A day of introductions: Mic and Jojo

20 05 2010

Today we wrote up signs introducing the newest animals and laminated them… and we’ll share some with you! Here is the first one, about Jojo and Mic, our newest Moluccan cockatoos who just joined us here at Paradise Gardens Wildlife Rescue a few weeks ago. We will post picture soon, of both the birds and their new introduction signs! And soon we will get all the other new animals introduced here!

Moluccan Cockatoo Jojo here in her new home at Paradise Gardens, Boquete, Panama

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HELLO! I’m Jojo!  And I’m Mic!

We are Moluccan Cockatoos.

We come from Indonesia. We were someone’s pet but they did not takes care of us and from them we learned naughty words. A different couple found out about our mistreatment and brought us to their home. Later that couple decided to move back to the US and wanted to make sure we had a safe home for the rest of our lives so they brought us to Paradise Gardens.  Since we have always been pets and are not native to Panama, we can never be released into the wild.

We live 65-125 years.

Jojo is fairly quiet but still loves to be talked to. Mic is very social and loves talking back. They both love music, so please whistle or sing to them!!

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Jojo and Mic (pronounced Mic) are typical of our rescued birds. They are beautiful and expensive but people buy them not realizing how much care they take. Both Jojo and Mic have distinct personalities and capabilities and to be a good caretaker for them requires time, patience and money. Luckily Jojo and Mic were rescued from their first negligent owners by some caring people. But even then they could not take care of them for their full lifespan (100 years is a long time!) which is why they are now living here. Hopefully Paradise Gardens Wildlife Rescue can be Mic and Jojo’s forever home!

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A Brief History of Paradise

19 05 2010

Entrance painted by volunteers, Paradise Gardens Wildlife Rescue, Boquete, Panama

In 2002 Paul and Jenny Saban retired to Boquete, Panama from England with their pet cockatoo, Sam, two pet green winged macaws named Dollar and Ruby, a pair of Australian leadbeaters, a pair of Hyacinth Macaws and a pair of pair of pink galahs. Paul and Jenny had been breeders of rare tropical birds in the UK so the birds they had were in breeding pairs except for Sam, the cockatoo. In order to legally import and keep these birds Paul and Jenny applied for a license from ANAM, the Panamanian agency in charge of wildlife and the environment. ANAM was one of the first agencies to agree to the international CITES agreement which control the trading of rare birds in order to prevent poaching and their decline in the wild. Once licensed and living here Paul and Jenny began to convert the orange orchard they were living on into an amazing garden sanctuary for their own birds. Paul, a master stone mason, began work on paths and fountains while Jenny, an avid gardener, brought to life a true paradise of native trees, flowers and bushes. They both had experience in creating gardens in the UK and put there expertise to use here in Boquete, Panama

At the time Panama was lacking in wildlife rescue and rehab centers. Paul and Jenny began to take in birds that had been injured and rehab them. ANAM saw the wonderful work they did and the spaces available for the birds at Paul and Jenny’s and asked them to take in a few more injured birds from the local area. They accepted and built more large cages for scarlet macaws, and hyacinth macaws and a large aviary for smaller birds.

Soon word spread that Paul and Jenny were experts at caring for injured birds and local residents began bringing in other animals… a tiny tamarind that had been separated from his mother, an injured sloth, an ocelot cub too young to survive on its own but too big to stay in their house. Soon Paul and Jenny had a whole garden filled with an ark of different species.

Unfortunately all these animals were expensive to keep. There was the bird seeds, the fruits and nuts and eggs and meat, as well as live mice and chicks for the big cats. And for the animals that arrived due to injury there were the vet bills and the medicines and bandages and syringes (have you ever tried to give a shot to a capuchin monkey? Me neither, but I can only imagine, I mean they’ll steal your glasses off your face and then pee on your head, what would it take to get a needle close to them?!). As retirees Paul and Jenny’s funds were finite and would not infinitely expand to support the influx of animals. So they opened their home to the public, asking for 5 dollars as a entrance fee and any donations that visitors could give. The beautiful grounds earned the name Paradise Gardens. The rehabilitation and release of wild animals has always been the primary goal of Paradise Gardens. We specialize in animals native to the Boquete, Panama area but also take in animals from Bocas del Toro, the Darien and all over Panama.

Two years ago in 2008 Paul and Jenny were involved in a serious car accident. They were forced to return to England with almost no notice and have been unable to return since. The animals, of course, could not leave the country with such short notice. They stayed behind in enclosures and were taken care of by friends and neighbors, volunteers.

With Paul and Jenny back in England for what looked like a permanent stay the property was on the market. The gardens continue functioning supported completely by volunteers who care for the animals and the grounds and donations which cover food and medical expenses for the animals. Several people have come to look at the property but the fact that it is set up as an animal rescue will require a very special buyer with the patience and funds to support the constant in and outflow of animals.