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.





Introductions Galore: Athena, the jaguarundi kitten

4 06 2010

Remember, I mentioned last week that we were writing new introductions for all the animals? We prettied them up and posted them on all the enclosures so people could read about the animals as they saw them. We are also working on a new guidebook as the one we have now is very out of date, many of the animals in it have been released or passed away and we have many new animals that are not mentioned in it.

But while we are working on that I will share with you a few more of the introductions we have written up…

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Hestia, the calico kitten and Athena, the jaguarundi cub, asleep on their perch.

Hi! My name is Athena!

I am a jaguarundi, a relative of the Ocelot and Jaguar, just a little smaller.

A farmer near Boquete was plowing his land for a new field and accidentally ran over my den. When he noticed that he had run over my den he immediately stopped the tractor and turned off his headlights. My mother had carried off my other brothers and sisters (we were too small to walk) but she was too scared to come back for me. The farmer waited nearby watching to be sure no other animals hurt me but my mother didn’t come.

The next day the farmer took me to Paradise Gardens. At first I had to be bottle fed but now I eat raw meat. I will be released when I am bigger so I need as little human contact as possible. Please don’t talk to me or come close to my cage! Since I have no human interaction I have 2 house kittens as companions. They are older than me and we play together. We are also learning to hunt by chasing mice in the aviary. We have caught a few. Luckily we are small enough that we can’t catch the birds (although we’d like to!).

When I grow up I will be a solitary hunter until I am a mother. Then I will be a caring mother and feed my young until I have taught them to hunt on their own. I will live 10 to 20 years.

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Athena is growing much bigger and more fierce now, although she is still smaller than the kittens she lives with. They are all becoming fierce hunters and although the kittens are faster and more adept Athena is fiercer. She will go after birds without hesitation whereas the kittens are cautious, and she dominates the food bowl… the kittens don’t get to eat until Athena has chosen her piece of meat and dragged it off.  However Athena is also very attached to her kitten friends (they are named Artemis and Hestia) and she cries when they are both out of the cage. Her cry is this tiny peep, again and again, not at all like a cat’s meow. It’s earned her the nickname “Peeps.”





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.