Top stories 2020: all for one and one for all

Despite a very challenging year, we managed to help and set free a lot of animals. There was the spectacular release of two yaguarundis for example and we captured an elusive bush dog in our trap camera. But none of this would have been possible without the support of our growing community of donors!

Jaguarundi MerazoniaLet's start with some spectacular release news: brother and sister Nuna and Anku became the first jaguarundis (felines) to be rehabilitated at Merazonia and were succesfully released in October. Part of the success of this project was the excellent collaboration between Merazonia, other conservation projects and the authorities.

The rehabilitation took us about 9 months. But in October the cats had both grown big enough and developed their hunting skills to be set free. A team of Merazonia set off for an 8 hour hike through mountanous jungle in order to reach an undisclosed and remote release site. This site was kindly offered to us by another great conservation project called Ecominga. What a success!

Support us for survival

Before we continue with more animal news, we want to give praise to the people that have come to our rescue in these crazy times: our trusting base of donors. We simply are not able to feed all the animals and start new release projects without your help. If you havent done it yet: become a donor now or join our Give us 5! community for as little as $5!  Read or watch about our struggles in The Guardian or on BBC TV.

Bush dog

Meanwhile we also keep monitoring our reserve. A lot of wildlife appears in front of our trap cameras, such as pumas and peccaries. But a very elusive animal made his first appearance ever this year, namely the bush dog (photo bottom left). This is a rarely seen animal and not a lot is known about them. It is great to see that our conservation efforts are paying off and that such a healthy variety of wildlife call our reserve home.

Toby the tyra MerazoniaSome other animals that were spotted by our trap cameras were Toby the tyra and Andy the anteater - both animals rehabilitated and released in our reserve this year! Toby was a volunteer favourite and was released in August within our reserve. He thanked us with photo bombing one of our trap cameras (see photo). Looks like he is crazier than ever and having a ball in the wild.

A special mention for Andy the anteater (photo bottom right) too, as he is the first animal to make it into our list if Top stories two years in a row. In 2019 he was the adorable cute baby, still needing a lot of special care. But last year he became the robust and chunky adult, ready for release. He is proving perfectly capable of taking care of himself and shows up in one of our trap cameras regulary.

Tamarin release

Tamarin babies MerazoniaTamarin monkeys are often overlooked in the world of primates, perhaps due to their (small) size. They like you to know that this is a shame. They are intriguing animals with complex social structures. Introducing them to each other, and back into the wild for that matter, is complicated but we managed to set free yet another group in 2020.

Our animal work here never stops. There is already another group awaiting their turn for a life in the open jungle. But their alpha female just gave birth to twins (see photo) on January 1st 2021, so they have to show a little bit of patience first.

Last but not least, we want to highlight the group of loyal volunteers, dubbed the Lockdown legends, that stood by us during the tough months during the lockdown. We managed to give all the animals the care they needed because of them. Would you like to become a legend too? In our volunteer section you can read more about the ins and out of the work we do alongside our volunteers.

Bush dogMerazoniaLock down legends MerazoniaAndy the ant eater Merazonia