The Adventures of Whistler

One reality of running a wildlife rescue centre in the middle of the rainforest is the fact that we are surrounded by trees. Lots and lots of trees. It's one of the things that makes Merazonia feel so special: being nestled so deeply in the jungle, submersed in nature.

Tree amazon kinkajouUnfortunately, though, trees do also pose a risk and sometimes they can fall. We do our best to remove those that look particularly precarious from around enclosures and human areas, but rainforest storms can be strong and trees falling is something that cannot be avoided.

The vanishing act

Three weeks ago on the night of September 27th, thunder rumbled, lightning lit up the skies, rain poured down and two of our volunteers - Lincoln and Brenda - set out to give resident kinkajou Whistler his nighttime meds. (Don't know who Whistler is? Click here to find out)

Upon arrival to Whistler's enclosure, they had a surprise.. a large tree had fallen onto his cage, and the mesh had been torn open on two sides. No Whistler!

Nocturnal concerns

Being a nocturnal animal who is very active, we weren't too worried that Whistler had been hurt by the fallen tree. And, although he's spent the majority of his life in captivity, we were quite confident that he could survive in the wild for a number of days or even weeks. Our main concerns however were 1) him being stuck high up in the rainforest canopy in the middle of a big storm, too scared and nervous to come down to safety and 2) the most important concern - Whistler needs a special medication twice daily to keep a serious heart condition at bay. Without this, his health could deteriorate rapidly.

Assemble the troops!

A search party it was. A big shoutout to our wonderful volunteers who sprung into action, grabbing their head torches without thinking twice and donning their rainjackets to head out into the dark, stormy jungle, in the name of Whistler.

After hours of searching and to everyone's disappointment, Whistler's eyes did not shine back down at us from the treetops. And it continued: nights after night were spent conducting search parties, expecting to find a sign of Whistler. His favourite foods were left out with the hope of his return. Cosy sleeping boxes were left out on cabin balconies. Nothing!

It had been over two weeks, and we were starting to lose hope...

Merazonia kinkajou mammalA glimpse of Whistler

...until a few days ago! Whistler was spotted in broad daylight, running down a jungle path near the water plant close to Merazonia. Whistler!! Is that you?! Indeed it was!! Thanks to some expert manoeuvres by Lincoln, who spotted him with another volunteer, Eloise, Whistler was able to be followed just long enough to see where he disappeared to. Scared and clearly confused, Whistler ran deep down into a hole in the ground. 

Safe and sound

Some encouragement from vet Louisa later, and out he came! We are very relieved to say that besides losing a little bit of weight, a minor scratch on his leg and sleeping for 24hrs straight on his return - Whistler is back to his happy, playful self in his fancy, refurbished enclosure! 

We aren't surprised you were exhausted, Whistler! That must have been the adventure of a lifetime!

Stay involved

Would you like to symbolically adopt Whistler? Adopt Whistler today and stay up to date with how he's doing. You will also be ensuring that he gets extra tasty treats with his meds daily!

Kinkajou Merazonia Ecuador