July 22, 2005
Here’s a baby manatee.
I had not yet told you about because we weren’t sure if it would survive. It is the only animal we paid for because it was in such a bad state (70 days in a baby rubber pool, the size of the manatee) and with a butcher who was offering 20 soles per kilo. That was what finally convinced us that we should buy the animal, against all our beliefs, but only with the intention to save it.
Thanks to Guy Oliver, an oceanologist and friend, we even got the money back that we had spent to buy the animal. The manatee is still small and I’m a bit worried because we haven’t been able to give him any milk; he was so shy in the beginning. And as I wanted him to have space, he’s in the big pond, where you cannot easily catch him. But “Torito,” as we call him, is eating water plants and lettuce and I hope he will get big and strong.
As you see, we already bought the freezer (it’s for 35kgs). I couldn’t get a smaller one. Normally red meat costs between $3-5 a kg in Iquitos, depending on the quality. But yesterday we went to the place where they kill the cattle, and we could buy 15 kgs of cow breast, with the ribs, for less than $2 each. So although we cannot take the freezer out to the farm right now, it’s a big help because we can buy more meat at a lower price. Besides it freezes so well that the meat doesn’t get bad on the way to the farm . . . the high water season has passed and now one cannot reach Pilpintuwasi with the boat. We have to cross the river with a boat, but from there on we have to walk about 20-30 minutes.
Everybody is fine and I’ve got more time at the farm because the university is on strike.
Bonzo is growing really well and fast, and our dear Chavo starts to mother him a bit. It’s really amazing how he, who’s always very jealous with his food, lets the baby monkey eat with him or even opens a fruit for him.
I hope everyone is well.
Please select a language
meet the baby sloth . . .
August 15, 2005
We have been very busy, but I want to send news and new pictures.
Here is our latest newcomer —a baby sloth. It is not the same species as Angelica— this one is a two toed sloth, and she was brought by an American tourist.
When the tourist arrived at the farm and said, “Hello,I’ve got a present for you!” I was surprised, as I didn’t know him and was looking forward to chocolate or maybe a book . . . I wasn’t really happy, as you can imagine, when the man opened his black bag and pulled a tiny sloth out of it. “That’s for you.” I must confess that I was mostly angry at the first moment, and I actually called the guy an idiot for helping the market for baby animals as he told me he had bought the sloth for 20 soles.
After talking for a while, I wasn’t as angry because the man has been working rescuing animals in other countries and at least he gave me a telephone number and promised to help with veterinarian medicine when we need it.
Since that day our English volunteer, Laura, has been taking care of “Adriana” (the American who left her giving her a name) and carries her around. She drinks baby milk, and eats some fruit and the leaves of two special trees. Since yesterday she also started to eat lettuce.
The spider is one that I had heard wasn’t toxic. But when one of them bit Florian in his hand, he almost died!!! We had to get him to the vet; Florian had terrible spasms, and even after getting the antidote he stayed very bad for two days. When it was finally over, he still couldn’t use his hand where it had bitten him for two more days.
I’m not sure what the spider is; I have heard the name of “tailless scorpion spider,” but I’m not sure. Maybe one of our readers will let us know.
Apropos, the manatee, is getting more sociable and is easier to spot. He loves lettuce now and eats $3-4 worth everyday. That’s about 8-10kgs worth, and I can finally see that he’s growing.
We are in contact with an Australian girls’ group: They are called “Girls on Top,” and they are doing some fundraising for Pilpintuwasi. They are going to come to Peru in September.
I hope all of you are fine. Best wishes,