Until Next Time, Panthera

This last week at the sanctuary has been full of surprises and adventure. All packed into 3 short days. 

First, a cold front came Tuesday bringing a massive wicked storm. There was tons of rain, wind, and lightning all night and you could hear trees falling all through the forest. Temperatures got down to 13ish degrees Celsius, which is a far cry from the 35 degrees we were recently facing. It was so cold at night. 

The morning after the storm it was a little weird at camp as we looked for all the animals and made sure everyone was warm. Unfortunately, one of the parrots didn’t make it through the storm and we were all very upset. 

(A large tree that fell during the storm.)

Later that day we took a small hike through the forest. The storm changed the path with all of the fallen trees. It was very interesting. We also had a friend tag along. Mini Bear, the baby coati decided to join us for his first time in the forest. He walked right in tow all 4 miles and it was fun seeing him learn new things. 

(Sometimes Mini Bear got under our feet.)

(A giant leaf cutting ant nest. They cut pieces of leaves to feed to a fungus inside the nest from which they eat.)

(A large strangling tree. This was crazy to see throughout the forest.)

The next day was my last full day at Panthera and we had a big adventure planned. We woke up with the goal of reaching the lost lake that the team didn’t quite reach the week prior. There was at least 500 meters of thick brush to machete and hopefully no problems. 

(Got my game face on!)

So 4 of us set out: Pierre, Nico, Elsa, and myself. A lot of the path was new because it was just created the week prior and it made walking a little difficult. At one point we found Tapir prints and followed. This lead us to a new clay lake. Clay lakes are nutrient dense areas where animals frequent. All around there were tapir prints leading here. 

(Tapir footprints- if you can see them…)

(Nutrient rich clay lake)

We kept pushing on towards the lake and about 1pm (we left at 7:30) we finally reached the lake. There is a high probability that no other human has ever been there – or at least not in a very long time. It was very surreal. 

(It got a little swampy right before the lake.)


(Beautiful previously unexplored lake!)

(The best group to explore with ever! Sorry Elsa! You’re in the shadow! – And don’t judge too hard… Junglin’ ain’t easy!)

Now that a path is created studies can be done to find reasons to permanently protect this area and the land surrounding it. Panthera desperately wants the rights to this land so it and all that inhabit it will be protected. I’m proud to have been a part of this initial step! 

Panthera does amazing work for the forest and all that inhabit it. And if you want to help, please visit their fundraiser for Solar Power. The sanctuary desperately needs this! 

I’m moving on to more adventuring and more volunteer work. See you soon, Panthera!