September 20, 2005
I forgot to tell you one very good news — a Mexican lady who has family in Iquitos and visited us almost a month ago liked what we are doing at Pilpintuwasi. At the end of the visit she asked us if she could donate any money— definitely we accepted. To our big surprise she asked us to go with her to the bank as she didn’t have enough cash with her . . . and she donated $500 (!!!!) which we want to use mostly to make Lola’s cage bigger.
The lady wanted a bill so she can try a discount on her taxes, but I do not think there is any agreement between the USA and Peru. So I promised her to write to you so you can put her on the list of donors and she gets some proof of her donation. The lady’s name is Cinthia Quiñonez from Chula Vista, California.
It would be too much problem to get the material to our place. So Lola will have to wait a few weeks more.
Yesterday evening a guy brought a tiny monkey; I don’t know the specie’s name in English. The animal is very skinny and I just came to town also to get some more baby food and lettuce for the manatee.
I think I mentioned that Guy Oliver, an oceanologist, has been helping us with the manatee. Last week I wrote him again to tell him my worries about the manatee getting so skinny and asked him for an advice. On Sunday he called from California to tell me that he had contacted 2 vets from Sea World and they said we should go on feeding the animal lettuce.
He also told me that he’s going to get some more information about possible parasites—and I just saw before that I have a mail from somebody I don’t know with the subject “manatee,” so maybe I have some new information already.
You can only see the manatee’s outline . . . and the lettuce. The animal is now gaining a bit of weight and his neck is again round and fat but the tail fin is still skinny—and the water level is still unnaturally low; the lakes are still without water.
There has been a lot going on at Pilpintuwasi:
Talking about the things we do or want to do, I can tell you that we already started with the work at Lola’s cage — it will be about twice the size it’s now ,thanks to donations from the Mexican lady and Ms. Susan Gardner who again sent us $500, which was sent to us by the director of the Bio archaeological Institute personally.
The Director, Ms. Roxie, has come to visit us a month ago,and she again helped us to make the Jaguar’s cage more comfortable. She gave us enough money to change the jaguar’s pool, which had straight vertical walls, and he didn’t like to go into it so much, because he had to jump, without feeling ground. While Ms Roxie was here, we changed the walls and now Pedro has a slope where he can go in, and he definitely likes it better.
Well, now, after all these good news, I have sad news—last week our beloved Bonzo, the little howler monkey, died. We noticed that one day he wasn’t as active as normal and so immediately took him to town to a vet. The vet told us not to worry, he couldn’t find anything, respiration was OK. The vet said he thought that Bonzo just might have eaten too much and sent us home.When we were almost at our port suddenly Bonzo released his grip around my neck and started to pee. I thought that’s good, but he had died! We were very upset and sad — but death is part of our lives — it’s just we forget that too often.
Now I’m always very worried about the other animals—if such a fat vivid little monkey can die so fast, what about a skinny one like Chavo!? Right now I’m looking to find some special protein rich diet for him — he’s so active I think he just burns all the calories he eats. The other animals, Lola, Pedro, Adriana and even, no, especially the manatee are fat, but the monkeys are skinny — they are skinny in the wild too, but now it makes me nervous.
I don’t have any new pictures, only of some wild monkeys, saddle back tamarinds, who are getting more and more on our land, and we noticed that on our land, they can even make twins survive, which is very rare in the wild. Again I beg your pardon for not writing any earlier — I definitely will send mail soon.
December 25 , 2005
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Gudrun sent a few new pictures for the holidays both to update everyone and to thank the many generous people who have donated and volunteered at both the Amazon Animal Orphanage and Pilpintuwasi Butterfly Farm during 2005.
I’m not sure who’s doing Gudrun’s hair for her photo shoot—I think it’s Chavo, a red-faced Uacary. He’s mostly a seed eater, and because the Orphanage does not have all of the trees he would naturally feed from, Gudrun purchases nuts for him. The monkeys also eat vegetables (carrots, tomatoes) which are expensive in Iquitos.
The manatee, who is finally getting chubby as befits a manatee, eats lettuce . . . lots of lettuce. They also have to buy meat for Pedro, milk and baby food for the young rescued animals, and have vets costs, etc.
If you feel that you can, please help support the Animal Orphanage. This is a giving time of year and the Animal Orphanage could use your assistance.
Pilpintuwasi was to be a Butterfly Farm; all of the charges arrived through happenstance due to various rescue operations by locals and visitors. This is a volunteer effort, and a tremendous job; almost all of these animals would have died were it not for caring intervention. Once health has been restored, some have wandered back to their natural habitats, such as the giant anteaters.