The Bat boat

In the last week of May, Panthera Sanctuary faced a setback. On a Monday morning following a storm, both of our boats disappeared. It remains unclear as to how this occurred but the fact remained that they were no longer in our possession. Since the sanctuary is located only 35 kilometers from the Bolivian border, we decided to rent a water taxi to take us to the border control. During this time another storm had hit. As we finally arrived in the pouring rain to the border control along the Madre de Dios river, the guards gave us the bad news that no boats with our description had made it to the border. One thing was clear: we were probably never going to see our boats ever again.
Fortunately, we were able to put together some resources and purchase a small but sturdy fiberglass boat. While it may not be a large fancy tourist boat, it seats up to eight individuals and has proven to be more durable than our previous wooden and aluminum boat. Hand-made right in town, the bland boat along with its second-hand outboard motor made its way back downriver to the sanctuary. While the boat was purchased due to an unfortunate event, it gave our volunteers currently at Panthera the opportunity to paint and personalize the characterless boat. One volunteer was an art teacher and led the way in design and painted letters. In addition to the paint job, a small varnished floor of wooden planks was also constructed.  After everything was done, we had ourselves a spiffy little speedboat! While this new boat will suffice for now, we hope to be able to purchase another boat in the future.

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