This week at Pilpintuwasi we finished renovations on an existing enclosure to give more space and companionship to a few of our animals. This new enclosure is multi-species, providing a home for our two two-toed sloths, Lucy and Alejandro, two tamarin monkeys, Francisco and Kuko, and a bird called a trumpeter.
Our workers and volunteers have spent the last few weeks converting an enclosure made of large weave chain mesh into a smaller weave to account for the small size of the tamarin monkeys and their curious nature. This meant many hours of sewing wire through the mesh to cut each large diamond in half. Thanks to Humberto and Segundo, our workers, and our volunteers Gervase, Louise, Brett, Constantine, David and Karen who all helped out! Our remote location and humid climate means that wire mesh is hard to come by in Iquitos- anything heavier than chicken wire is very difficult to encounter and also very expensive, and the delicate chicken wire rusts almost immediately. Finally we finished and it was time to see how everyone got along!
Lucy and Alejandro were the first to join the trumpeter inside the enclosure. Lucy is a Hoffman`s two toed sloth, found on a rooftop in Lima slum who has been with us for about a year. Alejandro is a Southern two toed sloth, and was brought to Pilpintuwasi by a well meaning but misinformed tourist in late 2010.
(Please do not participate in the animal markets in Iquitos; it only encourages the vendors to bring more animals to sell).
He has grown up with us, and though we all like to baby him, we thought it was time he had a little more independence. Sloths are solitary creatures, so after a few introductory sniffs, Lucy and Alejandro made their way to separate houses in opposite corners of the enclosure, and have been sleeping peacefully and crunching their fresh leaves in peace ever since.
Right: Francisco, our Moustached Tamarin
Now that he is growing bigger and getting ever more energetic and curious, we knew it was time for him to head outside. We thought Francisco would be a perfect match. He is a Moustached tamarin, and has been living with Lucy since he was brought to Pilpintuwasi by the ecological police.
Neither had met another tamarin before, so each was a bit suspicious of the other. They spent a while exploring the cage independently not seeming to recognize each other as a potential playmate. Kuko was the first to get curious, and after a few minutes persistently chasing Francisco, they began to play. They now spend much time together in their hammock, or playing their favorite game – tease the trumpeter.
Right: Tease the trumpeter game
His friendly nature and love for human attention means he was probably kept as a pet before coming to us. High time for him to have a friend of his own kind!
Thats all for now! Stay tuned for next week, when we hope to release Mary Jane, our owl monkey!