2018: So many animals return to the wild!

Thanks to our dedicated team and a growing army of volunteers and donors, we manage to guide more animals professionally to freedom. Apart from the groundbreaking red howler monkey and woolly monkey releases, we rehabilitated sloths, possums, boas, owls, kinkajous and a pygmy anteater in 2018.

For more details on all released animals: click here. Our recently published newsletter with more detailed information in the individual animals can be found here. The opening photo with this article shows two-toed sloth Stevie when he was still a lot younger. Weighing animals is an important method of assuring an animal's wellbeing because especially wild animals are good in camouflaging possible injuries. Stevie developed well and now roams the reserve in freedom. He has a radio collar so we can assure his wellbeing and gather important behavioural information.

Rehabilitation processes

In a similar but much more complicated way, we have also released a group of red howler monkeys and woolly monkeys in 2018. These projects took years of preparation. With gregarious animals like primates, it takes time to form coherent groups, encourage wild behaviour (many are confiscated from illegal traffic and have lived in captivity) and perform the necessary medical tests.

Release owl at Merazonia Merazonia tracking released animals Two toed sloth Stevie at Merazonia

Pictures show the release of an owl, a Merazonia team tracking released monkeys and Stevie being weighed.

Then there are the post release preparations. Where and how can we release an animal? Can it be in our reserve or elsewhere? Do we need to build a release site or not? Is it best to do a hard release or is the animal better off with some initial help from us (food and observations). Do we have people to monitor the animals once released? How do we finance vital equipment such as radio trackers, radio collars and GPS, or expensive medical tests? Release projects do not only take a lot of time, energy and manpower, they are also expensive. We owe our success to devoted people and organizations that believe in our philosophy and ethics and support us physically or financially. Our story on the release of the red howler monkeys, illustrates well what we can achieve when all those pieces come together.

New animals and volunteers

Night monkey Merazonia 267 x 354 Whilst rehabilitation and release projects are always ongoing, the Ministry of Environment also always brings in new animals, like Ruben here for example, the night monkey. New arriving animals like him need medical attention, a healthy and balanced diet and a clean and comfortable home. The care for animals never stops. So yes, we would be pretty helpless without the many helping hands of volunteers all year round.

Without volunteers, we would struggle to feed and clean all the animals every day and give every animal the specific attention that it needs. Without volunteers it would be hard to offer animals the life enrichment they need to develop their skills.

Donors and supporters

For the welfare of the animals, Merazonia does not allow tourists in the centre. Nor do we receive funding from any authorities. Yet we pride ourselves on giving the animals varied and balanced diets; natural, safe and comfortable enclosures; a well equipped and managed clinic and professional executed release projects.

Our focus is always on achieving the best possible outcome for every individual animal. Whether that is being released, relocated or living a comfortable life in our centre. How do we do it? Well, without donors we could simply not sustain the high quality of care we give to the animals.

To donors we offer financial transparency, results, feedback and flexibility in the ways they can support us. We have well respected conservation organizations such as Wild Futures or International Veterinary Care help us build enclosures and release sites, or bring us medical supplies.

Together united

Animals Capuchin monkey Sinchi merazoniaBut most of our donors are individual people that either know us, heard of us or researched us and know we are a trustworthy cause. It can be daunting to think of the conservation issues we face as a planet. But if we have learned one thing at Merazonia, it is that one individual can make a difference. And that many individuals united can bring change. We have seen neglected animals come to live again and get released. We have seen our reserve transform from a broken down ecosystem into a flourishing forest.

There are so many ways to help. Here are just some examples: you can adopt one of our animals and receive an update on how he is doing regularly. Or you can join our growing community of small but loyal supporters called Give us 5! for as little as $5 a month. Our community has proven that many small monthly donations, amount to big projects, such as the release of blue-headed parrots.

Whatever you do in 2019, we hope you will do it with passion and in good health. Face the challenges thrown at you bravery and with a sense of humour. From all of us at Merazonia: be well!

Howler monkey Chilina at MerazoniaVolunteers of MerazoniaVolunteer house Merazonia starry night