GHFS jun2008 25prc

PRESS RELEASE

Paramaribo, 2 February 2014

4th SLOTH AWARD TO VETERINARIAN AUDREY STEENLAND-SMIT

Paramaribo – Green Heritage Fund Suriname (GHFS) has awarded the Sloth Award for the fourth time. The Award was given for the first time in 2010 to Hester Jonkhout for her contribution to the short documentary film "I love Loesje", and in 2011 to Dr. Leontine Issa-Bansse for her voluntary work for ill or wounded sloths and anteaters. The Sloth Award 2012 went to game warden Rabin Nekrui for his hard work during the sloth rescue in 2012. The Award was given at a volunteer day at Colakreek, where the foundation yet this year will open its Xenarthra (sloths, anteaters and armadillos) rehabilitation centre.

2014-02-02 Steenland-Smit 

Dr. Audrey Steenland-Smit shows her Sloth Award that she just received.

Green Heritage Fund Suriname has been working for eight years in the care of sloths. These animals are released when they are completely healthy in forest areas that are under less pressure from urbanization. In the work of a rehabilitation center, which is actually a kind of animal hospital, the help of expert vets is indispensable. Dr. Audrey Steenland-Smit has been engaged for several years in helping with the veterinary care of these animals and has also actively participated in the sloth rescue in 2012, and the 2nd International Sloth Meeting and Xenarthra Course in 2013, for which GHFS acted as host and co-organizer. In addition, Dr. Steenland-Smit also is the specialist for the foundation in performing necropsies on dolphins. This makes her contribution to the work of the foundation wider than just the Xenarthra program.

Volunteer work

Chairman Pool mentioned that it was not easy to make a choice this year as the foundation has many dedicated volunteers. She recalled briefly what the foundation had achieved in 2013 , including the Regional Meeting on a Marine Mammal Corridor for Northern South America, the 2nd International Sloth Meeting, the Xenarthra Course, the Masterclass in Marine Environmental Science, Oceans Weekend, and regular sloth rescues. She also mentioned what is on the agenda for 2014. The foundation activities will include a series of lectures in collaboration with WWF - Guianas, a marine mammal baseline study, a tour of a life-size (inflatable) whale around World Ocean with the objective of creating awareness about the marine environment, the "Dol Fijne Dag sponsored by Assuria and DSB, and of course the planned opening of the rehabilitation center at Colakreek. The work of the foundation would be impossible without volunteers like Steenland - Smit. She also mentioned that donations as made ​​by the Chinese Association Fa Tjauw Sjong Foei are essential to the work of the foundation, which is why the Chinese New Year for GHFS started very well.