January 2019 News

female Ocelot

Happy New Year to all our readers; we wish you all a prosperous year! We are optimistic that this year will bring another 365 days of successfully rescuing and rehabilitating animals and returning them to the wild!

We finally moved our female Ocelot (pictured above) into her new, AZA (Association of Zoos & Aquariums) and GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries)- approved enclosure. Thanks to all the support and donations we received over the past half a year, we managed to reach our half-way goal! The ocelot is now one step closer to being released and we couldn’t be happier. Thank you to everyone that has donated for this cause! We are still trying to collect more funds in order to construct the second enclosure, for our margay. If you wish to donate, please visit our gofund me page.

ocelot enclosure

ocelot enclosure 2

ocelot in enclosureThe new enclosure


We received another squirrel (the third one over the past two months) after she was found abandoned on the side of the road. We are hopeful that she will be released once she is independent and are therefore taking extra precautions in limiting any form of human contact.

A juvenile, male raccoon was confiscated and brought to us after MINAE (Ministry of the Environment and Energy) received reports of people keeping it as a pet. This raccoon is very habituated to humans and we are certain it is un-releasable.

We are currently keeping a hawk which was brought to us by SINAC (the National System of areas of Conservation) in Quepos. The hawk was found on the side of road and apparently couldn’t fly. Our vet discovered that it had a fracture in its humerus, and therefore performed surgery, placing a pin in the hope that it will repair. The hawk will now remain bandaged for a few more weeks, after which, it will undergo physical therapy, and hopefully be released.

In the span of two days, we received two different owl species. The first was a screech owl which suffered a head trauma. It was bleeding from its nose and hemorrhaging in both of its eyes. It is currently receiving medication for its bleeding.

A man from the Boruca indigenous community found a striped owl that seemed to be badly injured. He contacted a member of our staff and sent the owl with tourists which were coming to visit our sanctuary. The owl was suffering from damage in its carpus (a part of its wing), but X-rays showed that there was no fracture. We currently have it bandaged and on painkillers.


We received a lot of publicity after a female Howler monkey was hit by a car and brought to the sanctuary. The couple that witnessed the road traffic accident, thankfully took immediate action and brought her into the center. Emma arrived in a bad state, suffering from a head trauma, but no brain damage. After administering anti-inflammatories and pain killers, the bleeding stopped and swelling resided. Only after a couple of days under intensive care, she was released.

female Howler monkeyEmma the Howler monkey, a day before her release

We released a caracara which was receiving treatment at our sanctuary after suffering a trauma in its wing. Despite it not being a fracture, this trauma hindered its flight and was therefore kept for four weeks with a bandage. After this, it was moved to our rehab center and received physical therapy. After a successful flight test, the bird was released.

We have finally released the 5 common opossums which we were hand-raising since birth. Since opossums are nocturnal, we were required to keep feeding the young throughout the night, every couple of hours. It is always heartwarming to be able to release any wild animal which we have raised ourselves, and get the opportunity to see them escape into the wild, where they belong!

We had a brown booby for a very short stint at our rehab center, after it was found at a beach; weak and dehydrated. Our vet team de-wormed it just in case its issue was caused by parasites. After being fed a couple of times, the booby re-gained its strength and was released.

Our vet team had been caring for a boa constrictor for a couple of months. The boa was found with an infection in its mouth, hindering her ability to hunt in the wild. She was treated with antibiotics and pain killers, and her mouth was cleaned every two days for the first couple of weeks. We waited for the scar tissue to grow and for the wound to repair itself. Just last week, it was released.

boa constrictor in tree costa ricaThe release of the boa constrictor

The palm oil industry has a number of implications on the environment and its surrounding wildlife. Through the story of a porcupine we are rehabilitating, we present to you another issue which the industry brings. We have been rehabilitating this Mexican hairless porcupine for over a month after she was accidentally machete-d in a palm oil plantation. She arrived with a large laceration on her left side and is currently being treated for this. She was lucky, as she was brought into a rescue center and was released, however, not all animals get the same happy ending. Say ‘NO’ to products containing palm oil and choose alternatives, or buy those which contain sustainably farmed palm oil.

Mexican hairless porcupineThe adult porcupine