The animals visiting the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary do not belong to us – they belong to the Costa Rican rainforest. However, while they are here, you can discover a lot about these amazing creatures. Learn about which new animals are arriving, how they got here, how their recovery process is going, and eventually feel the joy of knowing about their release back home to their natural environment. If you have visited the Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary and want to know about a special animal that has touched your heart, check this website for updates.
We would first like to start by thanking everyone for their support in getting through another year of animal emergencies and incredible animal releases. We have had the help of 160 volunteers, tended to 420 animals, and carried out 27 educational visits at schools, reaching out to almost 800 students. We could not do this without our visitors, ongoing supporters and generous donors. Not only that, but this month we celebrated our 5th birthday, and we can’t help but look back and see all of the amazing changes we have made to our sanctuary.
During rainy season we reduced our tours so we were providing just two per day however now the high season is creeping up on us we are back to our normal four per day! Come and see our wonderful animals; even if you have visited us before, come back and bring your friends because we have made so many incredible improvements recently, and have some new additions to our permanent residents that I am sure you would love to hear about. Finally, our tours are a major supporter of the work that we do here and we couldn’t continue our mission without the help of our visitors and long-term supporters. Looking forward to seeing you here!
October has been comparatively low to some of the crazy months we have had recently; we never know if this is because there are fewer people in the area to report wildlife casualties or if the rainy season means animals are venturing out less and less. Either way, this only means that we have more ‘free’ time to work on small projects to improve our sanctuary and further enhance the lives of some of our long-term residents and those currently in our care.
We have fixed the roofs for our squirrels and coati to ensure they are adequately protected from the rain, and we have been able to add more branches to our large parrot enclosure to give them more space to move and interact. Changing an animal’s environment is a simple form of enrichment that encourages them to utilize their whole enclosure and stimulates exploratory and inquisitive behaviors which we always love to see.
Many of you might not know that our sanctuary opened up four and a half years ago after a sanctuary further south in Costa Rica closed down. What is now Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary was constructed very quickly, in order to provide a house for those animals which were to be transferred from the closing sanctuary. Time was of the essence, and funds were limited, but now that we have been in operation for quite some time, we are working on trying to improve all our enclosures.
One of these projects was connecting two smaller enclosures into one, large enclosure for our aracaris and toucan (pictured below). Three of our sanctuary aracaris were hit by vehicles and have suffered traumatic injuries in their wings, preventing them from flying. The fourth aracari was confiscated from the pet trade, and cannot be released because it has been very habituated to humans. Raul, our toucan, had also arrived at the sanctuary after he was found on the ground, unable to fly. Raul was previously kept in another enclosure in our sanctuary. We moved him to the new, larger enclosure with the aracaris with the hope that he will benefit from more social interaction.
Do you want to help birds fly back into the wild? The final phase of rehabilitation is going into a pre-release area to prepare for freedom. The birds in our care desperately need this for their successful release.