Thankful at the End of 2022

Yvonne releasing an animal back into the forest

We have a lot to be thankful for at the end of this year. We had many interns and volunteers turn up to help with our work. Frances entered data for all our Paramaribo rescues of the past five years while immediately mapping them. Wianda entered data from many, many years of feeding our temporary stay animals. Loren worked hard to keep a starving giant anteater pup alive and put her vet skills to work for us. Roberto provided expert advice from a distance with many of our critical rescues. Sean and Gini and a crew of Indigenous assistants helped maintain the educational trail and other parts of our rehabilitation center.

Karen and her volunteers helping to keep our driveway passable

Karen and her team of volunteers came more than once to help us maintain the driveway to the center. Shovel sand into the enclosures to compensate for the heavy rainfall that caused more water to stand longer in new places. Ingrid came with her Batik group and her teacher Sri to finish our educational mural. Irenka and Mailo helped save an animal from the illegal wildlife trade. Dominiek came with his students to inventory the trees in our sacred little forest to improve the educational story. Volunteers came to help finish the enclosures for the animals to start getting used to the forest.

Visitors witness a release and are educated on the biology of sloths

Our Rehabilitation Center Team, in the meantime, ensured the continuous care of all our animals – permanently living in the trees, semi-permanently on their way to freedom, and those just passing through.

Yvonne taking care of one of the baby sloths

Our city team worked tirelessly to rescue animals in the city from uncomfortable situations in houses, under roofs, tied by malicious people to a fence, and shot by hunters or gunmen without a conscience.

The vets we work with, either online or locally, gave it their best to try to save animals in critical condition, burned, shot, or otherwise debilitated due to the situation they came from.

Vet volunteer Loren with our vet Astrid tending to a patient

We gave interviews and presentations and produced educational materials to help raise awareness of how humans are the greatest threat to wildlife, whether directly through hunting, trafficking, other human-wildlife encounters or indirectly due to climate change.

Start screen of our educational series

We celebrated our volunteers during our volunteer event at which two sloth awards were handed out to Natascha Wong A Ton, for having provided more than a decade long financial advise. And to Sharen-Vess Schaap, the once youngest volunteer, and now the volunteer that has supported us for almost 14 years.

Volunteers at the event to celebrate the sloth awardees

Thanks to the financial support of many donors, visitors, and our partner Welttierschutzgesellschaft, all this was made possible for us in 2022. The almost 130 rescues, the rehabilitation of the animals that needed it, the releases. Our educational tours, awareness, and advocacy.

Resting on her surrogate mother, Sheep is taking in the world

We are immensely grateful for the support of our volunteers, donors, visitors, by-standers and our partner. We wish you all a fantastic 2023! We hope to welcome you to our center one day.

We moved! (episode 2)

We managed to give all animals with the exception of Stoney and Elly their own moving box. Stoney and Elly were in one kennel together. We managed to put all the kennels in the Sloth Rescue Vehicle. And at around 5 PM we set out to the center with a moving van and all animals in the Sloth Rescue Bus. The animals who were not used to being confined to a small space were stressed by this adventure. The big exception were probably the anteaters who like to be confined to a small dark space where they can sleep.

As the enclosures were taken down in the garden, the animals were transferred to kennels.

Yvonne and loyal volunteer Annelies are tending to their wards.

After an hour’s ride, the animals arrived at the center and are taken out of the Sloth Rescue Van

Before the night falls, the animals are moved to the balcony to acclimatize to the new forest environment.

We were now ready to spend the first night at the center. The babies were left behind in the city with Annelies, who would take care of them for one day, after which we would transfer them on the 1st of August also to the Center. We started to prepare their food and care for them and hope they would feel more at ease in the morning.

Thanks to our volunteers things went well at this end. We also have to thank our friends from Bloemendaal, who were waiting for us with 14 people to help unload the moving van in a mere 20 minutes. We managed to unload everything just before night fell.


We moved! (episode 1)

So we moved. Dealing with a difficult situation of no energy, no water, unfinished building. But there was no other option. The operation started on the 30th of July, when we drove out to the center with four animals that we had rescued in the past three days, and who were ready to be released. We had to release them also to make room (we needed the kennels in which we had temporarily housed them) to be able to move our animals the next day to the center.

A two-fingered sloth who had been at the penitentiary facility of Santo Boma hiding under some benches on which people visiting their relatives would wait outside. Waiting for its release in the forest at the Sloth Wellness Center.
Our friends from HEM provided assistance by making one of their vans available for us to transport our things to the new location.

One of the four animals we had to release on the 30th of July.
There goes our Santo Boma two-fingered sloth into a tree behind the center. We arrived around dusk as we had so many things to arrange.
The animal was quick to go and find itself a safe space in the tree tops.
And a third animal was released.
And the last one to go just before the night fell.

Our incredible volunteers have helped to make it happen. When we arrived on the 30th of July our friends from Bloemendaal Resort came to see how the four rescues were released. Fortunately, as it was already late, they had lights with them for filming, which lights helped us to find our way to the kitchen where they helped us place the cooker.


A Very Special Animal: the Sloth

Ruben Leter and his colleague student Bregje Bouma from the School for Journalism in Utrecht, the Netherlands, visited us just before we are moving. For the TV program NOON, which is broadcast every Friday on RTV Utrecht, 10 students from this school travelled to Suriname for two weeks to make two episodes. We were very pleased that they made this beautiful film about the sloths.

Picture Report 6 – Sloth Wellness Center Construction

This picture report is to show the progress in the construction of the Sloth Wellness Center which is not yet fully funded. Please help us complete the center fully by making a donation.

The floor is protected from the elements because the roof is not yet in place

Beams hauled up for the roof construction

Drainage pipes are in the meantime also installed

The support structure for the beams is put in place

Support structure for the roof from a different angle

Roof construction prepared on the ground is put in place

The roof is built in such a manner that hot air cannot be trapped under it

Four 1000 l tanks are hauled onto the roof to provide water in the bathrooms (tanks donated by CIC)

The last roof support is hauled into place

The roof structure is then provided strength by placing cross beams

All cross beams are in place

Roof plates are brought upstairs by the team

Roof plates are installed

Insulation is attached under the roofplates to keep heat radiation minimal

The stairs leading to the upstairs manager’s veranda is installed

The Sloth Wellness Center is looking impressive from afar

The stairs seen from a different angle



Picture Report 5 – Sloth Wellness Center Construction

This picture report is to show the progress in the construction of the Sloth Wellness Center which is not yet fully funded. Please help us complete the center fully by making a donation.

Preparing the foundations for the vertical post beams.

A crane is used to put the post beam in place.

All post beams are in place for supporting the roof structure.

The sandy soil between the two bottom containers is compacted.

Horizontal beams are positioned with a crane.

Overview of the wooden skeleton that will support the roof structure.

The ground between the bottom containers is paved.

Dividing walls are placed in the containers.

Floor beams are positioned.

Cross beams are place to support the floor boards.

Wooden skeleton almost in place.

Living space for the manager, scientists and volunteers will be mostly on the deck to be installed here.

Floor boards are sorted

Floor boards are installed

First floor is starting to look really interesting

They are individually screwed to the lower beams

A view from below

Almost completed

Picture Report 4 – Sloth Wellness Center Construction

This picture report is to show the progress in the construction of the Sloth Wellness Center which is not yet fully funded. Please help us complete the center fully by making a donation.

Two more containers arrive.

The containers are then neatly stacked according to the design.

The contractor skilfully stacks the containers and moves them carefully in the right position.

Four containers are moved into place.

It is a very precise job.

All five containers are in the correct position.

The building is overwhelmingly larger than the small model we used to look at.

The stacking of the containers is done in an interesting and creative manner.

A view from the treatment room window on the toilets.

Chairman Ivette, Monique and Monique’s mother pose to provide an idea of scale.

Large beams to support the roof structure have been delivered.

Looking out of the windows of the Animal kitchen and Animal treatment room towards the location of the sloth island.

A view from below the container that houses the human kitchen and house of the Sloth Wellness Center manager.

View inside the future office and library. Extra support beam to ensure that the above container can safely rest on the office container.

With Monique Pool’s mother in the picture (approx. 1.58m) to provide a sense of scale.

Now that the containers are in place, the construction crew immediately started preparing everything to put the roof on top of the structure.


Picture Report 3 – Sloth Wellness Center Construction

This picture report is to show the progress in the construction of the Sloth Wellness Center which is not yet fully funded. Please help us complete the center fully by making a donation.

Foundations are prepared for other containers.

Constructional beams have arrived.

Floor elements from tropical hardwood.

Conservation of the wood.

More materials arrive.

Frames for the guest toilettes are being put together.

Roof frame for guest toilettes are put together as well.

Our volunteer-built toilet is taken apart.

The old toilettes frame is completely stripped away.

The framework of the new guest toilets is put into place.

Doors for the guest toilets are put in place.

Roof construction is added.

Is it really only a guest toilet?

Gravel is added to the cement to make it slip free.

This is carefully done by hand so that the layer is not too thick.

In the meantime some additional work is done on the foundations.

Netting is attached to keep animals out.

The soil has become so soft from the rains that the trucks with the containers got stuck.

To solve that large wooden panels were brought in to cover the soft soil underneath.

Toilet interior is painted in a bright color.

Damage from heavy traffic to the access road is repaired by adding additional sand.

And finally we manage to get the second container in place.

Picture Report 2 – Sloth Wellness Center Construction

This picture report is to show the progress in the construction of the Sloth Wellness Center which is not yet fully funded. Please help us complete the center fully by making a donation.

Working on the septic tanks

Cleaning rubbish from the construction site

First foundations are being poured

Foundations in place

The containers are being cut off location

Window holes are cut and frames welded in

Materials are stacked and sorted

The intensive care unit located in the forest is put in place

Additional work is performed on the foundation

The cement is then poured to enlarge the foundation

The builder likes a clean construction site

Preparation of roof beams is started

Access road is repaired in anticipation of the other containers

A second container is delivered but cannot be placed due to the soft soil

Materials are covered as delays bring us closer to the rainy season

Room is made so that other materials can be delivered

More preparatory work is done on roof beams

The materials are carefully stacked

The sandy soil makes it difficult for the heavy material to access the construction location

Gravel bed in front of the container is being prepared

More work is done on the drainage

Picture Report 1 – Sloth Wellness Center Construction

This picture report is to show the progress in the construction of the Sloth Wellness Center which is not yet fully funded. Please help us complete the center fully by making a donation.

It is really happening! We are building our Sloth Wellness Center and Education Center for Humans.

Gilbert our contractor explaining details to Wynne, the volunteer who really was crucial in getting the groundwork done for this project.

Guest toilet surroundings cleaned

Building site prepared to receive materials

Remaining heaps of sand spread over building site with mechanical means

Water for building purposes supplied and work area organized

Construction plans clearly displayed.

This sloth is all the time around the construction site of the Sloth Wellness Center. Is he keeping an eye on the activities?
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