Although we are very proud of the progress we made, and we are almost there, we seem to be experiencing some end-of-project delays. Some are due to a lack of finances and others to weather circumstances. However, we need to continue moving forward, because we have to vacate our current location by the end of June. If you have followed us a bit on our website, or maybe through our own app, then you know we have been making progress up to almost the completion of the building. After reaching the highest point, we had a small celebration with Gilbert, our contractor, and the supervising architect Oliver, and we ate some cake and had a drink (non-alcoholic), and were hopeful to complete everything by the end of March. And Tanja, our amazing volunteer construction coordinator, has been really on top of it. Alas, the rains have come, and now we will have to find out how bad the road is. How badly is our location affected by the water, and how long will we have to wait until the road is passable again. We do not know. Repairing the road is not even feasible at this moment, even if we had the funds to do it, because the trucks cannot reach up to where they have to deliver the road metal.
Being real optimists though, we can only be amazed at the beautiful building and sloth island that was realized so far. And all this as a result of the financial support we received from our donors. Yes, we had some big significant donations, including the CNN Heroes donations and from Dutch Postcode lottery, but it is really the small, private donations that keep coming our way that have sustained us this far. Thank you, we also want to thank our anonymous donors.
While the construction is on-going, we continue to have our regular rescues. One period, however, was really exceptional. It started on the 7th of April. An animal had been on sale through facebook, and we were trying to track it down. We involved the game wardens, they contacted the police and we were on standby to give shelter to the animal. On the 8th of April we received a call in the morning from a lady, who said she wanted us to pick up an animal that had been with a young man who helped her around the house. When I arrived, it appeared to be the same animal that had been on sale. The young man said the animal had been with him for the past three years and its name was Crispy. The same day, on our way to release some animals we also had to pick up a less fortunate animal that had been attacked by dogs. On the 12th we received a sloth that had been crossing the road. And on the 13th we received a call about an anteater, wounded, that was sleeping at the side of the road. We immediately took it to the vet for examination, but it did not appear to have very serious injuries. Later that day, one of our volunteers brought us a two-fingered sloth that had been on one of our main roads. On the 15th we received an animal from an area that was being deforested in the north of Paramaribo, and on the 16th we picked an animal up that was roaming around the fence of the Jehovah’s Witnesses Compound, also in the north. We had just released the animals on the 17th, when we heard upon our return that a new animal had been brought in that had also been crossing a road in the north. On the 19th a lady who was just about to leave her house, saw a sloth sitting in the inside ledge of her roof. She was convinced it had come after the coconut she had picked from her tree the day before. On the 20th of April another sloth crossing the highway to our airport was picked up and brought to our shelter. Fortunately, most of these rescues had a favorable outcome, and the animals were all released in the forest. You can see some of these releases on our instagram or facebook account.