英迪瓦拉Yassi | B的被遗忘的动物的地方olivia Are Loved

we spent an incredible few days with Inta Wara Yassi, an animal refuge in the heart of the Bolivian jungle.

These are the stories of the animals and the people whose lives have changed forever because of it.

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Her name was Bebe.

From her horizontal position on the old wooden bench, she saw us approaching. Leathery black hands folded under her chin, legs dangling off either side, she looked a mixture of bored and laconic. Our chaperone - a smiling Australian volunteer - instructed us to quietly crouch down in the grass and observe.




Investigation by veterinarians established that this beautiful, defenceless female spider monkey had been subjected to repeated sexual abuse by her 'owner'.

Once rescued and relocated, her journey towards rehabilitation was slow and difficult. She was, understandably wary of humans and, in particular, every male. They couldn't come close. Only one person was able to break through to slowly lead and nurture Bebe towards a second chance at an existence where she didn't have to live in constant fear.

尽管令人痛苦,但她的故事并不独特。每只动物Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi(CIWY) - 一个非营利性的玻利维亚动物庇护所 - 有一个故事要讲。并非所有人都像贝贝(Bebe)那样令人震惊,而是每个人都对人类对动物的不尊重:他们的贪婪,自私,恶意,残酷,残酷和完全无视他们在我们的全球生态系统中的重要性。这些幸运的不幸的人很少有人活着告诉他们。从野外偷来的十分之一的动物中,只有三只在动物贩运贸易中遭受的虐待中幸存下来。在这三个中,只有一个人会活到他们的最终“所有者”。

Thankfully, there are people, like those atCIWY,试图有所作为。营救,保护和教育。我们加入了他们的玻利维亚人工作人员的小核心和国际志愿者的抹布小队在玻利维亚的雨林中了解他们的工作,挣扎和信息的重要性。

The founder of CIWY can always be found wearing a sweat-dampened old t-shirt, mud-splattered boots and a well-worn baseball cap. Her name is Nena, and her journey to open her three animal rescue centres started with a monkey which shared her name. On a visit to Rurrenabaque with others from the environmental movement, they found a group of tourists huddled in a circle, laughing, taking pictures. She joined the crowd to find that the attraction was a monkey - chained, chain smoking and with her only refreshment available being a can of beer.


The crowd lapped it up.

Nena found the person 'responsible' for the monkey and, after a tough negotiation, persuaded him to let her buy it. She didn't know what sort of life she would be able to give her, but she knew that anything would be a marked improvement from that.

Since that day, Nena and her team have taken in hundreds of animals. Just over four hundred in fact. There's Octavo - a quiet solitary male spider monkey who is obsessed with zip-lining. Chuki the capuchin whose squint and gradually-stiffening jaw bears the scars of when he took a bullet in the face from poachers who killed his mother. The dishevelled parrot Motacito, who hobbles, squawks and gossips at passers-by from the ground as his wing was broken by children who had him as a pet. Dozens of curious coatis who were kept as pets then gradually abandoned as their cuteness transformed into something much less appealing. From turtles and colourful birds to jaguars and pumas - all have found an escape from a sad past, as well as a home, here.

The heat is the first thing the strikes you in Villa Tunari - it washes over you, catches your breath and makes you perspire endlessly. It makes a cold beer at the end of the day in the small cafe for staff taste all the sweeter. It's there that we chat to some volunteers. The common tongue here at Parque Machía (one of CIWY's three refuges) is English, rather than Spanish, and they hail from all parts of the globe - France, Israel, the US, UK, Australia, Switzerland, Chile. Those who have only been here a few days are easy to spot; their branded t-shirt is still relatively clean, their welly boots spotless, their senses still adjusting to everything around them. But there are others who are clearly long-termers, those utterly comfortable and at home in the basic surroundings and sticky afternoon heat.

One of those is a male member of group responsible for walking and feeding Baloo the bear. He was first here in 2012 and has returned for another six-month volunteer stint. “I haven’t missed anyone like I missed Baloo” he tells us. The former circus 'performer' was the main reason this volunteer came back to Bolivia and, in our short conversation around the table, his love for the animal shines through. Even though the climate in this part of the world isn't Baloo's natural environment, there was simply nowhere else to go for him after being rescued from the cruelty of the circus and his happiness depends on people, like this volunteer, brave enough to escort him on walks or to take him swimming.


The volunteers here form tremendously strong connections with the animals they are assigned to look after for weeks or months. The smiling Australian vet volunteer who took us up the hill to the group of free and semi-free Spider Monkeys, with buckets of bananas and bottles ofapion our back, had also just returned for her second stint of six months. Although the monkeys are an indistinguishable group to us, she knows each by name, knows their personalities, knows their group dynamic and their character traits. "You fall in love with them all", she says and her affinity for the group she spends around eight hours with every day is clear.

we ask them all what you need to be a volunteer here.

A love of animals is the first response and, although that may seem like it's stating the obvious, a few days at the refuge reveals that the love they speak of is something deeper than the usual. It's not simply an ephemeral cuddly, instagram worthy love - the sort where you love laughing at funny dog videos but never actually have picked up their shit - but a deep set empathy for them. CIWY is notorious on the backpacker circuit as somewhere where selected volunteers will be able to walk a bear or a jaguar - but those coming only with that and future bragging rights in mind would not be welcome. And they probably wouldn't last.

这里的挖掘是基本的,日常工作很艰难,时间很长 - 这是一个真正想要它的人,他们将致力于工作,而不是只想说他们在外国帮助某些动物的人。乡村,和猴子一起自拍照。

All is not perfect here at this refuge though and there are no doubt many things that could, and should, improve.

Most evident, is the problem of aesthetics. We reckon that each and every first-time visitor will jar at the sight of the cages, collars, the runner system and the ramshackle state of some of the facilities. A number of the cages are old, rusty and rickety and can look like the sort one may expect to find at a bad zoo, not an animal refuge. Space is also at a premium meaning that to many, it may appear that there are simply too many animals in one spot. A number of these elements are wholly necessary for the safety of both animals and volunteers, but it's definitely something that surprised us.


然而,在更深层次的探索,他们是圣问题emming from financial restriction, rather than any form of neglect or lack of care or concern. CIWY depends heavily upon the donations of volunteers, the public and non-profits - in fact, that’s all they have. They operate on a shoe-string and put the money they do have towards feeding and caring for the animals. For some context of how much that costs, the monthly food budget for the animals is £2,000.

And this, let's remember, is £2,000 in Bolivia.

In the past, they were able to dedicate a small number staff and resources to educating Bolivians about animal welfare however, due to lack of funding, that is simply no longer possible. And, with so few other options for rescued and formerly captive animals in the country, for the first time in years, CIWY has having to tell the government that they simply do not have any more space.

From our time spent here - asking questions, seeking answers - we have no doubt that their hearts are very much in the right place and, if more money was available, it would be put directly towards the animals. Nena is the first to recognise the issues we highlight about some of the facilities and, when we ask her about them, her response is clear and genuine - if she had more money, she would put it all towards these improvements.

这是为什么志愿者的住宿和设施如此斯巴达人的关键原因 - 他们宁愿将资金放在使动物的存在更加舒适的情况下。


we ask why she doesn't just take the easy option easy option to make some more money - open up parts of the centre to paying visitors? After all, we visited a park in Costa Rica - with similar values and rescue philosophy - which opened its doors for a few hours every day to hundreds of tourists (far too many in fact) and charged top dollar for the privilege, even to volunteers. Further down the road in Bolivia, another park operates a similar approach, including the opportunity to watch a bear being fed every morning.

For Nena, that is not at all the type of place she wants to run and, from her experienced perspective, it undermines the work she has done over the last few decades. The animals were taken here to be away from humans - to be safe - rather than to simply become another form of attraction. Bringing in tourists - many who would view the centre as just another zoo where they can poke, prod and take selfies with creatures - removes that barrier for the animals and would subject them to a whole new range of risks and deep-seated fears about unfettered human contact. It would also completely change the operation at the park.

And so, the costs of salaries, food for hundreds of animals and other operating expenses all have to be met from a limited pot of volunteer payments, donations and fundraising efforts. From our interactions with people around animals in South America (local and non-local) we both completely understand Nena's point of view. Although we enjoyed that park in Costa Rica, we both felt a little uneasy at its hybrid model where people could pay for the privilege of being around rescued monkeys and the numbers of people allowed in to such a small space. On the last day of our visit, when our guide Rosita took us to amirador在公园的政府区域(鼓励游客被付款,可以在没有任何监督的情况下进来),我们面临着一群40人(男人,女人和儿童),周围是Ciwy的一只免费蜘蛛猴。

她被用于人类接触和访问from her to this popular part of the tourist trail wasn't uncommon. However, you can imagine the type of scenes to which we were subjected. Groups of teens with selfie-sticks, mean-eyed children trying to get close enough to aim a little kick, amateur photographers with their flashes on, shouting and screaming; in short, a complete disregard for their own safety (a male spider monkey subjected to this would have been much less submissive), but this wild creature with a tragic past's well-being as well.


我们建议,我们辩护,我们争论了,但是,我们没有得到游客的道歉(实际上,我们彻底拒绝相信他们在做什么是错误的),并且必须重复进行整个动物基本体面的演讲新的一日游者到了。值得庆幸的是,猴子认出了罗西塔(Rosita),并最终让她带领她安全 - 尽管人群的成员继续试图靠近照片。

Simply having the privilege of seeing a free monkey in the wild was not enough.


In a country as poor as Bolivia, and with so many competing developmental issues, it isn't really a surprise that the financial assistance they provide to organisations like CIWY is next to nothing. Human poverty, although improving, is still rife in the country and there is a long way to go before it is eradicated and it's understandable that that has to be a focus for limited resources.

However, there are still aspects of stated policy around animal protection which confound us. For example, Bolivia was one of the first countries in the world to make owning an exotic or wild animal illegal (and we saw several posters promoting this in various cities), yet they allowed an unusable road (pretty much to nowhere) to be built through a section of Parque Machía park, ripping out a huge area of habitat for the animals resettled and native to there.

甚至简·古道尔(Jane Goodall)的支持也无法阻止这一点。



One of the key questions before we visited CIWY concerned the fact that very few of their animals are released back into the wild. From our perspective, surely it's better for these animals all to be put back out into their natural habitats as soon as they are healthy and able? Wouldn't that return to freedom make them happier?



Further, with so many having been raised by humans and used to their presence, there are a myriad of issues about releasing them anywhere near a habitat close to human settlement areas. You can imagine the outcome of a jaguar, raised on a diet of bottled-milk and human dependency, wandering too close to the local village in search of the human company it has been brought up on. And with with illegal poachers still operating with impunity, these released animals would be very easy target (in the press during our visit was a Chinese visitor who was found with twenty SETS of jaguar teeth in his bag). According to a science advisor for WWF -"There's no point releasing it if someone is going to come and shoot it two days later."

Moreover, to assume that putting a captive-bred monkey into the wild is a simple process is, simply, wrong. According to one expert, it is a 'majorly flawed ideal'. Monkeys are not lone rangers in the wild - they need to be part of a group with a rigid hierarchy - and there is no guarantee that they will be accepted within the pre-existing free monkeys' arrangements. With males, it is also likely that they will be viewed as a competitor to the alpha, and that is only going to end with one winner.


除了考虑释放动物的福祉和安全外,还必须投入重大研究和考虑,以保护释放其释放的野生人群和生态系统。它会对野生动物的基因组成产生负面影响?那将会an invader species?它会争夺很少的资源或将疾病引入野生人口吗?

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, all the animals in animal rescue institutions in Bolivia are actually the property of the government and it is illegal to release them back into to the wild.

So, organisations like CIWY try and make do. They try and give these animals - rescued from basements, circuses, roadside zoos, family homes and dingy market cages - a second chance in a safe and caring environment. And, some animals do actually make it out if they are suitable and able. With the spider monkeys, those up in the lush green hills whom we visited withapiCiwy的Bananas设法创造了一个环境,在该环境中,新来者慢慢地引入了这里的小组。它常常行不通 - 猴子中的竞争和非理性的不喜欢是正常的 - 但是,有时候,发生了一件神奇的事情。实际上,我们很幸运地目睹了一位经过精心整合和接受的女性,被释放到了自由人群中。

It was a beautiful yet bittersweet even to witness as we knew that this was the exception, rather than the, entirely understandable, rule.

在国际志愿者CIWY,其他e is a small core of Bolivian permanent staff. One of them guided us from the hidden away spot in the trees which the spider monkeys call home. When he was a young boy, orphaned, he ended up lost in Villa Tunari and was told to go to the park where the animals were. Taken in by Nena and her team, he grew up amongst the animals and to watch him with them is a thing of pure, raw beauty.




正如澳大利亚兽医在第一天告诉我们的那样,志愿者确实确实爱上了这些动物,并且在理解了Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi的每个人的悲剧和残酷背景之后,知道他们现在拥有一个地方他们不仅安全而受人尊敬的动物,而且也被爱,也许是他们所希望的最好的第二次机会。

want to know more or volunteer?

Comunidad Inti Wara Yassiis always looking for travellers to help them across their three sites in Bolivia. A minimum commitment of two weeks is required and a weekly fee is charged (much lower than similar organisations in Bolivia and elsewhere in Latin America). The accommodation is basic and the work is hard but, each and every single volunteer there is required and won't be there to just make up the numbers. Training is given once you arrive.

要了解更多信息,请查看他们的网站或者,如果您想向他们捐款,请去Friends of Inti Wara Yassi

For more information on how to travel in a more ethical way, readthis postand if you would like to know more about animal friendly travel and how you can help, check outworld Animal Protection

** All photographs were taken by us were under the supervision of an experienced member of Inti Wara Yassi's staff. We were wholly respectful of the animals and their personal space and only took photographs when safe and appropriate for both us and them. Whenever you photograph animals, please do not use flash and be respectful of them and your surroundings at all times.

All opinions in this article are our own.

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希望在玻利维亚自愿参加,并对虐待动物的生活产生真正的影响?Inti Wara Yassi可能只是这个地方!单击销钉以发现有关玻利维亚丛林中进行的惊人工作的更多信息。