Sanctuary and rescue for poached wildlife
Esperanza Verde is an emerging conservation project in the Peruvian jungle that aims to actively work against the black market trade in wildlife and to manifest local conservation and animal welfare. In 2010, two Dutch animal managers started the promising project with the purchase of 58 hectares of jungle - the "Selva dormida" - which are now used to reintroduce wild animals in an environment that is as untouched and protected as possible. Unfortunately, reintroduction is not possible in every case, which is why a larger infrastructure is needed to care for the animals on site. In spring 2016, the jungle clinic financed by the Susy Utzinger Animal Welfare Foundation was put into operation in the Esperanza Verde project: Here, professionals from the Esperanza Verde organization take care of the rearing and veterinary care of orphaned young animals from poached wildlife and animals that have been confiscated by authorities (from animal smuggling activities) or have come to the station injured by other means.
This jungle clinic became a SUST Orphan Animal Hospital in December 2016: during hospitalization, the Susy Utzinger Foundation (SUST) covers the veterinary costs, finances medications, surgeries, therapies, food and professional care for the animals. After the animals have left the hospital in good health, it is decided on the basis of years of experience and adapted observation steps whether, when and how the animals will be returned to the wild. This is usually not an easy process, as the animals have 'forgotten' how to behave in the wild due to the long absence. Close contact with humans and targeting them can also be problematic. The protected area, which has now grown to 180 hectares, plays an important role for the animals to slowly get used to the 'new' environment or in becoming the new home for them right away.