Oct 31, 2019

Aza means Strong

Aza-Sita exercising with her splint
Aza-Sita exercising with her splint

The long dry season was starting to take its toll around the second week of September. Rescues were once again increasing and we saw a similar pattern as earlier in the year when we were experiencing the drought. Animals would come in dehydrated or wounded as they came in conflict with dogs and were not able to defend themselves because of weakness. One such animal was reported on a Saturday while we were all out in the field doing a project in a local community just prior to the end of the school holidays. Our volunteer vet Eva ensured that the right contacts were made, and that the animal was transported to the vet on call that weekend. The sloth had a broken arm. The last time, the fracture was too complicated and could not be set. But this time it was a clean cut, and it was a young animal. As she was still weak applying a splint or surgery could only be done if the animal was strong enough.

From our experience earlier this year, the animal was given intravenous fluids for several days, and she was visibly improving even though she had to be in a lot of pain. One thing our vet Eva noticed, as well as the vet treating her, was that this young female sloth was supporting her own arm with her other arm. After 5 days the surgery was planned in the evening, after normal business hours. Although the idea had been to sedate her and perform surgery, after a very thorough examination Leontine, the vet treating her, decided to apply a splint on the exterior and not to perform surgery. After the splint was set, which was not a simple task, the vets decided to name her. Fabienne, the vet on call said Sita, and Eva said Aza, because it means strong in Swahili. So we mostly refer to her as Aza-Sita, and she is indeed strong, Strong Sita. The splint was removed two days ago. And the bone has healed.

In preparation for her increased mobility and rehabilitation the volunteers decided to renovate one of the enclosures in the weekend that International Sloth Day is celebrated. This would be our first enclosure that was going to be built around a tree. Our carpenter Orlando had prepared all the wood and it would be a reasonably simple task of fitting all pieces together. However, it was also the first time we were building such a high cage, 4 meters high! Fortunately, two athletic volunteers used to tree climbing were in no time in the tree and the enclosure was almost completed. We hope to complete it this weekend, when we have the additional materials, so that Aza will be able to start exercising her arm.

Our continued efforts to improve our rehabilitation work would not be possible without your support. The well-being of every single animal making a slow but steady recovery makes it worthwhile for us every single time.

Volunteers posing after a hard day of work
Volunteers posing after a hard day of work
Some of the work in action for Aza-Sita
Some of the work in action for Aza-Sita
Aug 19, 2019

19November and 9July roaming our Center's Forest

19November and 9July
19November and 9July

PROGRESS Report

Indeed, we looked back at our reports from the past years and from this same period, and we do see progress. Two years ago around this time, we had just moved from my house in the city to the forest center. First without energy, but then our solar system came on, and Ostrich and Jinkoe then could be housed in their incubator at night at the center. One year later they were roaming the trees and our center now is home to many of our wards, although you need binoculars to spot them. We do not like to keep them in enclosures for too long.

19November

And so we reported last year about our friend 19 November and her baby. And this year again, we can proudly say, she is doing really well. We suspect that on the 9thof July she had her second baby in her new home. And it is such a pleasure to see the two of them roaming the trees around the center. In my opinion she deliberately comes to trees close to our building to show off her baby 9July as we named her. Yvonne, our animal caretaker, and her twin sister, and one other volunteer Annelies, all celebrate their birthday on the 9thof July, so as we assumed the baby was born on this day, we decided to name it 9July. As can be seen from the pictures with this report, the baby is growing well and climbing from the front to the back of her mom, hanging on for dear life.

Rescues and Releases

As if word got out that we are back on the road with our rescue vehicle, animals again are lining up to be rescued. One special story was from an animal that was crossing the road not far from our center, was picked up by a family, who started to quarrel about who should have it. Then the woman who had first seen it, said to the other family members,
"I saw it first, I am going to bring it to town to sell."
So, she saved the sloth from a more obscure fate and brought it to the Zoo. The animal was then reported to us. I called this lady, and asked her about the details of the animal, was it crossing the road from the river to the forest, or from the forest to the riverside. She told me from the forest to the river. So I called my friends from Apartments Bloemendaal that I had a special sloth, that had been crossing the road towards the river, so I wanted to bring him to the location where he had wanted to go to. Our Bloemendaal friends, were pleased to bring him across in their boatSo this sloth, made a big detour to cross the road all the way to the city and back, to be brought to the river where he had been going to in the first place.  And we released him right there!

So there are always stories of hope. And we keep spreading this hope thanks to your kind support.

After so much exercise, 9July yawning from effort
After so much exercise, 9July yawning from effort
19November and 9July looking into the camera
19November and 9July looking into the camera
9July sitting upside down?
9July sitting upside down?
Off he goes, finally across the river!
Off he goes, finally across the river!
Aug 5, 2019

Frankie, an Anteater with Spirit

Frankie on her daily walk in the garden
Frankie on her daily walk in the garden

In our last report, we gave a broad overview of the happenings of the dry months that started out our year, and the many, many rescues we did. After that incredibly busy time, we had a short period of no rescues, just caring for the animals that are at the center. And then we started again on our usual schedule of an animal or two a week. Mostly sloths, and for the past two weeks, from one specific location around Lelydorp. Last Wednesday, we had a total of five animals, so the bus was stacked full with passengers looking for a better life in the forest. One of the animals was Frankie, an anteater that had stayed with us for almost 2 weeks.

Frankie was found by a good soul on a road around 80 km outside of Paramaribo, in the District of Brokopondo. And she had apparently been hit by a car, but was not dead. She arrived at our offices the next day, and appeared to be in a state of shock and weakness. When we took her to the vet, she had regained already some of her strength, and was mainly defensive. That was not making it easier for us to examine her. So the vet was going to come by the next day, when she was a little bit more settled in and no longer so scared of us. Frankie slept a lot, which is good when you have a bad headache, and when the vet visited, she was not as restless. However, we did find that she had a parasite in her foot and in her digestive system.

To treat her, we would have to give her either medicines by injection or through her food. Neither one was easy. After four days, she started to eat the food, instead of just stepping on it and in it. And then something pretty amazing happened. As I was preparing her food, I heard a snort. I was not sure whether Frankie was doing that, but for sure, when she saw me with the food, she did it again. Frankie was talking to me! She actually had gotten the taste of the food, and now was instructing me to make a bit more haste. It never ceases to amaze me how these completely wild animals connect with us, interact with us, and cease any defensive behavior. Once they understand that you are helping them, they start to direct us and indicate what they need.

Frankie stayed with us for a bit longer than normal, because we felt that we had to give her a good start. She really enjoyed all the food we gave her, from frozen termites nests to yoghurt with supplements. And when we let her go, she left at ease, she immediately started to check out her surroundings.

On the 9thof July we started to paint an educational mural with a student group from Tulane University. The design was made by a well-known Surinamese artist and the animals we worked with were displayed in their actual sizes next to each other, so we can provide people a sense of the difference in sizes of the sloths, anteaters and armadillos we work with. We did see Ostrich around in the trees surrounding the center, but we did not see 19November. We continued the work on the mural over several weekends with other volunteers and we hope to finish it by the end of August.

Then my sloth friend 19November surprised us a few days later, when she showed up again, showing off her new baby. We decided to call it 9July, because we all had the feeling it was 19November showing us that she also could create something.

With your support, we continue to care for sloth and anteaters in trouble. We make daily efforts to improve the circumstances under which we rescue, rehabilitate and release the animals, ensuring their individual well-being one at a time.

Impression of the focused work done by students
Impression of the focused work done by students
9July climbing on her mother's head
9July climbing on her mother's head
Tulane students posing in front of their work
Tulane students posing in front of their work
Our mural, a work in progress
Our mural, a work in progress
 
WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.