Aug 18, 2017

To Move or Not to Move...

The animals confined to kennels for moving them
The animals confined to kennels for moving them

(When I started writing this update at the beginning of July, I was traveling and a lot happened in the 10 days that I traveled.)

To Move or Not to Move… That was not really the question, at that moment it was our dilemma! We had to move, but we could not move. We were facing some hurdles, big and small, and some painfully sad moments, prior to being able to start out in the new center. Fortunately, the landlord gave us an additional month before we had to move out. There were several reasons, why we were confronted with this problem. Reason number 1 was the rainy weather. The condition of the road was so bad that we were not able to finish the center. Reason number 2 is that we do not yet have the solar energy system in place. During my travel, on top of the slow delivery of the system, we received pictures from the supplier that the batteries, on their way to his site, fell out of a truck and were all damaged. So that meant at least another 6 week delay before they can be shipped. Reason number 3 was that we had not yet secured sufficient funding to be able to house Artiglio George, our Giant Anteater. This meant that we had only one other option: release him as is, without any prior rehabilitation. This would definitely not be in his interest, as he had not been able to gain forest skills since he was a pup when he came to us. The whole idea of the center is that we will have a site in which the animals can gain survival skills prior to their release. After all, we want all of our animals to be able to freely roam the forests. Our friends from Welttierschutzgesellschaft came to his rescue fortunately. While I was traveling the construction of his enclosure started, but completely unexpectedly I received on the eve of my return to Suriname very sad news. Artiglio George was found dead in his enclosure the day before I returned. Reason number 4 is that we still do not have sufficient funding to make the center fully operational from the start. As I traveled back many things were going through my head, and somehow I was wishing that the news about Artiglio George was just a bad dream and that I would find him alive in his enclosure. However, no miracle happened. His enclosure was empty and I could only cry about this sad turn of events. After all, I was doing it for the animals, and now this was the second sad passing just as we were to move.

The Move

On the 30th of July we started preparing for the move. The whole day things were being moved to the new office space in the city, an animal-free environment. And to my house. The last load of the day was to the Sloth Wellness Center. We moved some rescue animals out of the house together with some pieces of furniture and would then be able to put all animals in their moving boxes for the move on the 31st of July. On the 31st of July we drove up and down to our new office, my new "private" house (no more animal rehab or office from home) and finally at the end of the day to the Sloth Wellness Center. It was a big operation and still not complete. In the following days we would be driving up and down to the center and the city to move the last things and finally bring also the babies to the center. 

To help us continue our work, please consider making a recurring donation to our project.

19November free again on the 1st of August
19November free again on the 1st of August

Links:

Jun 9, 2017

Sloths and Anteaters Rescued and Cared for...

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Anteater baby Johannes
Early March Johannes had only just arrived, and we were uncertain about how he would fare. We are happy to report to you that Johannes has outgrown his incubator and is doing well. His weight is nearing 2 kilograms and his fur has grown much longer. And he is becoming more and more the juvenile that any mom can proudly let go off one fine day. In the early morning hours, when these nocturnal animals are active, Johannes loves to eat his special milk mix, and more of it each day as well. After providing him with some infant formula for the first 8 weeks, we started adding some adult food to his milk. He likes the new food so much, that he refuses to eat infant formula that is not mixed with the more protein-rich adult mix. Johannes likes to play with his caregiver after feeding. With his small claws he tries to knead the fingers of caregiver Yvonne, but never hurts her with his small sharp claws. One game Johannes likes playing is "Attack". Like adult anteaters who are threatened, he will stand on his hindlegs with his arms and claws in the air, waiting to pounce when you come near. Although a wild adult anteater can severely hurt a human by doing this, as they are incredibly strong and fast, it is clear that Johannes is only practicing. He pounces and then rolls about, but never hurts any of us. 
We are confident that when Johannes moves to the center and our anteater release volunteer Duncan starts working with him, his attack skills will help him survive in the wild. And he will know how to distinguish between a real threat, and play. He has also been given the opportunity to work on his termite hunting skills with the nests that we provided him with from time to time.  
What to do if your claws are cut
We have several animals, three-fingered sloths, in our care that had unfortunate encounters with humans that cut their claws. These three-fingered sloths do not only need their claws for climbing, but more importantly for cleaning their fur. If they cannot properly clean their fur, they are more prone to parasites. Unfortunately, one of these animals had a parasite, that caused a growth on the skin, and which spread very rapidly among them. We were faced with some five animals that suddenly looked like they all had warts. Treating these warts on a regular basis, like three-times a day, with a simple remedy like coconut oil helped to get rid of the wart-like growths. But with the disappearance of these growths they suddenly developed bald spots. Good news is that although slowly, their hairs are now starting to grow back. And we seem to have the parasite under control with this simple remedy which has them all smelling of coconut oil. Humans often do cruel things like they did to these sloths, thinking the sloths are only using the claws to defend themselves and hurt others. In their ignorance they do not realize how important healthy claws are for these animals to keep a clean and healthy skin.
Counting the days until we move...
As you can read in our recent project report we have almost completed the building and will move at the end of this month, because we have to. And we remain optimistic about indeed doing this and succeeding in moving all animals without to much trouble. We have regular updates on our instagram or facebook account.

Monique Pool
Director
Picture 1: Feeding Johannes next to his incubator
Picture 2: Johannes exploring his old home that he has outgrown
Picture 3: After feeding it is time to play
Picture 4: Naomi with a bald spot where the wart-like growth had been
Picture 5: With cut claws Stoney has a hard time properly grooming
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May 22, 2017

Almost there...First Sloth Wellness Center

Pouring libation to bless building stage
Pouring libation to bless building stage
Sloth Wellness Center Construction

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

Rescues

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.


Monique Pool
Green Heritage Fund Suriname probeert Smartpaper principes te gebruiken. Daarom, indien het niet nodig is, druk deze email niet af. 
Green Heritage Fund Suriname tries to implement Smartpaper principles. For that reason, please do not print this email unless it is really necessary.
Highest point of building reached
Highest point of building reached
Posing for the last time with Crispy
Posing for the last time with Crispy
Really free?
Really free?
So I like your roof lady!
So I like your roof lady!
I can relax before you release me
I can relax before you release me
Where will you take me?
Where will you take me?
 
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