Beginning and Construction Period
Shortly after their arrival in Iporanga in 2011, local authorities and the population brought to the new veterinarians from Switzerland injured wild animals that they had found, had captured from poachers or had freed from traps. At first, the vets cured the animals at their homes, turning their garden and house into an animal sanctuary. Cages were set up everywhere and animals in need of protection were step by step prepared for their release into the Atlantic rain-forest. But soon, this kind of private help proved to be insufficient. The two veterinarians thus founded a Brazilian aid organization, the “Associação Celine” (named after their first saved wild animal), to pursue the establishment of a professional rehabilitation and release center for injured and poached animals.
The conservation project
To meet the growing demand and secure funding from Swiss and Brazilian wildlife and animal welfare organizations, and thanks to the generosity of a Brazilian friend who provided land in Reserva Betary to the two veterinarians free of charge, an efficient wildlife care and release center was built in 2015-2018. Today, the daily work is done by the Brazilian staff and volunteers, primarily a wildlife biologist, a local veterinarian, and other support staff. The opportunities presented are very welcome in an area with high unemployment. The founders and promoters of the center, the two Swiss veterinarians, have since returned to Switzerland. However, they continue to monitor the aid project from Switzerland and ensure the smooth running in Brazil through frequent visits (at their own expense) as well as through internet communication channels.
With heavy equipment through the jungle
First bricks are laid
Inauguration in July 2018