In memory of Arturo 'Ben' Ramos
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Arturo Ramos; also known as Ben among his family and friends. He died on Monday, March 8th at his home in Democracia. We miss him greatly but remember him with fondness.
Arturo has been our friend and man in the field since 2009. When we first met him, we knew he was someone with a special talent. Here was someone for whom the jungle presented no obstacle, just delight. Any point on a map we asked him to investigate he would reach, often soaked through, waist deep in mud, and covered in scratches, but always with a smile on his face and a story to tell about his latest adventure. He never complained and only spoke excitedly about all the natural wonders he had seen along the way. One hundred percent dedicated to his work; for Arturo, no challenge was too big.
Our field research could not have happened without Arturo: making networks of trails in otherwise impassable jungle, building camps out of bush materials, deploying camera traps to monitor wildlife, maintaining the boundary lines of the Labouring Creek Wildlife Sanctuary, helping with the safe live capture of a range of different mammals, maintaining and repairing field equipment, training and supervising countless students in the field, and making sure that they all returned safely and with a newly-found appreciation of the jungle and what it takes to be a true bush-man. He even sacrificed his well-known dreads while manoeuvring through an area of dense thorny bamboo; completing the job with pride and a smile, despite having lost most of his dread locks along the way. Arturo helped out on so many projects, with people from so many different parts of the world. His passing will bring sadness and fond memories from the most unexpected corners of the earth.
Arturo was an important member of the team who recently captured and collared jaguars and pumas in the Cockscomb Basin Wildlife Sanctuary for the first time since the 1980s. One of the captures was a large male jaguar in his prime, a true master of the jungle. In memory of Arturo, we have named this jaguar Ben. We will keep you updated how Ben the jaguar is doing and with this we will keep the spirit of Arturo alive. The photograph shows Ben and Ben together, two masters of the jungle.
Arturo, we will miss you, not only your invaluable knowledge of the jungle but also your friendship, humanity and kindness.
Photograph by Joares May Jr.
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