First of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERBODY !
We are sorryfor not keeping you up to date lately. In between Christmas and New Year’s preparation the update got a bit forgotten. But as always there is a lot to tell.
There has been some restauration in several cages. The spider monkey cage (Sapa) and the Aviary (Pichu) got new branches and big bamboo sticks. The animals seem to enjoy having new options to play or hang around.
For the 5th of December the family and the volunteers came together to celebrate St. Nicolas, with typical Dutch snacks, presents and treasure hunts all over the Esperanza Verde area.
Of course we shan’t forget to mention Christmas. We have been busy building up the Christmas decoration, thus bringing the Christmas feeling into the jungle. The volunteers enjoyed a nice Christmas Eve in the volo kitchen with music, dance and drinks and on the 25th. All of us had a wonderful meal and we celebrated up until late in the evening.
We celebrated New Year’s eve with a special treat for dinner, roasted pork, champagne, Dutch sweets (oliebollen) and fireworks at the port.
Yanay (female spider monkey) is living with all the other monkeys now freely in the Esperanza Verde range. She is fully independent, but still loves to be around humans as well. Sometimes when you sit outside the kitchen she just sits at your side giving you company. The no touching policy is still active though and it helps them all to eventually spend more time in the trees, which of course is more healthy in many ways.
Nakoya (female woolly monkey) is maybe getting a bit too comfortable with us at the moment. She is very demanding and also naughty. She tries to steal food from the buckets and screams if somebody walks by her with an egg without giving it to her. It will slowly be time to get her totally off the milk, which she still receives by hand twice a day.
As for Mica (female capuchin monkey), the hormones helped for a while but then she showed the same behavior like before the treatment. After a night without sleep and a big headache for the chosen volunteer (at the moment always our headvolunteer Dominik), she got another hormone injection, which should keep her quiet for, probably, the next 2 months. It worked and Dominik could get some well-deserved sleep again.
Very happy new news was brought to us by a female squirrel monkey (Silvana), which we released in November 2014. One day we saw her carrying a baby on her back. She seems to really fine as mother. This is the first born squirrel monkey at Esperanza Verde. Unfortunately we have not succeeded in getting a photo of her and her baby, as she stays far away from us, but we will keep trying.
The Opossums (mouse opossums) are all growing up well and getting more independent every day. One of the originally six died; probably because of undernourishment. The others eat a lot of fruits – papaya and banan – mixed with some proteins from eggs or grasshoppers. They now have a little cage in the volo house, where, by night, they can be observed playing and discovering. We think of releasing them in the next few weeks.
Little Kiko (male kinkajou) is not so little anymore. He grows pretty big and is very active by night. As soon as there is space in the cage near the family house (Tiliku), he will move there till he is old enough for release.
Quintisha (female peccary) likes to play with Willow (male woolly monkey) every once in a while. It is mostly playing but we do hope Willow is very careful, as Quintisha’s canines our not to joke with! Nevertheless both seem to have fun and none get hurt so far…..
Rincay (male tapir) really likes the female volunteers! He follows them around everywhere, to a point where some of them get a bit annoyed. Once he escaped into the front cage, but they lured him back with a clever strategy and lots of food.
Greetings from Yara by the way. She sends her regards to all the supporters of Esperanza Verde.
Tupak (female toucan) hardly shows up anymore. She seems to have chosen a life in wilderness and comes by only rarely. One of her sleeping places is still at the family house though. So we are able to keep track of her to some degree. We still like to remember how we raised her from a little bird over a half a year ago and now she is all on her own. How fast they grow!
Pauki (oropendola) does not go back to his cage anymore. He flies around all the Esperanza Verde region and even further away. But every day around 18:30 he passes by the volo house to say hello. If he is there when we feed him, he has no shame in jumping on the arms or shoulders of the poor volunteers to steal all the food they carry.
As a little side mention: Asan (blue-yellow winged macaw) loves to be petted. If you have the patience and the courage then you are able to touch him without him drawing blood from you. He can be picky, we know, but you really start to love him, once you see him blush while you touch him.
For the bigger news: After the ladies from the government left, we got the permission to release the healthy parakeets back in to the wild. So far we have been releasing over a hundred parakeets in the last month and are still counting. We also brought a group of 60 parakeets (all healthy and with grown-back feathers) to the Tiliku-cage (the first release cage build near the house of Douwe and Olivia). The little opening is now open and we are waiting till the first ones find the opening and try life in freedom again.
The one sick Aratinga Apu in the office has regained a lot of weight and if this continues on he will soon be brought back to Casa cage, where his old group of Aratingas is.
It is incredible how fast Douwe and the workers, Geiler and specialist in concrete Antonio Yance are progressing with the clinic. All the walls are now finished and with help of some volunteers the windows get completed soon. Additionally we bought a new water tank with which we will build a new water system exclusively for the volunteers` house. But this has to wait until the clinic is done. There has been some restauration of the old steps on the pathway to the port lately. We will restore the old and moldy ones and replace them with new and shiny ones.
12 Volunteers are living in Esperanza Verde as we write this update. The house is full, but half of them are leaving after New Year`s. Among them are 4 long terms, who have been here for more than two months. We will miss them and their dedication to our project big time but at the same time there is opportunity for new people to fill in these gaps.
For now we wish you all a happy new year, enjoy 2016!