Rainforest threats, an anteater that could and how you can help

The Amazon Rainforest is under immense threat. Apart from animal trafficking, nearby plans for oil exploration now form a serious danger for the wildlife and the pristine water sources around here. On the positive side: Andy, the little anteater who starred in an article by The Guardian article this April, has been released successfully! Plus find out how you can help too!

Merazonia sits on an area of land known as Block 28. Sadly, the majority of Ecuador’s Amazonian region is divided up into these oil blocks, reflecting the government’s plan for continued seismic testing and oil exploration all over the country. Currently, a Chilean-Ecuadorian joint venture have received the rights for oil exploration.

Disrupting nature

The potential drilling site is 8 km in a direct line from Merazonia. The drilling of oil will create sound pollution, ground vibrations, and will create physical barriers that will disrupt one of the most biodiverse corridors in the world. Based on trap camera data, we expect the migratory patterns of many species, including pumas, jaguars, and oncilla to be disrupted. Future drilling will also have a high risk of oil spills due to the high level of tectonic activity in the area. This could result in contamination of one of the largest watersheds in the world.

Aguanta Pastaza

But a local movement is waking up and people are uniting under the name Aguanta Pastaza! Aguanta Pastaza aims to protect this corridor by providing more sustainable ways for the local community to advance economically, for example eco-tourism and education. If you are interested in helping, please follow them on Instagram (@aguanta_pastaza) or Facebook (@PastazaAguanta).

Happy anteater

andy anteater merazonia freeBut is is not all doom and gloom. Remember Andy the anteater? The star of the article in The Guardian at the beginning of the pandemic? Well... we are no longer collecting termites for him as he has been released and is doing really well on his own!

Andy arrived here last July. He used to fit in the palm of our hand and was raised on a costly diet to obtain enough vitamin K, among other things. Gradually, he was introduced to real termites and started foraging under supervision, making sure he kept growing well and did not get into (too much) trouble.

In May we decided he was ready and so away he strolled into the sunset. Occasionally we still see him and on his last weigh in, he was 3.5 kilos, having gained 1/3 of his body weight since being released! Jungle life has been treating Andy well.

Did You Know?

  • Anteaters are edentante, meaning they have no teeth!
  • Anteaters tongues can be up to 61 cm long.
  • Anteaters sleep about 15 hours a day, similar to sloths who sleep about 15-18 hours a day

Lockdown legends

As for the future of Merazonia: we currently still have some volunteers (aka the lockdown legends) left that have been with us throughout the entire pandemic. We are so thankful for their continued support but soon they will all have to leave us and we have no idea when new volunteers will be able to arrive.

Our rehabilitation policy is the reason why we don't open Merazonia up to the public. The less human contact, the more likely an animal will be able to be set free. Volunteer fees have kept us afloat up till now, along with a growing group fo supporters abroad.

Be part of our community

So if you want to help us from afar, consider joining our GIVE US 5!-community. For a small fee per month (you pick yourself!) you can join us and help us get through the difficult times ahead of us. This so we can continue to rehabilitate and release amazing and freedom craving animals, such as Andy.

Andy the anteater as a young man MerazoniaNature in peril bloque 28 MerazoniaLockdown legends Merazonia ecuador volunteers 2020