Boudecia stayed in that cage for 5 years. Her owners never cleaned the cage, nor did they let her ever out or come to pay any attention to her. Her food was thrown to her through a hatch door and she was given an inadequate nutrition (mainly milk and bread), occasionally she received some left over meat (while her diet should have consisted of raw meat only at that stage).
Luckily for her, she was brought to Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi by concerned neighbors.
Boudecia arrived at the park around September 2001 in the same cage as she was kept for the last 5 years. The bottom layer of the cage was about 10cm deep of her own excrement. Her fur was oily from the horrible sanitary conditions and her tail was chown almost all the way as a bad habit she developed in the cage. She was also very aggressive.
As a temporary solution, in her first day volunteers got together to triple the size of her cage.
But, as the days passed by and she hasn't gotten any less aggressive it was obvious that the cage was still too small for her, especially if there is the chance of her staying in it for the rest of her life.
A Canadian volunteer (Lisa) with a lot of help from all the other volunteers fund-raised money from her family and friends in order to build a better cage.
Finally, when the goal of 800$ was met the building started. The site that was chosen was up in the jungle, half an hour away from the volunteer house and the village as Boudecia was still frightened of people, especially men.
It took about 2 months to haul all the materials up the jungle (bricks, mash, cement etc) and build the cage with as minimal damage to nature as possible. The cage is about 5x6x2 with a separate â€œbedroomâ€Â, creak, small pool, 4 trees for her to climb on as well as grass growing.
In one early morning at the end of March she was brought up to the cage. Until that point, despite long and hard effort made by her responsible volunteer she showed hardly any improvement in her behavior and it was thought that the new cage will be used as a permanent home for her.
Boudecia has shown amazing improvement since she has been in her new home. She does a lot more exercise and plays more, she has stopped biting her tail, has started cleaning herself and her fur got a lot better and slowly enables her responsible volunteer to get closer.
For an animal that for 5 years felt no contact with any living thing at times she craved for it and came to be pet for hours. At the same time she had very big withdrawals in which, in her own language of hissing she demanded to be left alone.
It took 5 months of close and intensive work including a few nights spent sleeping next to the cage to be finely taken out of her cage and to be walked in the park.
The cat that was so aggressive and used to attack anyone coming close to her is now spending the whole day walking around in the jungle.
After almost 6 years she is finding out that nature doesn't necessarily has bars in front of it and can be something you can feel as well as see. Although her very harsh past it can honestly be said that Boudecia's future in Inti Wara Yassi is looking much better.
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