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.

A sloth called Cliff

It looks like a beautiful late afternoon with a view over the river

A sloth called Cliff

Kenneth started calling me at the end of December 2018 about a two-fingered sloth that was of concern to him. The animal had been around his family’s house in the trees, but sometimes also in the ceiling of the house. He said he thought it had been around for at least 12 months. He and his family were not so much scared of the animal, but they were worried that one of the neighbours was going to shoot it.

I told him the animal probably liked staying there, and he should not worry, it would find a way to a better patch. He called again at the beginning of February, but we were over at the center and we would not be able to get to him before dark, and our volunteer vet who is living in his area, was just boarding a plane. So again, no assistance to help this animal. However, Kenneth did not give up, he really wanted this animal to be relocated to a place where there would be no immediate threat to it.

So this time when Kenneth called, I finally was able to get there before dark, as I was in town and I just had to get our equipment. As my telephone was giving me trouble, I did not look at the pictures he sent. So when we finally arrived at 6:30 PM, this is what we saw. A sloth hanging onto a pillar that was standing in the water. How did it get there? It was clear that if it had swum there, it had now dried up, because it was definitely not wet. However, it did not look comfortable. Our first attempt to approach it, got our volunteer George stuck almost knee deep in the soft mud at the water’s edge that was hiding under a layer of sand. A boat seemed to be our only solution to help this animal from this uncomfortable location.

A sloth called Cliff

Kenneth’s father said he had a long pole that we could offer to the animal so it could climb on it and come back to shore. And indeed, the animal sniffed the pole, because it was metal, and it of course did not feel like a tree branch, but in the end it decided to try it and came climbing along the pole to shore. When it was close enough George caught it in our net. It was definitely not happy about this. We tried to remove the net, but it was stuck in the net that had a hole. So we decided to cut the net loose from the pole. We managed to get the animal into the kennel and we spent two days to carefully remove the net from the animal. On Saturday the animal was released and it definitely was happy to be climbing in trees again far from humans.

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.


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