In the middle of a quiet rainless night on October 19th, a swollen river filled with sticks, clay, sand and rocks scrambled down the valley making a loud sound that alerted volunteers and personnel of La Senda Verde. Immediately they woke up and started evacuating the tapir and the kinkajous.
The river had brought with it large amounts of sand and rocks, probably due to irresponsible mining upstream, that caused the river to change course and enter the premises of La Senda Verde. That’s right, the whole river was inside LSV! As a result of the emergency, the Tapir enclosure was completely destroyed and the bridge was left unconnected. We’ve been paying an excavator since to repair the damage and are beginning to rebuild the enclosures again. Luckily no animal or person was hurt.
It is the worse swelling we’ve seen of the river since 2005. Since then, we’ve been building defensive barriers and investing large amounts of money to avoid the river from entering the premises again. This year, it seems like it hasn’t been enough. It is time to begin a new project with larger, better barriers that will avoid any future disasters. Logging, mining and climate change are only getting worse, and we need to prepare.
Since the emergency, we’ve been receiving loads of support from local communities, people in La Paz, in all of Bolivia and from ex-volunteers from other parts of the world. We feel overwhelmed by the support and it fills our eyes with tears how thankful we are and how people are so supportive to rescued wild animals. With the support we’ve been receiving we have been paying for the excavator to rebuild the damages and fixing what the river had destroyed.
We are in the process of bringing a hydraulics engineer to develop a project for better defensive barriers. We are also contacting the companies that sell special materials for defensive barriers to get a cost estimate. Meanwhile we are building temporary barriers with old truck tires which people have been so kind as to donate to us and we are beginning a new campaign to raise funds for this project. If you would like to donate to this project you may do so online here: Flood Relief Project
Other updates – Raccoon
The South American Raccoon that arrived last month has recovered well and is getting used to the refuge, he is temporarily in a small enclosure. We want the other animals like the monkeys to get used to him and we look forward to letting him be free in the premises just like the coati.
Leopardus tigrinus enclosure
The large enclosure we have been building for the tiger cat is now finished and he is being placed there today. Hope to see some images soon!