The following is an extract taken from an interview conducted by Zoo Peru member, Owen Gregory
with Gudrund Sperrer, owner and founder of Pilpintuwasi and The Amazon Animal Orphanage.
Gudrund Sperrer, is from Austria and has been in Iquitos since 1982.
Whilst you have been here what changes have you noticed in the environment?
There are much more people in Iquitos than there use to be. There is a lot of logging.
There is a lot of hunting and unfortunately also the last 10-15 years due to more tourism they (poachers) see tourist want to see more animals as its not so easy to see them in the wild.
Now there are more and more places where they (poachers) exhibit animals.
And that means they hunt animals for getting the babies.
Even if you pity an animal please dont buy it from a market.
How important do people think the environment is?
They have good laws in Peru to protect nature, on paper. But in reality people are poor in the jungle, they don’t have much and the mixture of need and ignorance is lethal for nature sometimes.
I think the future for the environment would be ecotourism.
Tourism will help people get more conscious of what (wildlife) they’ve got. Maybe they (locals) will be proud of it (environment) and take better care.