The latest news (18.09.15 – 04.10.15)
This last week it has rained finally, so the well that provides water to the houses and cages started filling the tanks again. The nearby stream has now become a small river again. As a precaution, we are still washing ourselves and the dishes there. It is still the dry season after all!
And with the rain came a huge wind, which took down a big tree, unfortunately it fell on the bodega. The whole roof destroyed, but luckily most of the cement wall was still standing. We are enormously lucky that no one was in the bodega at the moment it happened. Douwe started directly with the planning of the re-construction of the bodega. To make something positive out off a negative thing, it gives us now the opportunity to make the bodega slightly bigger to be able to give more room for all the bananas.
Ramona, our baby wooly monkey, unfortunately suffered through a condition that persistently deteriorated. During her last week she lost all of the weight she gained while she was here. We tried to feed her as much as possible, mainly by force feeding. From off the beginning we suspected something was wrong with her skull. Most likely she fell on her head when her mother was shut and fell down. The last months of her life we gave her all the love and attention she deserved, but after two months of nurturing her we were forced to give tearful goodbyes and let her go. This is one of the hardest decisions to make. At autopsy we found out that she would not have been able to live long. Part of her skull was squeezed below the rest. This was probably the cause of all her problems. She tried, we tried….but it would just not be.
Mica is doing fantastic. She interacts great with the other monkeys and she doesn’t even follow anyone anymore. We have yet to see any “special” interaction between Jordi and Mica, but we hope that it will happen. Mica continues to look after the squirrel monkeys, acting as their surrogate mother.
We had two new arrivals! One is a young kinkajou and one a young black agouti. The kinkajou came from a nearby village, where it was held as a pet, and is very tame. The agouti was held as a pet by one of Kayla’s school friends, who some weeks ago visited Esperanza Verde, and decided to give her to us. We are going to try to maintain the smallest amount of contact as possible, to be able to give them as much chance of a successful release as possible. We are hopeful they can have a normal life in the wild. The kinkajou is called Kiko, and the agouti Mishki.
Elmo now visits us at least three times a week, but most of the time he likes to just hang around in the area. Rincay (the tapir) and Quintisha (the peccary) are both doing fine.
Creeper, the baby bat, found by Kayla two weeks ago, is progressing well. He is very active when we feed him. He likes to hang upside down on the feeder´s hand and he has already spread his wings a few times!
Thanks to some other new arrivals, about 20 bats from Kayla’s school we now know the exact species, Molossus molossus. These bats were bound to end up dead, as they were talking about spraying insecticide there to get rid of them. So Kayla decided, together with her school friends, to catch them and bring them home. This took some convincing, as many believe all bats are bloodsuckers and don’t dare to touch them. But Kayla is good at convincing….. Anyway when night fell we released them all safely at the family house, outside of course….
We were considering the release of Supay (shiny cowbird) into the wild, but as he is so used to humans, even flies on our heads, we decided not to take the risk. He might know how to find insects but he is not afraid of anything and the monkeys or other animals would be able to catch him easily. We still wanted to give him more space and decided to transfer him to the aviary cage with the macaws, which is also big enough for him to fly around and catch insects. He has been there now for almost one and a half week and has been doing fine. He even eats from the plates of the macaws when there are no birds around. He does play fly and catch with the amazons, but he is way too quick! A volunteer made him a special bowl for his food so the other birds can’t get to it. He seems to enjoy it and the others seem to enjoy this quick and swift bird flying around.
Pauki´s (the oropendola) training is going strong. He already knows what he is supposed to do and he has some favorite spots where he likes to sit. We are trying to leave him out a bit more so he can become familiar with his surroundings, also allowing him to get used to life outside the cage.
Even Tupak, the toucan, is getting used to him, and while outside they seem to look for each other’s company.
All parakeets from the Igor-cage went out. We hope they are all doing fine outside and had enough time, being able to go in and out, to adapt slowly to living in freedom again.
As the Pepe-cage (with the 3 compartments) was falling apart we moved the aratingas and parakeets (all from the group of the 800 parakeets) to the Igor-cage. Here they have time to let their feathers grow and then we will also start their release.
We moved Pichu (the aratinga with a breast wound), fully recovered now, but still waiting for his feathers to grow, to the Igor-cage as well. After a bit of bullying by the other aratingas he seems to have found a place in the group.
The tortoises and turtles are all doing well. The turtles are enjoying their pond where they reside most of the time. Pepito, the tortoise that lives in the enclosure with Rincay, is doing great as well. He always enjoys the oat balls we give him; it is really nice to see him eating them with so much pleasure.
Pothos, the tortoise which was injured on the head and lost one eye, is back in the reptile cage. His wound has healed almost completely, his eye socket slowly closing. Even though he has only one eye we think he can once again adapt well in the reptile cage with the other tortoises.
With the incident of the bodega the work shifted from the clinic to repairing the bodega, so another delay. But thanks to the quick response of many friends and especially the Susy Utzinger Stiftung in Zwitserland, we received money to buy all the material to repair the bodega. At first we fought the re-building would take about two months, but with all the hard work of Douwe, Machico and Geiler and the volunteers, we will be able to get it finished in before the end of October.
We are now with a group of only six volunteers, which is also one of the reasons we are not getting very much construction work done. Fortunately we will welcome more volunteers next week, and with any luck the bodega will be finished in no time!