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Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle

by Stg Green Heritage Fund Suriname
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Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle
Thank you! From 19November
Thank you! From 19November

You were there from the beginning when we started this project in 2015. You helped us gain a place on Global Giving in March 2015 and kept us going. You helped us rescue more than 450 animals over the past 4.5 years. And we wrote in total 22 reports to you, including this one. We reported on our rescue animals. Among them, a mother and baby anteater, Salvador Dali, who were in intensive care, but who we were able to release. Two sloth youngsters, who became confident enough to roam around the house and hide in unexpected places for a nap. Bas, who had his claws cut off, but through the TLC of the volunteers became confident again and recovered. Although it took 2 years for the claws to grow back. All the babies that came and went. And then, sometimes, the animals that unfortunately did not make it. And the many releases we continued doing of animals all healthy, but just in need of a safer place to live.

It was this same year that brought fame to our foundation through the CNN Heroes award. That most definitely helped propel our plans forward to build the professional shelter in a forest environment for our animals. And indeed, in 2017 we started building and in July 2017 we moved. We came with animals, that either stayed with us for a while, roaming in the forest around our building, and after a while were not seen anymore. Although we had some sad moments when we lost our first babies who matured here, we also experienced the happiness of 19November giving birth already to her second baby, while she remains around the center and graces us with her presence.

We are closing out this project, because you helped us fund it for more than 100%. THANK YOU! Please check out some of the highlights in this short video. As you know, you can remain a donor to our project by supporting “Sloth Sanctuary Suriname sequel: the whole story!” We wish you a slothified 2020.

Thank you animated picture of highlights
Thank you animated picture of highlights
Thank you from this baby released with her mom!
Thank you from this baby released with her mom!
Thank you from Igor who healed and was released
Thank you from Igor who healed and was released
Thank you from all of us at the SWC!
Thank you from all of us at the SWC!
Thank you from Stevie and Bolletje
Thank you from Stevie and Bolletje

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19November came back for her baby 9July
19November came back for her baby 9July

In the past months we have been busy working on renovating not only enclosures for the animals, but also on the sleeping quarters of the staff at the rehabilitation center. As the permanent workers were both on a holiday, we decided to paint their sleeping quarters which were still in the dark brown color of the primer paint. The walls of the shipping containers were also difficult to clean because of the coarse primer layer, and the already small rooms were also seemingly smaller because of this dark color. Adding a layer of white paint to these walls, made them optically bigger. The white paint was reflecting the light of the lamps, creating more light in the rooms making it easier to read and see better in the rooms. After all, if we want to have happy animals, we have to ensure that the people caring for them are also happy. In this manner we wanted to show also how much we appreciate the hard work of the center staff who are caring 24/7 for the animals in our care, but also for the animals living in the forest surrounding us.

And this brings us to a special story about our three-fingered sloth friend 19November and her baby 9July. At the end of September, while the center staff was preparing to go to bed after a long day, Yvonne suddenly heard something in the forest. It was already around midnight, but she heard the call of a baby sloth. Intuitively, Yvonne felt it had to be 9July. Together with Patrick she ventured out into the forest in the dark and after searching for a while they found a baby sloth on the ground. 9July had fallen off her mother. Yvonne and Patrick brought the baby to the center, kept it warm, gave it food and for our records also weighed it. While she reported to us about this, all of us were worried. What had happened? Where was 19November? Did we want to care for a three-month old baby? Or had we rather that her mother was fine and took 9July back. For those of you who know us, the answer was a definite “we want her to be back with her mom!”

The next morning, Yvonne went back into the forest around our center and started looking for 19November and was calling her. Let me remind you, this was a sloth that had lived in my house in the city for 5 years, and she knew who we are, at least we like to think that. And lo and behold, 19November was aware of us, and started to climb down. While doing so, maybe as she was also anxious about her baby, as she had almost reached the ground, she grabbed on to a liana that was not strong and came falling to the ground. Fortunately, it was not a fall from very high. Yvonne picked her up and gave 9July back to her mother. And off they went into the trees again.

We have seen them regularly together since. And my impression is that 19November is even staying closer to the center. Maybe she knows that we will help her, if her baby is in trouble again.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, we wish to thank YOU for the support you give to us. As a result of your donations we can provide good care for our animals and for the staff taking care of them 24/7. We hope we can count on your support on Giving Tuesday, on the 3rd of December.

9July holding onto a toy sloth instead of her mom
9July holding onto a toy sloth instead of her mom
The safe distance 19November stays at from us
The safe distance 19November stays at from us
At the end of October still happy together
At the end of October still happy together
A baby sloth remains with its mom for 8 months
A baby sloth remains with its mom for 8 months
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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!
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The Cock Sigfried saved a sloth
The Cock Sigfried saved a sloth

As we reported to you in our last report, now that we have almost fully funded this project, we started to reorganize our projects. We added some of its components to our other project “Sloth Sanctuary Suriname sequel: the whole story!” that we had created to build the sloth center. So we can continue to do what we have been doing now for almost 15 years, helping sloths return to where they belong: in the forest. On the 22ndof May, the International Day for Biodiversity, GlobalGiving is running a campaign for Paws and Claws, that will reward new recurring donations to our project “Sloth Sanctuary Suriname sequel: the whole story!” with a partial match. So, if you want to continue supporting this particular part of our work and had been supporting “Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle", the 22ndof May is the day to change your recurring donation to our project “Sloth Sanctuary Suriname sequel: the whole story!”.

Rescues and Releases

In the past months, we had an extraordinary drought starting in January that lasted all the way up to Easter. With a clear effect on the sloths in and around Paramaribo, as we did 63 rescues over a period of 3 months, while we normally rescue around 150 animals per year. This drought was so prolonged that leaves were falling from the trees. This meant that the leaves were not as juicy as normal, and sadly my little friend Jinkoe fell victim to the long drought. 

A frustrating rescue period

We received during this drought six very small babies, who had been abandoned by their mothers. None of these animals was over 300 g, the smallest being 220 g and the biggest 274 g. A tiny little baby, Beanie, in addition to being so frail, also did not have a tail. We always thought Jinkoe was the smallest baby we had ever seen, but these babies were unusually small. Unfortunately, we were not able to keep them alive. Two adult animals were reported and rescued by us, that had been attacked by dogs. Again, one was so badly injured, the veterinary doctors advised us to do the humane thing. The other animal although apparently not with visible injuries, in the end also passed away. This period was very frustrating for us, as we felt incredibly inept at keeping these tiny tots alive.

Some special rescues giving us hope

We provided to many of the adult animals we received special care, because a lot of them were dehydrated and some needed subcutaneous fluids, others were capable of drinking themselves and gladly took the water offered to them orally. One animal that probably had seen enough water in this dry period, was Henderic, who was sitting in water in a tire along a dock. He was successfully released in a forest along a river far away from the unfriendly dogs he had encountered. And a special mention goes to an animal by the name of Sigfried, not a sloth, but a cock. And no, we have not started saving cocks, but this cock saved a sloth. And for that, he was rewarded by us naming the sloth after him. These are stories of hope. Hope we will continue to give to animals in need with your kind support. 

As this is most likely the last report we will write for this project, we want to thank you all for making this such a successful project. And we hope to see your continued support for the sloths on our project “Sloth Sanctuary Suriname sequel: the whole story!”. Sloth hugs and Anteaters licks!

Jinkoe when she had just arrived in 2017
Jinkoe when she had just arrived in 2017
Dry leaves fell from the trees during the drought
Dry leaves fell from the trees during the drought
Gabriel one of the underweight babies upon arrival
Gabriel one of the underweight babies upon arrival

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Beyond sloths...
Beyond sloths...

We created this project on Global Giving when we first joined, because this is what we do, we help sloths return to where they belong in the forest. We mostly pick these animals up from locations in the city, in someone’s garden, on their fence, hanging in the burglar bars, sometimes inside a house and sometimes hanging from the roof. Since I started doing rescues in 2005, I have seen many strange situations, but a recent rescue must have been the strangest one since I started. A sloth named Cliff found itself in a very uncomfortable situation hanging from a pole in the Suriname River. For those of you wondering how we knew its name was Cliff, we didn’t. We gave him the name when we saw in which situation he found himself. As I am still not allowed to push, pull, carry or lift, I am always accompanied by a volunteer who can; in this case George, who is our scientific advisor, who was visiting from abroad to continue the work we started doing since we co-authored “Sloths in the City”. You can read and see more about the rescue of Cliff on our website.

So what is changing?

We want to change this project “Sanctuary helps Suriname's sloths back to jungle"by either retiring it because it is almost fully funded, and adding some of its components to our other project “Sloth Sanctuary Suriname sequel: the whole story!” and start a completely new education and research project, or rewrite the current project to reflect the change in our activities. This will most likely be done in the coming months, because we need to formulate this new project and properly reflect what we do under our education and research program. For those of you who know us already and look from time to time also on our website, you know, that Green Heritage Fund Suriname is more than only sloths (and anteaters for that matter). We also work on dolphins and the marine environment and do a lot of educational work (both formal and informal).

Information Center on Xenarthra

Now that through the help also of our partner Welttierschutzgesellschaft e.V. (WTG) we were able to secure more land and construct our new storage area, which meant retiring the old timber shed that was becoming dangerously obsolete, we can start focusing more on fundraising for education. We want to set up a large information center that in a nutshell will highlight the importance of the forest habitat for the Xenarthra, will explain how climate change will affect them, and will highlight the importance of Indigenous people in shaping the Amazonian forests (in case you are interested in more detailed information please email us). It will also tell the story of this uniquely South American group of animals since prehistorical times. And yes, I know, one species managed to cross over to North America, so definitely a unique American species group. In addition, this center will have several labs for children where they can learn more about the environment and our planet through their own observations and research. This is part of our GLOBE work, which is the largest science-education effort in the world, with 121 countries participating.

Research on Urban Forest Fragments

As part of this educational and research effort and the work undertaken with George Middendorf, we want start working on the urban forest fragments, because the sloths appear to be definitely urbanophilic animals. By doing this research we hope to secure their habitat in the urban space and will work towards four different aims and objectives. 

1. promote the continued existence of viable coastal sloth populations in the wild in Greater Paramaribo;
2. prevent the decline of coastal sloth habitats, among others, by providing for the rehabilitation of cleared or otherwise disturbed sloth habitats in Greater Paramaribo;
3. promote future land use and development that is compatible with the survival of coastal sloth populations in Greater Paramaribo; and
4. providing policy direction and management approaches to address key threatening processes.

How to achieve these goals?

We have outlined our work already and it will focus on five areas. First, we need to cover the scientific basics, by conducting research and conservation. This will include a conservation genetic analysis, geographical analysis, ecological analysis of forest fragments, a biological analysis, and of course rehabilitation and shelter. The second area is legislation and policy-makers, where we will analyse the legal framework and work on improving the stakeholders network. Thirdly, we need communications, for strengthening of lines of communication and the diffusion of information, we need communication strategies to allow the general public to get closer to sloths, and we need communication as a tool to diminish threats. The fourth area will focus on education and community participation, which will include education and community participation. And the fifth area will focus on administration and institutional strengthening, bringing together decisionmakers and local stakeholders. This is all closely related to what normally happens around species action planning. And as you already heard from us, the Sloth Action Plan, was part of our current and future activities. We are in now really in the preparation phase. 

What do we want from you?

We would like to know how you as our donors for many many years feel about this change. What are your thoughts, how do you see this affecting your involvement with our work. Does this sound to you like the right way to focus our activities in. Please do share your ideas, feelings, thoughts with us, you can do that by providing feedback below when you rate this report. Thank you for any of your inputs and support so far. We look forward to hear from you.

Almost in the kennel...
Almost in the kennel...
Dehydrated animals are giving fluids by volunteer
Dehydrated animals are giving fluids by volunteer
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Organization Information

Stg Green Heritage Fund Suriname

Location: Paramaribo - Suriname
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @moniquespool
Project Leader:
Wynne Minkes
Paramaribo, Suriname

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
   

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