Founded in 2003 by Marcelo Levy and Vicky Ossio, Senda Verde takes in animals that have been victims of illegal trafficking. They receive no funding from the Bolivian government, so they run an ecolodge where visitors can stay in amongst the animal enclosures and support their cause.
We were dropped off on the roadside, and then lead across a wooden bridge into dense jungle.
A great many volunteers underpin the operations of the refuge, most staying for 4 to 6 weeks. We stayed only one night here, but soon familiarised ourselves with the network of enclosures, one of which our cabin was situated within.
There is a healthy population of Howler and Spider monkeys at Senda Verde. Sadly none of them can be reintroduced into the wild due to their dependence on humans. Not only this, but they would face complications when trying to integrate into the existing wild community.
Every monkey that arrives at the refuge is hand cared for personally by Marcelo, who specialises in managing this crucial stage of the animal's rehabilitation.
A great many other species have been given a home here, including big populations of turtles and tortoises. They also have a male and female spectacle bear, who both had their own vast enclosures across a creek, hidden under the dense canopy.
We loved the surroundings and the cause that Senda Verde stands up for. The heartless brutality inflicted upon these animals in the name of a quick profit is difficult to come to terms with. A great experience despite the mosquito bites.