Christmas in the rainforest

Days 108 - 123

After a brief stop in Quito (perfect for replenishing supplies and catching up with our European Football) we took a 4 hour bus to the small town of Mera, and then onto Merazonia Sanctuary. For the next two weeks it was our day to day duty to help with the care and rehabilitation of wildlife. We’d work from 7am - 5pm cleaning cages, feeding and replenishing vegetation to make the animals feel more at home. The goal here was to care for rescued animals, feed and rehabilitate them and then release them back into the wild. Due to this, the work involved was a hands off approach involving feeding, cleaning and making their temporary homes as authentic as possible by gathering leaves and branches and clearing out any old vegetation.

The majority of the animals that were there during our stay were an assortment of birds and a few different species of monkeys. There was also a puma, and a sloth named Stevie. Lastly, were the kinkajous. One of these fascinating creatures, Whistler, became a close friend as due to being a permanent member of Merazonia we were able to play with him each evening. His form of playing was to jump between us, wrap his tail around our arms and attempt to bite our knuckles.

There was no electricity at the sanctuary so we’d eat dinner and drink warm beers by candlelight each evening. The diet was strictly vegetarian too except for on Christmas Day when an exception was made. Due to the obvious weather that comes with being in a rainforest, the conditions were harsh and the days long, but it was still emotional on the day it came to say goodbye and move on again.

Pete Mel