Written by: Sam Zwicker
As April comes to a close I reflect on Earth Day and this month of increased consciousness for our beautiful, struggling planet. Every year on Earth Day we as a species reflect on the beauty of the natural world and take time to appreciate its stunning biodiversity, and yet every year it seems more fragile. What can each one of us do to ensure that Earth Day truly is every day?
At Hoja Nueva we can continue protecting our almost 7,000 acres of intact rainforest, researching local wildlife populations, and rescuing seized or abandoned wild animals to rehabilitate. We, too, are constantly looking to see how we can amplify our efforts to save rainforest and wildlife but as a small nonprofit there is only so much we can do without support. That is where our partnership with the Naked Collective has come in, at the most opportune time, to provide relief for what will be hundreds of wild animals over the coming years.
We are extremely grateful and so excited that they will be helping us to construct our improved veterinary centre and base of operations for our Wildlife Sanctuary. This centre is where all animals will pass through for their first check-in, where they will receive their medical care, and where we will perform various tests before they are released into the wild. It is also where all of the animal food will be stored and prepped, and where our veterinarian and keepers will be stationed.
The expansion of our Sanctuary means we can care for over 80 animals at any given point, and have improved veterinary care in a greatly improved location only 600 meters from the river. We will have greatly improved veterinary facilities, such as the ability to perform complex surgeries on site, equipment and facilities for all levels of emergency interventions, on-site sample analysis capabilities, and a dedicated ICU area for complex cases. Staff facilities will also include better lodging, a higher-quality work environment, and better facilities for training, empowerment, and professional growth. Our newly constructed Center and enclosures will also be much closer to the most remote areas of our 7,000-acre wildlife reserve, meaning we have less distance to travel for animal releases and can better monitor our animals post-release.
This year on Earth Day I’ve been reflecting on the great progress we’ve made with our conservation efforts in the Peruvian Amazon, a big part of which is thanks to the Naked Collective. We will continue striving to achieve our goals here on the frontlines of conservation, and with continued support from TNC and beyond we will continue making great progress. But by Earth Day next year, when we stop to appreciate the beauty of the natural world, will it seem less fragile? The answer will be decided by the decisions we make as a people, and by the decisions we all make as individuals every day from now until then. The ability to make positive change is ours, and the time is now.
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