Finally! All the papers from the government are ready.
November 12, 2004
We are busy working on the construction of another cage for small monkeys and one for parrots as these are the animals most confiscated.
Although our project is recognized by the government, I still have to present an Annual Operating Plan describing our future activities and we have to show them one house reserved to quarantine animals when they are sick and to store medicines and another house as storage for food.
Besides we have to have empty, but ready, cages. This has to be done in time for government inspection within the next two weeks. Then we receive our permit for the Animal Orphanage.
Two people have recently come by wanting to leave their ocelots with us. One of them is willing to pay for the food, but not the cage, and another animal was confiscated by the government. (The government does not confiscate animals unless they are in very bad shape, as this one appears to be.) As I mentioned before, we can’t take in the big cats without cages and food to feed them. But these are being hunted and offered to tourists. We have the space to build cages, but we don’t have funds.
We are all fine — the Tamandua is getting bigger and doesn’t eat much oat milk anymore. I think we will have to release her pretty soon because she is very special about what ants she eats, and we will not be able to find enough for her.
The man who wants to leave an ocelot finally became convinced that he has to supply a cage for his animal — I couldn’t get him to pay for a real big one, but we are building one which is 5x5m and 3.5m high. We will finish it next week because the man wants to leave the ocelot at the Orphanage by next Friday. I just hope he really keeps his promise to pay the food . . . and not only for the first month!
Ocelots (Felis pardalis), are seldom seen because they are nocturnal. These small cats (about twice the size of a house cat), were once found in southern North America, Central America, and much of South America. They have almost disappeared from the southern United States, and subspecies are threatened by the conversion of large areas of its natural habitat into farm land, and by the growth of cities.
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Official Centre now!
December 17, 2004
Here are pictures of the marmosets. They are taken inside the house; we don’t dare put them outside yet—the other monkeys would play with them for a while and then throw them away. The tiny monkeys love to cling to the bigger ones, but, after some time, the bigger ones don’t like that.
AND a photo of our last newcomer—a tiny potos flavus—a little “Kinkajou.” It’s a tiny bear, still a baby, brought to us by some children whose father had hunted the mother. Now the baby is an orphan. I’m not sure yet if it’s a male or female, but fortunately the Kinkajou eats well and is already very playful.
December 22, 2004
I’m sending you some new pictures of the marmosets, the ocelot (main image above), a wild marmoset on our land, the chacana (bird, above left) in our fish pool and one photo of the tiny new kinkajous — that’s what it seems to be.
The marmosets are still in our house but are going out into their big cage where they will stay until they get used to nature. These are the smallest living monkeys. They measure about 15 inches long, including a 7-inch tail. Generally, they weigh about 4 ounces when fully grown. Their coats are tawny, sprinkled with gray. The tails are ringed and long hairs on heads and cheeks form a mane which hides their ears.
I wanted to wish everyone a very happy and peaceful Christmas — and for the New Year, I wish all health, joy and time for the people and things you love.
Kinkajou means “honey bear.” They were so-named by Indians because of their love of honey. Because they are nocturnal, they are also known as “night walkers” in parts of Central and South America, where they live. They feed mainly on fruit and insects and are classified as Carnivora, and are members of the raccoon family.
Kinkajou’s live in tropical forests and use their long tails to swing back and forth from high tree canopies, and also to hang on while eating. Including their tail, they reach approximately 3 feet long, with dense, woolly, yellow-brown fur and they are only one of two carnivores that have prehensile tails.