Meet the Animals

Meet some of the animals cared for at our Wildlife Sanctuaries. Discover their stories and why they needed our help.

If you would like to sponsor one of our rescued animals, take at look at our Feed Me pages.

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Species: Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus)
Location: Machía
Arrival: 2008

Spectacled bear

Photo:Colm Moore

Balu was still a young cub when he was captured by hunters who had killed his mother and who were hoping to make some money from them both. The poachers were trying to sell him to a circus when he was confiscated in coordination with law enforcement authorities. He was taken to Wildlife Sanctuary Machía where he received the necessary care and space to live a healthy life.

Balu continues to live at Machía to this day, where he has become one of the Centre’s most loved and characteristic residents. Despite now being an adult, he is still very patient and enjoys spending time with his volunteers and in his environment. Balu is a large animal; he weighs more than 120 kg and needs a special diet to keep him healthy. His diet does not come cheap, therefore a contribution towards the costs of his food would be a great help for the organisation.


Species: Puma (Puma concolor)
Arrival: 2015
Location: Machía


Photo: Colm Moore

Marley is a puma (Puma concolor), another victim of the illegal wildlife trade. She had been purchased in a local market in Cochabamba by a family that had wanted her as a pet. Soon after they brought her home, she started to display some very serious health problems. She was extremely weak, and was experiencing intermittent seizures. They were unable to improve her health, so they brought her to CIWY. Marley arrived to Wildlife Sanctuary Machia when she was just two months old. Here she received the correct diet, which helped to improve her health very quickly, and in a short amount of time she appeared to be happy and healthy.

Marley now lives in a large multi-level enclosure deep in the jungle. She loves her daily walks with her volunteers, where she can explore the ever-changing sights and smells of the jungle. She is a very intelligent puma, with beautiful eyes.


Species: Capuchin monkey (Sapajus apella)
Location: Machía
Arrival: 2010


Pepa used to be kept as a family pet in Cochabamba, yet when she started to become difficult to manage the family decided to hand her over to CIWY. This is a very common story and tends to be a recurring theme among our capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella), since even at a young age they can be aggressive and very destructive.

Sometime later the family came back to Machía asking if we could give Pepa back to them as they were missing her and did not want to buy another monkey. We had previously explained to them to the issues with keeping a wild animal as a pet: not only the fact that it is illegal, but also the harm that it can cause the animal and the risk that it can pose to the family members, especially to children. However unfortunately they did not want to understand. It’s inevitable to think of what might have happened to Pepa if she had continued in this situation; instead of trees and other monkeys to play with, she would have been treated as a toy until a serious accident occurred.

Nowadays Pepa lives at Machía, in one of the areas dedicated to capuchin monkeys (Sapajus apella). She is very sociable and is often regarded as one of the volunteers’ favourite animals. She always surprises them with her intelligence and ability to problem-solve, but also with the limits that she sets – reminding them that she is still a wild animal, especially when they try to take something away from her or when she thinks that one of her group members is being threatened.


Species: Red-and-green macaw (Ara chloroptera)
Location: Machía

Photo: Claudie Ruel

Watson was purchased from the black market by a family in La Paz. However it wasn’t long before the family realized the mistake they had made by purchasing a wild animal. Watson has a very powerful beak and loved to use it on the family’s furniture. Unfortunately for the family, this often led to Watson destroying their furniture.

The family decided to give Watson up and brought him to Parque Machía. When he arrived, the vets observed that one of his wings was so badly fractured that he would never be able to fly again. While this news was sad, Watson seemed stable and happy in his new home. We were overjoyed to see Watson find companionship from another macaw named Rosa. Today they spend most of their time together, and if anyone tries to get close to Watson, Rosa becomes jealous and fights them off.

Despite the fact that he cannot fly, Watson is let out of his cage during the day and can roam around the aviary as he desires.


Species: Puma (Puma concolor)
Born: 2003
Location: Jacj Cuisi


Sonko was raised by a family in Santa Cruz until he became too large for them to handle him. They decided to hand him over to CIWY in March 2004, when he was just six months old. His name upon arrival was Leoncio, but since another puma already had this name, volunteers decided to call him Sonko, which means ‘heart' in Quechua.

Sonko and another puma Roy used to share trails at Parque Machía, which highlighted their differences. While Roy was known as ‘The Running Machine,’ Sonko was known as ‘The Lazy One.’ However in more recent years Sonko has become increasingly active thanks to some excellent volunteers.

In June 2013 transfered Sonko from Parque Machia to Parque Jacj Cuisi. We took this decision because in the previous couple of years we had noticed that his trails were being disturbed due to their close proximity to the park’s boundaries. Moreover we would be able to offer him a larger enclosure in our newest centre. Sonko was flown to Jacj Cuisi and moved into his new enclosure measuring 20m x 20m, 12.5 bigger than his previous one. Sonko adapted very well to his new home; these days he is looking very trim and healthy. He is well-behaved and very affectionate.

Feed Sonko


Species: Paraba azul amarilla (Ara ararauna)

Arrival: 2010

Location: Machía

Foto: Claudie Ruel 

You will recognize Monchito as soon as you enter to the Aviary of Machia.

He is a blue and yellow macaw that has his right wing fractured as his captors broke it so that he could not fly anymore. But this does not stop him from moving around the area vivaciously, looking for volunteers to receive his daily dose of pampering. He is very sociable, although a little jealous bird.

When a camera enters the aviary he is the center of attention, he loves to pose and Monchito is the most photogenic macaw you will ever find.


Species: Tejon (Nasua nasua)
Arrival: 2012
Location: Machía

Photo: Michael Van Beek

Luchito is a tejon who was abandoned at the entrance of Parque Machia inside a box of cookies. He arrived as a baby and we do not know anything else about his origin.

Today, Luchito is a beautiful coati who spends his days with his inseparable friend Rosilio, since their arrival they lived together and they are very used to each other's company.

Luchito despite having the smallest size of the group of badgers and also having shorter legs, which gives it a sometimes funny look, he is still skillful to climb trees without any problem; Many times he has gotten into trouble because he is so smart that he knows how to open the security door of the kitchen, in order to steal food.

If Luchito has a great motivation in his life, it is food. This little fellow would do everything to get what he wants to eat every second of his day.


Species: Ocelote (Leopardus pardalis)

Location: Ambue Ari
Arrival: 2014


Photo: Katie Spencer

Kevo was kept as a pet by a family and when he was rescued, he arrived very unhealthy and needed to be put on a strict diet.

He had been taken from his mother at a very young age and sadly sold on the black market as a baby. Once rescued, he was taken out of his enclosure and became accustomed to walking with volunteers very quickly.

He is extremely happy to be with volunteers and loves climbing trees and chasing wild smaller animals that cross his path on his trails.

Kevo is a very happy Ocelot, who has recently just been cut a new trail so he gets to walk much longer which is great for his health.


Species: Tapir (Tapirus terrestris)
Location: Ambue Ari

Arrival: 2017


Titus was found wandering the streets of Villa Tunari. He had been kept in a hotel since he was a baby as a tourist attraction.

He now lives happily, away from the stress of cameras and multitudes of people, in a large enclosure that includes his very own lagoona in Ambue Ari.

He loves searching through his enclosure for fresh leaves and spending the hottest part of the day swimming in his lagoona.


Species: Jaguar (Panthera onca)
Arrival: 2007
Location: Ambue Ari


Photo: Ollie Barlett

Sadly, Katie's mother was murdered because people believed she was killing cattle. Katie was found and received as a pet by the same family that hunted her mother.

After realizing that they could not afford to feed her, since the costs to maintain a healthy jaguar are very high, they contacted CIWY for help.

Katie now lives in a much more natural conditions and she likes to spend time with her volunteers, she goes on long walks and she is very curious about what she has around her jungle.

Feed me

If you would like to sponsor one of our rescued animals, take at look at our Feed Me pages.

Feed me


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Our Partners

Friends of Inti Wara Yassi (FIWY) is our sister organization in the UK. They have been a major source of support since their founding in 2008. Find out more about FIWY here.

Quest Overseas organizes gap year trips for British and international students. Since 2001, Quest has worked with CIWY to bring much needed volunteers and funds. If you are interested in the programs they have with us, find out more here.

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