Parque Jacj Cuisi is CIWY’s third and most remote sanctuary. Its 300 hectares of pre-Andean Amazon Forest border the Madidi National Park, a reserve of 1.8 million hectares, and one of the most biodiverse reserves in the world. The sanctuary currently houses one puma, different species of monkeys and small mammals such as coatis and one tayra. We are building new facilities to house more animals in the future. Jacj Cuisi means “land of dreams” in Mosetén and Tacana, two native indigenous languages of the area.
Permanent staff manage the sanctuary with the help of volunteers from around the world, who stay for a minimum of one week.
Faced with the increase of vulnerable animals in need of rehabilitation, and the destruction of part of the territory at Parque Machía due to road construction, CIWY looked for new areas to continue growing and developing its important work.
In 2009, thanks to the donations of volunteers through FIWY UK, we were able to buy a parcel of land on the outskirts of Rurrenabaque, which was an ideal place to continue our project. We remain grateful to Mr. Benigno Gómez, who was the owner of the land and the father of one of our veterinarians (“Verito”), for selling us the land at a third of its value.
Little by little we have been getting the necessary resources to build different facilities at Jacj Cuisi. So far, we have built a veterinary clinic, several large enclosures, and facilities for employees and volunteers. The sanctuary utilizes an ecological garden, a composting system and a clay oven. Due to the important ecological value of Jacj Cuisi’s location, we try to especially minimise our impact on the ecosystem.
Currently there are two pumas, the spider monkey group, the albifron group and the squirrel monkey group living at Jacj Cuisi. We plan to accept more animals once we complete the construction of necessary infrastructure.
Several management systems have been developed in order to provide an optimum quality of life for each individual according to its needs. Protocols have also been created to ensure the safety of personnel and animals. The management systems are as follows:
We aim to provide the animals in our care with the most natural life possible – supervised jungle walks provide an incredible form of freedom and enrichment not possible in their enclosures. This system is adapted to the needs of each species, as well as to the circumstance of each individual.
Each individual animal approved for this system has its own designated swath of jungle, in addition to its enclosure. Staff members or trained volunteers “walk” an individual animal for up to 6 hours a day. They receive great exercise, comparable to their activity levels in the wild. Some are even able to swim in rivers or lagoons during their jungle walks. Although these animals live in large enclosures in the middle of the jungle and are provided with daily environmental enrichment, nothing compares to the experience of leaving the enclosure and exploring the trails of their territory. This allows them to develop natural behaviours of exploration, sight other wild animals, access natural sources of water and food, and stimulate their five senses.
The jungle walks would not be possible without appropriate systems in place to ensure the safety both of the animals and the humans involved. Staff and volunteers undergo extensive training and the system is always carried out under strict management and safety protocols.
For safety reasons, some animals are not permitted to leave their enclosures. We place special emphasis on the varied environmental enrichment of these animals, encouraging natural behaviours and exercise within the enclosure.
Comunidad Inti Wara Yassi (CIWY) is a Bolivian Non-Governmental Organisation engaged in protecting wildlife rescued from illegal trafficking and the conservation of ecosystems. Across its three wildlife sanctuaries, CIWY has cared for thousands of animals over the years, providing for them a better quality of life and a future in their natural habitat. CIWY has been in operation since 1992 and is today recognised internationally for its work in wildlife care and rehabilitation.
Part of the extended CIWY family are Friends of Inti Wara Yassi UK and Friends of Inti Wara Yassi Australia, two international nonprofits founded and run by former volunteers to facilitate fundraising and permit tax-deductible donations for British and Australian taxpayers.