We had a really busy January and February. First I had to finish classes at the university, then on the 8th of February my father came to Lima and took me to Chile for 2 weeks of holiday. We visited the highlands and the Atacama desert, which was quite a change from the Amazon!
At the beginning of January we were called by a fishermen who had captured a manatee—last year a politician had asked them to do so and promised he would buy it. But that man, the regional president, lost the election and also the intention of buying a sea cow. The fishermen had caught the manatee and put it into a little hole in the mud-too small for it, so the tail remained outside. When they called us, it was to tell us that they had a sick manatee.
Robler went to see it and made them dig the hole a little bigger and put at least some plastic inside so the water wouldn’t get even muddier. We had no intentions of buying the animal—but they wanted to sell it—telling us that the politician had offered 1000 soles, which is about $300 US. After several days the men called again telling us the animal didn’t want to eat anymore. It had been in the mud hole about three weeks before we transported it to Pilpintuwasi. One photo is of its injured tail/fin.
Some friends from Germany, who visited Pilpintuwasi in 2005, helped pay for the transport and gave some money to the fishermen who wanted to get at least some recompensation for having it kept.
In honor of those friends—Marion, Sabine and Klaus—the manatee is now called Marbino. Klaus didn’t get a part, but the “o” is because the Manatee is a male. At first Marbino was very shy, but is now fine and losing his fear a bit, although we still don’t see any more of him than his nostrils when he eats. We usually don’t even tell our visitors that there’s a manatee in the pond so they won’t be disappointed because they can’t see it.
We also have another newcomer—a baby Saddleback Tamarind. The little monkey was left on New Years’s Eve by a little girl from Padrecocha. She told us that her brothers had killed the parent who had been carrying it, and she didn’t know how to feed it. The first weeks Wicky, as we called it, stayed inside the house because she needed food every 3 hours. She is doing very well. Now that she doesn’t need as much milk, and we also want her to get more independent, she is outside and she has two stepmothers! Tony, the pickpocket, and Zecke the female Sakimonkey, take turns in carrying Wicky around and teaching her what to eat, how to climb etc.
I have to go to see our veterinarian. Lola has problems. She had an operation ten days ago, but she isn’t healing well. We are quite worried as it would be very difficult to sedate her again. We hope she gets better soon.
Best wishes from all of us.
PS: In this month’s edition of the German magazine GEO, there’s a report about red Uacaries, and almost all the pictures in the magazine show our Chavo. There’s also a picture of Robler and little Pauly. Maybe one can see it on the internet too.
The Saki Monkey is one species of the New World monkeys, which is a part of the genus Pithecia. These monkeys are recognized by their small size and their long bushy tails. They are also distinguishable due to their furry but rough skin, their grey or sometimes reddish brown coloring, their naked faces, and their hooded heads. Saki Monkeys are quite serious looking.
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August 10, 2007
We have been very busy, and still are, due to our capuchin monkeys . . . they found out how to open the butterfly cage’s net.
So for the last six months, what Robler, me and our workers have been doing (besides looking after the animals, butterfly breeding and tourists) was fixing the holes our monkeys made. When they get into the flight area, they eat eggs, caterpillars, chrysalides, butterflies, fruits, shootings of host plants etc.
So we had to buy an iron mesh, and since the beginning of June we are trying to cover the whole flight area with that mesh. It’s a difficult job and costs a lot.
We we have a few new arrivals, and only now can I send you some pictures of some of them. On May 1st we got another red Uacary—he was left by a little girl from a nearby village. Her father had brought the monkey from his hunting trip, and they had tried to raise it with “masato,” which is a kind of beer made from yucca/manioc. When the monkey arrived he had a terrible diarrhea and several types of parasites, but fortunately he’s doing fine now, as you can see from the photo.
Besides there’s a little squirrel, which was easy to reintroduce into the wild, and a picture of a pretty vine snake we found in front of our house.
The images of the boa constrictor show the animal that was given to us by the institute of natural resources. It had been confiscated by the police in Iquitos because a Canadian tourist had been walking around in town with the snake, trying to frighten people by sticking the poor snake into their faces. We don’t have to keep the animals in custody, so after a few days of keeping it in my kitchen where it ate quite a few mice, we released it on our land.
All our animals are fine; we also have another newcomer, a squirrel monkey, who was left by a tourist—his name is Luigi and he’s very funny—and so fast that I still haven’t got a good picture of him. He’s been with us for about three months.
Best wishes and love from all of us,
The “Girls on Top” from Australia left a donation, and are planning on visiting again.
Thanks to help from Girls on Top, we were able to make new brochures and repair the jaguar cage (as Pedro marks his territory with his VERY strong urine every day, the wire gets “eaten away” and we had to change some pieces of wire mesh on the four sides of the cage and especially in his little cage, where he likes to hide from visitors or rest on the cement floor, when it’s hot).
The Girls on Top are thinking of helping us increase our educational work and maybe support schools’ visits to our farm, including prices and materials for contests about wildlife, a butterfly’s life cycle, conservation etc. Many schoolchildren in and around Iquitos don’t have enough money even to take a boat to Pilpintuwasi, so if “Girls on Top” decide to pay for transport and entrance fees, we could reach even the pupils of extremely poor areas, who otherwise will never have a chance to come to us and learn about their environment.
We have received a large donation from Roxie Walker again; she is the lady who financed the cage for Pedro Bello the Jaguar. And she just sent $5000 US for Pedro Bello again.
Here everything and everybody is fine—although we’ll have to do a dental operation on Zeck, the Saki monkey, within a few weeks. She has a bad infection, as the Brazilian vet, who came with Daryl from Dallas last weekend, discovered.