We finally did it! After months of fundraising and outreach, we were finally able to purchase our own x-ray machine! Thanks to all of our supporters who donated money for this cause. We will now be able to diagnose our patients more rapidly and reduce the stress and suffering involved in driving them to get x-rayed.
Below are a few photos of our new x-ray machine set up!
We are still caring for a number of squirrel monkeys. We currently have nine squirrel monkeys from the two different species; the black-crowned (Saimiri oerstedii oerstedii) and grey-crowned squirrel monkey (Saimiri oerstedii citrinellus). Although at a glance they look similar, there are quite a few differences between the two subspecies. The most notable difference is that the limbs and underparts of the black-crowned squirrel monkey are much more yellowish than the grey sub-species. Additionally, the “cap” of the black-crowned squirrel monkey is darker in color than the grey-crowned. Below are the pictures we have taken of the two species, where you can see the differences.
We have introduced four of the monkeys together and are currently caring for them in one of our rehab enclosures. Our aim is to release the mini troop back into the wild in the hopes that they will remain together and expand their troop once they are back in their natural habitat. Two of the squirrel monkeys arrived at the sanctuary after suffering electrical shocks from un-insulated power lines, one was an orphan; abandoned by its mother and troop, and the last was confiscated from the illegal pet trade. The four of them are still young and have not yet reached their adult size. Below are a few photos of the four, black-crowned squirrel monkeys. These primates are incredibly agile and quick, so taking photos of all four of them together was impossible!
A chestnut-mandibled toucan was brought to our clinic due to an issue in its wing. The toucan is currently under intensive care as we assess the cause of its injury. It cannot fly and is also suffering from corneal damage in its left eye.
We have received a very young variegated squirrel which was attacked by dogs. The squirrel was kept under care by the person who rescued him and brought to our sanctuary after some time. The little guy is healthy and eating well. Check-ups have shown no physiological damage from the incident.
We also received another orphaned, baby two-toed sloth. This young female is just a few months old and suffering from a number of issues affecting her lungs. Since she is so small and fragile, she is being kept in an incubator for the most part and must be nebulized regularly. This is done in order to administer antibiotics directly into her lungs in the form of a mist, with the hopes to cure any infection she might have.
A university in Costa Rica had a breeding program for American crocodiles. The adults produced a number of offspring, one of which escaped. Shortly after the individual had escaped, the university decided to close down its program and transferred all of the remaining crocodiles to other institutions across the country. After some time, when completing routine maintenance on a water treatment pond nearby, workers found the crocodile who had obviously been living there for some time. Due to her being in captivity her entire life, she had no idea how to hunt for food which has resulted in her being very small for her age. Now that their program was closed down, there were no funds to feed the crocodile, and we were asked to receive it. We have now been caring for this female for a few weeks (pictured in the cover photo). Despite her small size, she is already over 6 years old. Come and see the new addition to our sanctuary on of our regular tours!
We currently have two white-faced monkeys in our clinic. Both males are under intensive care, one suffered an electric shock from a power line near Chaman, Uvita and the other was hit by a car. The prospects for both of them look good and we hope to release them separately once they are fit for life back in the wild.
This is not the first one!
An interesting fact is that the monkey which we rescued from Chaman was picked up from the exact same location where, last month, we were called to rescue another white-face monkey from. This male was also shocked by the electricity line and suffered damage to his face from the fall. We plan to reach out and collaborate with ICE (El Instituto Costarricense de Electricidad), Costa Rica´s electrical company, in order to cut down nearby trees so that animals will not be tempted to cross the wires or to possibly insulate the lines in the immediate area. The male which we rescued a few weeks earlier recovered and thankfully got released (pictured below), however, it is shocking that we have had to pick up another patient, from the exact same location, just a few weeks apart.
The fiery billed Aracari mentioned in last month´s newsletter has been moved to one of our rehab enclosures. The wing is healing but it is still not able to fly as well as we would like it to. In order for us to consider the animal for release, we must be extremely confident that, if the occasion arises, it can evade prey and find food in order to survive.
Our amputee Roo is still here growing and getting used to life with a missing limb, as is the little coati Tabby, who we rescued a couple of months ago from the side of a road.
A few weeks ago, many of you might have heard about two scarlet macaws that were confiscated and brought to our rescue center. A truck was pulled over, and inside, two baby macaws, in terrible conditions were ceased. They were probably going to be sold in the black market. The birds were weak, dehydrated and malnourished. One of them had a broken tibia and the other, a broken femur. Both of them were suffering from bumblefoot; a common disease which affects birds in captivity who are forced to stand on their feet. Our vet team stabilized the parrots, administered fluids, painkillers and antibiotics. They operated on the one with a broken tibia and bandaged the one with the broken femur and put them on an adequate diet. After two weeks, the birds were stable, improving their health and recovering from the operation. Once we were certain that the birds were stable, SINAC (Sistema Nacional de Áreas de Conservación), together with our head vet, transferred the psittacines (pictured below) to a Scarlet Macaw recovery and breeding program in order to be integrated into a flock and be given the chance to be released back in to the wild!
Apart from the white-face monkey mentioned above, we have also released three pacas had been confiscated and brought to us this month. The large rodents were being kept and fed with the intent for slaughter once they would have been a suitable weight, and one of the three was also pregnant! Thankfully they were not habituated to humans, and after monitoring them for a few days, we released them soon after (pictured below)
We have begun our educational visits for this scholastic semester. Over the next few weeks, our education coordinator will be visiting 36 different schools, starting in Dominicalito and going all the way to San Isidro! The theme of these educational workshops focuses on the problems which Costa Rica´s wildlife are facing. We hope that by educating our new generation, we will be able to reduce the impacts which are affecting the wildlife which we all live so close to.