It finally rained again after almost three weeks of no rain. It still is not enough to take a shower, but we have enough drinking and cooking water again.
Ramona the female baby woolly monkey who arrived two weeks ago, is having ups and downs with her health. She has somebody looking after her 24/. We feed her leafs, papaya, banana and other fruit and vegetables. We also feed her milk and electrolytes (which help to balance her system). We think that the main problem is her digestions. Before she arrived she was treated with too many medicines, and now she has a problem with absorbing nutrients from her food. Woolly monkeys are very sensitive, especially so young. We hope she will get better soon with all the love and care of all volunteers.
Six birds from the office (where we keep the weak birds) have been transferred back to the one of the outside cages. One bird has come back into the office for further treatment but the other five are doing great and are happy to be back with the rest of their group.
In the new small aviary, where we started releasing parakeets, there are now about 70 left from the original 215. The cage has a small whole that is opened in the morning after feeding time (about 9:30 am) and we close it in the afternoon (around 4:00 pm). The birds can go and come back if they want. The last days they are coming out very slowly or some days don’t go out at all.
We chipped all nine tortoises with identification chips. We did this in order to identify and track their health better as a lot of the tortoises look very similar. The device we used is a gift from the Swiss company vet-ID from Laurent and Sandrine Schwarz.
We are very happy that we have received this gift and we will make good use of it. The chipping of the tortoises went very well. The chips are the size of a grain of rice so the animal shouldn’t be able to feel it.
We are unsure if we will be able to release these tortoises into the wild as the people in the nearby village often walk through the rainforest and like to make turtle soup! The tortoises are now back in their big enclosure enjoying their days.
The group of volunteers is growing quickly, we now have a group of twelve volunteers. With Elena, Geiler, Machico and the family it is a pretty full house at lunch time! It is fun having lots of people around especially when there are so many jobs to do. Because of the increased number of people and the rain the construction project of the clinic can begin again.
Student guide tour
Last week the 5th and 6th graders from the local school in Bello Horizonte came over to Esperanza Verde. With 30 kids in total it made for a fun day. The kids got a guided tour from Olivia and Douwe and were told what Eperanza Verde is, what we do and why we do it. This was received well by the children and they left enthused about the project. During the tour the children were given a worksheet where they were required to classify the animals. This proved to be a successful exercise as it prompted a lot of questions from the children. They really enjoyed it and were very curious about all the animals. The children especially liked the macaws and Rincay the tapir. The day before Kayla baked lots of chocolate cookies for her classmates which they enjoyed with a drink. After this refreshment they helped in finding all the tortoises in the reptile enclosure. They were very good at searching and found all of them very quickly. They were then given a demonstration of one of the caught tortoise getting chipped.
A few of the children helped the volunteers catch grasshoppers for Pauki the oropendola and Tupak the white-throated toucan. The kids were natural grasshopper catchers; we had fifteen grasshoppers in two minutes!
As we had to deal with the problem of not having enough water, Douwe was mainly putting efforts and time to fix it. He went looking for new wells, but they were either too far or not providing enough water. But with a new pomp, new hoses, we now will pomp once in a while water from the nearby stream up to the water tanks.
As we needed water for construction to proceed with the clinic, again there was a delay. This week, with a lot of volunteers and the water pomp, we will be able to get going again.