkey table, at Rincay (tapir) bowl or on Tupak’s (toucan) table. We still keep an eye on Yanay but it seems that she does really well outside of the cage.
We won’t be able to release the male spider monkeys, as they are so tame, they would be a danger to us humans. They have huge canines and if something goes we would not want to risk someone getting bitten.
Mica, the female brown capuchin, again fell in love with another volunteer. Probably because she was raised her from very young with no monkeys around at that time, she also tries to mate with them. Sounds cute, but can be very stressful for the chosen person. What she does is follow the person around all the time trying to get his attention. If that means to give him a hearty bite, then so be it. Additionally, she can be very jealous. At night she would knock and bite on the wooden posts of the windows where her chosen one sleeps (or at least tries).
Luckily it seems we got it now under control by giving her a hormone injection. We still have hopes that, while controlling her with this, she will at one time decide to go with Jordi, the male capuchin (not yet in reproductive age, but hopefully in a year).
Because Pepe cage is not in use anymore we had to move little Kiko (kinkajou) to a new cage. He lives now in the bigger and better Lucia cage right beside the kitchen. He is doing very well and in fact gained some weight since he´s here.
Sadly, Mishki (agouti) escaped. One of the volunteers was not focused for a second, and in this instant Mishki took his chance and run away. One of the reasons Pepe cage was ready to be demolished, as it was lacking the necessary double door system. He has a good survival chance, because he was never too fond of people and always wild. We wish him the best and hope he mates with another agouti out there in the wilderness.
We have some new animals, too : Some of the volunteers found a bunch of tiny mouse opossums, six in total. There is no sign of the mother and we decided to take care of them. They live now in a box in the volunteer House.
Pauki (oropendola) gets more active and brave every day. He copied a lot of Tupaks (toucan) behaviour, like stealing from Rincays (tapir) bowl or even bullying him. He already chases insects himself and doesn’t need humans to do this for him anymore. He extended his territory up to the aviary and down to the river. The volunteers are having lots of troubles to get him back in his cage in the afternoon. The day when he is fully released is getting closer and closer.
There were two deaths in one of the parakeet cages. One probably drowned in a little pond in the cage and the other seemed to have had a lung infection. We separated this parakeet cage in the feeding tour, just to be safe. For safety we changed the pond and made tiny stairs in the cement.
The white-eyed parakeets (aratingas) we separated are doing well and all of them look healthy. Pichu is in there and is always the first to eat the food.
Thanks to the visit of the women of the Ministry of Fauna and Flora we now have permission to start releasing the parakeets, which are healthy and able to fly again. We started with the group of 118 parakeets in the IGOR-cage (the new release cage), under the eye of the Ministry. That day most of them decided to take their chance to go out, leaving about 35 parakeets behind. We will open the little door in the back of the cage every day and let them slowly get used to the outside living, giving them the choice to come back. This group has a good chance outside, as they were wild-caught animals, and only were in captivity now for 4 months, growing back their feathers and health.
Splinter, the mata mata turtle, has finally been released. After having him in a small cage during quarantine, he was moved to the reptile enclosure with the big pond. We recently found him there and got a chance to weigh him. As the pond was getting dryer because of the long draught, there were not enough fishes for him, and he lost some weight. We decided to give him a change outside, and release him at the small stream near Douwe and Olivia’s house.
Nasca, the new yellow footed tortoise, gained weight since her arrival. We are looking forward to releasing her in Rincays cage with Pepito (Tortoise).
The clinic is progressing fine. The workers are finishing up the walls and will start with the floors soon. Besides that and the breakdown of Pepe cage other mentionable things are the build-up of three more steps on the way to the port and the new pathway to the compost. And finally the volunteer Linus Martensson could install a charging station in the volunteers’ house. We can now charge our electronic devices in our house!
While progressing with the clinic, we will start the construction of a new Pepe-cage, this time of long lasting material, metal tubes and cement.
We are currently a big group of 11 people. Food runs out quicker than before and we have to be aware of our water management, but we can also get stuff done faster and more efficient. Of course everybody still needs to learn new and different things every day. In the end we are a big community, in which each and every one contributes for the project and has a big heart for nature and animals. This, naturally, counts for all of the ex-volunteers out there too.