Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Jungle!

I arrived at the park (Ambue Ari) last Saturday. It took a few buses and a lot of hours to get there but I finally arrived! I started training with Leoncio (an adolescent, male puma) on Sunday. The two girls who were working with him for the past month have been training me all week and tomorrow I will start working with him and another volunteer. Even though I have only been here for a week this is already one of the most amazing experiences I´ve had. In the mornings I feed the Macaws, (there are 10 of them here and they´re beautiful birds!) one of them bit me once but it was nothing serious. Ironically, most of the injuries here are not even from the cats, they are from the monkeys or birds. I know some of you were a little worried about me coming here but the organization is awesome and it´s very safe here. They have a medical facility at the park and any injuries that have happened in past years haven´t required more than a few stiches which they can do right at the park.

There were about 45 volunteers here when I arrives but a few people have left and some more are leaving this weekend. Hopefully more people will show up because when they have low numbers the cats only get walked once a day instead of twice. If they do have a shortage of volunteers I will get training to work with another cat and do a half day with each one. Leoncio is adorable and has awesome eyes. I havent been able to take any pictures yet because new volunteers are not allowed to use their camera in the park for a week as part of our training. Better to be paying attention rather than snapping pictures!

There are about 20 cats here and around 30 birds. There are also two monkeys. One is a howeler monkey who does the wake up call every morning at 6:30am and he sleeps in one of the bunk houses ... with a volunteer! I´m in Trinidad today to use the internet and it is the closest ATM (4 hours away!) but I´ll be back at the park tonight. A few other volunteers came too because we all had to use the ATM.

We work everyday except we have a half days on Saturdays. There is another town, Guarayos thats closer to the park and has internet access so next weekend I will hopefully be posting some pictures!

Where are you in the world?