On Friday the 2nd of November 2018, the Rescue Center for Sloths, Anteaters and Armadillos was officially opened by Roline Samsoedien, Minister of Spatial Planning, Land and Forest Management. She was assisted by District Commissioner of Saramacca, Laksmienarain Doebay, and the Permanent Secretary of her Ministry, Ms. Leandra Woei. The Head of the Forestry Service, Mr. Hesdy Esajas, and the Deputy Head for Forests, Mrs. Nesseley Louisville as well as many other officials of the Ministry attended this happy occasion. Of course, the many friends the sloths and anteaters have made over the years attended as well. The day would not have been complete without the release of three sloths back to nature under the appreciating eyes of the guests.
Mr. Laksmienarain Doebay, District Commissioner of Saramacca, said that it is all about love. And always when we think of love, we think of love for someone from the opposite sex.
“However,” he said, “Love starts, when you have feelings in your heart for nature. And that means that you have passion for plants, flora, but also for animals, fauna. And that passion, was developed in Mrs. Monique Pool, and the previous speaker spoke to that.”
“But I will tell you,” he continued, “…that it is amazing what you can do with some old containers, and you will see it, have you ever heard of Animal Kitchen and Human Kitchen? Well, here we have a Human Kitchen and an Animal Kitchen…”. He also expressed the wish that GHFS will ensure that there will be continuity, and that this wonderful center will not cease to exist, when Mrs. Pool is no longer there.
In her speech the Minister stated that game wardens can be at all times contacted if assistance is needed to catch sloths in trouble and release them back into nature. “Nature occupies an important part of our life, after all we are part of nature. Without nature life is not possible. However, we often see that in our search for materialism we forget to cherish nature. And for that reason it is nice to see that there are Surinamers who cherish nature.”
She also stated that the department Education of the Nature Conservation Division was going to work together with the GHFS to achieve the required awareness necessary to protect the species. She expressed her appreciation for the work done by Monique Pool, stating that “…I cannot see myself sharing a house with one sloth, let alone with so many!” The Minister wished the GHFS all success with the activities of the Sloth Wellness Center.
The opening of the center was also featured on the youth journal:
And we were featured on the front pages of two national newspapers.