By Paul Rosolie
Today was the first patrol on the new Junglekeepers Reserve. Everyone has heard that rainforests are being destroyed – and now we are on the front lines of protecting a part of the Amazon. Last year they cut down eighty ironwood trees which are crucial nesting habitat for macaws. This year we are responsible for protecting the remaining habitat and animals in the 2,125acre Junglekeepers Reserve.
Today started at 8am with a team of Tamandua and ARCAmazon Rangers. We walked for over 20km. Along the way we saw the logging road, and some shotgun shells. All of these things were at least six months old. That is probably why we also saw tracks from jaguar, tapir, ocelot, agouti, armadillo, and many other species on the dirt tracks the loggers had used. No one was hunting on this land – not recently anyway. This is good news. Although we lost over eighty ironwood trees, the rest of the jungle seems to be intact.
Half way through the patrol we came across a yellow tailed cribo. It’s a huge yellow and black snake with big alert eyes and a reputation for defending itself very well if provoked. But this snake was not fast, not aggressive, and soon we realized that something was wrong. Closer inspection revealed that she was wounded. There was blood coming from some of her scales, and a few ribs were broken.
We decided that bringing her back to the research station was the best plan, and would give her a chance to recuperate. We finished our 20km patrol and were happy that there were so few signs of recent poaching, and now we have a new responsibility: making sure this beautiful eight foot snake is able to heal up, and get healthy again. We’ll keep posting about her progress.