Life at Esperanza Verde is very busy as usual. We have had to deal with unexpected animal arrivals and a slight shortage of volunteers. We are all working very hard, carrying sandbags and caring for all the animals which are building a nice atmosphere between the volunteers. We celebrated Kayla’s birthday on the 20th of July. We had a nice party at Olivia and Douwe’s house and enjoyed Olivia’s home-made lasagna.
Good news for our three Spider Monkeys, we are making a second door for their cage. This will mean that we can regularly clean up the bigger area in the cage without any danger for the animals or Douwe and Olivia. Also this way we can give more kinds of enrichment for the big monkeys. Soon the door will be fixed and that will be a nice improvement on their living conditions.
Unfortunately we have had some problems with Mica, our female brown capuchin monkey. Twice, since some months, she picked a male volunteer, to follow around as a love sick monkey. Trying to touch him, making a lot of high pitched screams, trying to jump him, not letting him sleep at night (making squeaking sounds from outside the mesh) etc. It stopped after some time, but then she picked another guy. At the moment all is quiet, but you can imagine she can be a bit scary sometimes.
Rincay, our Brazilian tapir, has had a lot of ticks recently and all the volunteers have been helping out to try and remove them. These parasites can make animals sick and we try to remove them twice a day. We keep an eye on him and hopefully the ticks will wear off.
Elmo, the two-toed Sloth, has been doing pretty well lately. He comes back now and then for his food and then goes back in the forest for fresh leaves from the trees. During a heavy rainfall a few days ago his food table snapped and he fell on the ground. Luckily a volunteer found him quickly and he managed to climb up the volunteer and went back to his branch. The food table was fixed the same day.
There is a lot happening with birds at Esperanza Verde, there are a lot of new arrivals and there are also releases.
A few weeks ago we decided that it was time for Tupak, our white-throated toucan, to spread his wings and explore the area a bit. So on one day we set the cage open and we watched. He looked somewhat interested and came out after a few minutes to eat the food we put just outside his cage. After he finished his food he explored the outsides of his cage and went back in the cage. Now every day we open his door in the morning and watch him while he practices his wing muscles. At night he flies back to his cage to spend the night there. So far the release is a success and he explores the area everyday a bit more. He loves visiting Rincay, while stealing his food. Rincay does not seem to mind, just another companion to spend the day with!
We decided that the two new orange-winged amazons, Logan and Yamara, were ready to set foot in the big aviary with all the other parrots. After their release in the aviary they were a bit timid and climbed up to the top to see everything. At first one of the macaws took a look and after that the amazons got reunited with their own species. The now five amazons are forming a nice group and they are almost always sitting close to each other.
A week ago we got a large amount of white-winged parakeets and white-eyed parakeets, 677 in total. The birds were brought by the ministry of Fauna and Flora from Pucallpa. They were all confiscated while being illegally transported from Pucallpa to Lima. They arrived unannounced in really small cages and each cage had a chunk of papaya to eat. The birds are most certainly wild-caught and were supposed to be sold as pets. The birds were put in the only cage still available, with the three compartments (PEPE-cage) right after we put a lot of branches in.
Every day, after their arrival we find dead birds, on bad days more than 25. All were in very bad state and might not have been given food or water for days. All together they eat four (!) full buckets of fruit mixed with vitamins and medicine. And still it seems not to be enough. We try to provide them with everything they need and we take special care of the weaker ones.
It is hard to think of those people who caught them in nets and treated them so badly just to get some money for the ones which survive. We see the results in a very harsh way. Every morning we go to the cage, afraid of the amount of parakeets that died over night still as a consequence of being deprived of food and water too long, and being packed in little cages for several days till weeks.
At the moment after 1,5 week it seems they are all improving and we are working hard on the new small aviary to create more space for them. They all had some of their feathers pulled out, so it will take several months before they will be able to fly again. And then hopefully their release.
Other news is that the big group of white-winged parakeets, which arrived in Esperanza Verde a few months ago, is ready to be released. We made a small door in two of the three cages to let them out bit by bit. The doors are made in a way that only the birds that can fly properly could fly out. We opened the small doors in the cages a couple of days ago, but none of them seemed to have gone out yet. We hope that soon some of them will fly out and others will follow their lead.
Pothos, our yellow-footed Tortoise, that was injured on his head and lost an eye, is still in an enclosure in the office. We started force-feeding him as he was not eating by himself. With this and the medical treatment he is receiving he seems to get stronger. We first were afraid he would lose his other eye as well, but fortunately we were able to safe it. He is doing quite well and you can see that the injured skin is healing. He gets a bath now twice a week with vitamins to give his skin more strength. He is getting more strength and showing signs, like trying to destroy his cage, that he feels better. We also put him in the sun now and then to make sure that he doesn’t get a lack of vitamins.
A lot of work has been done on the clinic, but of course something came up again; the arrival of the big group of parakeets. At that moment it was all hands on deck for taking care of them.
So we started to build a small aviary as quick as possible, as the parakeets are now in too overcrowded cages. We hope to finish it soon, so we can start moving them to more space.
Thanks to the donation of the VARA (Dutch television) and the volunteers of the Royal Burger’s Zoo it made it possible for us to get all the material for the aviary.
The last couple of weeks we have been running out of hands, but we manage with the right commitment to keep all the animals happy and do as much construction as we can. Next to volunteers we also have trainees who are helping out. Together we have a nice group of people who are willing to do the best for all the animals and have a lot fun while doing that!