We have light!
The first three months
We have been in the center now for three months, and it seems like we have been there much longer. The first 2 months without electricity, and for the last month we have electricity installed. Our solar system arrived, was installed and is up and running. Volunteers and interns came to help us with the daily care. One is a returning volunteer, Elise, who was familiar with the situation in my house. We asked her to describe a typical day at the center for you.
Elise's day at the Sloth Wellness Center
I love to greet the dawn. Today I have a perch upstairs in the open-air common room of the Sloth Wellness Center, and I’m filled with gratitude for this place and the opportunity to be a part of it, and the world. The sky streaks beautiful shades of orange, pink, and blue, as I listen to all the jungle sounds—birds, frogs, and insects—and maybe later, snapping branches signaling the arrival of traveling troops of capuchins and squirrel monkeys swinging and leaping through the trees. It’s a time of quiet reflection before the staff and other volunteers stir.
I will mix goat milk powder and water for the baby 3-toed sloths, then walk down the dirt road to watch the leaf-cutter ants and to take pictures of flowers, birds, spiders, and whatever else I might see. Around 7:30 or 8:00, I will remove the incubator cover and sweep the floor while the babies wake up. Then the feeding begins! Ed comes out with a friendly “good morning” and goes for a run. He will return with cecropia leaves and other treats for the sloths. Yvon will prepare 2-toed sloth and anteater food, and one of us will grind leaves for the babies’ “smoothie.” The animals sleep and eat, sleep and eat, and the people build and repair, shop, cook, write—whatever needs doing.
There might be visitors, or a sloth rescue or delivery. This week we received and released Julian, who was found lying in the sun on the side of the road, and Joyce, who was stranded in someone’s garden. We might be lucky enough to release a rehabilitated animal, as we did Igor, an injured giant anteater acquired from a wildlife trafficker, and once more feel good that we’ve saved a life and made a difference. It is a manifestation of our mantra, Wild animals belong in the wild!
Intensive Care and the Fight against Selfies with Sloths
We worked together around International Sloth Day with the Dutch Branch of World Animal Protection to spread the word about the horrors perpetrated by tourists against sensitive sloths only because they want to take a "Selfie with a Sloth". For that purpose Vlogger Fleur travelled to Suriname and she produced a number of vlogs about this practice. She also helped us paint the Intensive Care Unit white, so that we could ensure that the container does not become to hot in the sun. Her work and the work on the intensive care unit has not yet been finished, but some local volunteers helped as well. Our planning is to have the unit finished by the end of the year.
Giving Tuesday is around the Corner
We again ask your support to help us finish the building by specifically making a donation on this Giving Tuesday, the 28th of November, to our project. This will certainly help bringing us closer to achieving our goal of making our center operational.
Igor the Giant rescued from a wildlife trafficker
Two volunteers painting the IC unit