Needed! Managing volunteer(s) for the summer

21 06 2010

Paradise Gardens’ current volunteer managers need a break. Jen and Ryan haven’t seen their families in more than a year. Time for a trip home to Canada! But who will take care of the animals? YOU??

Jen and Ryan would like to visit family for the month of August. They would love love love if someone (or some two friends or a couple or even a whole family) would come and take over for them for the month. It would require that person/people to arrive in July and have a week or two of training and then take over. There would be several long-term, experienced volunteers here helping you out, but they work in Boquete and are only here mornings. Although we usually have at least two full-time volunteers it is possible that you will be solo for the weekends.

You will have the upstairs of the house to live in (2 bedrooms and a bathroom) and the downstairs will be yours unless there are other long-term volunteers in which case you would share the kitchen and living room with them.

Your responsibilities would include feeding baby animals (we have a baby monkey and a baby coati a the moment, but may receive more at any time). During the week the animal feedings will be taken care of by Benjamin, Saturdays and Sundays you will be responsible for feeding all of the animals. You will be responsible for caring for any sick or injured animals, greeting guests, and coordinating other volunteers. You will need to take care of any emergency maintenance of the park (broken cages, etc) but it is unlikely that there will be many maintenance duties for you. We also have a handyman volunteer you can call for any emergencies, and who comes regularly on Thursdays.

Please please please email or call if you are interested and think this might work with you!! paradisegardensboquete@gmail.com or call 507 6657 5555.





Volunteers

21 06 2010

Paradise Gardens is completely run by volunteers. We are always looking for new volunteers, especially longer term volunteers (who we offer a place to live on-site!). We’ve recently posted on HelpX, a network of volunteer opportunities and volunteers all around the world. They have already sent us several volunteers and we’ve only been up for 3 weeks! If you’re looking to volunteer they also have loads of other opportunities you can browse.

One of the hostels in town, Mamallenas, also regularly sends us volunteers. In fact all three of our current volunteers living on site came through Mamallenas. They also sponsor our capuchin monkeys (Monty, Billy and Manolo) and send us visitors almost everyday!

Most recently we have posted on Christian Volunteering and Go Abroad. Hopefully we will have a steady influx of volunteers from them soon as well!

Without volunteers Paradise Gardens Wildlife Rescue would cease to function. Volunteers feed and care for the animals, keep the park clean and well maintained, greet visitors, write this blog, treat injured or sick animals, build new shelters for animals, rehabilitate abused animals. In short, volunteers do it all.

If you are interested in volunteering here, get in touch! Email us at paradisegardensboquete@gmail.com or just stop by if you are in Boquete, we are located on Volcancito Road, just past Fresas Mary.





The Coati Kid

3 06 2010

Argento, the baby coati here at Paradise Gardens, checks out a volunteer's ear... nope, no grubs in there!

Just over a month ago a baby coati (a coati kid, hehe, get it??) was brought in by some local children. He was tiny and adorable. We thought he was a she and named “her” Argenta, a few weeks later we discovered our mistake and changed the name to Argento. The two kids who brought him in explained to us his story: his mother was killed for meat and eaten for dinner by our family. Our parents wanted to keep him and raise him to eat. But he’s sooo cute. I don’t want to eat him!

definitely too cute to eat! No more baby coati steaks for me.

So, his cuteness saved him. He got bottle fed here at Paradise Gardens, and now gets fruit, veggies and eggs as well as the bottle. We also take him out the ravine where he gets to run around and use his long nose to root around in the dirt for bugs and worms. Yum! His favorites are beetles, but if they’re dead, or pretend to be, he won’t touch them. He is a climber, and in fact coatis are pretty much made for climbing. They have super flexible ankles and nice long, sharp, tough claws. The claws allow them to latch onto a tree (or in Argentos case, a human leg, his favorite climbing post) and the flexible ankles allow them to climb headfirst down a tree trunk. You know the clichĂ© story about a cat stuck in a tree and the owner calls a fireman to come get the kitty down? Well cats can’t climb down trees well because their ankles aren’t flexible enough. Our kittens here love to climb up trees (they think they can get to the birds that way, they haven’t realized that the birds are not attached to the trees and can just fly away) but then when it comes time to come down they hesitate and meow, and usually try to take one step downward and then crash/jump the rest of the way. Good thing cats always land on their feet. Actually there are two types of cat with tree-descending ankle flexibility – the margay and the Clouded Leapord. Here at PG we have a margay named Lottie, more on her later!

Anyway, back to coatis. They are super adorable. That is my opinion but not only my opinion, pretty much everyone agrees with me. Argento (and all coatis) has a long pointy snout (a nickname for coatis is hog-nosed racoon) and its flexible and moves up and down when he sniffs. Adorable! As you probably guessed from the nickname, coatis are related to the racoon. You can tell when you look at Argento from his circles under the eyes, his coloring and his striped tail, although the stripes are much more subtle than those on a racoon (although some people really can’t see the similarity and ask if he is related to an anteater… nope!).

Argento learning to climb trees in the aviary

We have a whole troupe of coatis back behind the house, they live in the ravine and sometimes come up to grab snacks from the gardens. They (and Argento) love bananas. In fact it seems that all the animals here prefer bananas. Bananas for bananas. No idea why. Someday Argento will be released behind the property so that he can join the troupe that already lives back there. Coatis in the wild nurse for about four months (Argento is only about 2 months old) and then stay with their mothers for up to two years. Males then separate from the troupe and wander solo, only joining back up with the troupe for mating. Males will also eat the baby coatis, usually the mothers defend their babies from the adult males. Since Argento has no mother to defend him from the baby-eating male coatis we will keep him here until he is no longer a baby (up to two years, when he would naturally separate from his troupe, but really we will have to wait and see just how fast he grows and he will be released when he seems ready to not only forage on his own but also to defend himself against full grown male coatis).





Volunteering makes the turtles happy!

2 06 2010

Volunteer Eddie repairing the second turtle pond

As you know, if you have seen our “About us” page, Paradise Gardens is completely run by volunteers. I am a volunteer. I sweep up the gardens in the morning and update the blog at night. I help feed the animals, give tours, chat with the birds, scratch Sam’s head and Lottie’s back. But do you know how many volunteers it takes to run this place? At least four. Jen is here all the time, she’s the resident volunteer. She’s the manager. Then there are usually 2-4 other people staying here and volunteering 40+ hours a week. Some of us (me!) are travelers who found this place and loved it so we stuck around. Some people come to Panama looking just to volunteer. Some are soon-to-be vets or animal management professionals or students with a love for animals. Some people stay for one month, some stay for six. And then there are the daily volunteers who stay in town, whether they are travelers or locals or expats, living here or just staying at Mamallena’s or studying spanish at the two spanish schools here. And then there are several long term volunteers who live here and have been volunteering here for years. They come once or twice a week and are a wealth of knowledge about the place and the animals.

So basically I’m saying… Paradise Gardens needs volunteers. We need you! If you’re hanging around Boquete, free time on your hands and want to help some animals, come volunteer here! If you need a place to stay, we can help you out. If  you have skills, we can use them. If you have no money, that’s ok, it’s free to volunteer here. Call or email or just come by! We want you!

Volunteering makes the turtles happy! See those smiles?!





Our Mission

25 05 2010

Paradise Gardens’ Mission

Volunteers painted this sign at the entryway to Paradise Gardens Wildlife Rescue

Paradise Gardens is a group of animal loving volunteers whose mission is to rescue, provide sanctuary for, and if possible, ultimately release back into the wild , abandoned, abused, and injured animals. By involving and educating the community, Paradise Gardens works to raise awareness of the tremendous effort it takes to care for animals that have been failed by humans, in such ways as illegal trade, deforestation, cruelty and ignorance on the part of humans.

Our vision is to create a world where the animals we share it with are treated with respect and understanding and where habitat is preserved to ensure the indefinite survival of these creatures. In creating such a world, we hope the same principles will carry over into the way humans treat each other.