Roo Our Little Howler Monkey

Roo the Howler Monkey

Read on to get a glimpse into a month at a wildlife rescue and sanctuary and find out what it takes to keep one of the busiest rescue centres running!


A black-bellied whistling duck has been confiscated and brought to the sanctuary. It was kept as a pet and had its wings clipped, preventing it from flying.

A fiery-billed aracari was rescued after being hit by a car. It suffered a break in its shoulder. It is being kept under intensive care with its shoulder bandaged to restrain movement.

One of our volunteers saw a three-toed sloth falling from a tree at the sanctuary! Our vet team checked on the sloth and found that she was suffering from a respiratory infection. She was treated with antibiotics for about a week and once she became more active and showed no further signs of the infection, we released her back into the wild.

three toed slothThe release of the three-toed sloth

We are currently caring for three juvenile squirrel monkeys which are being kept all together. The three arrived within a few days of each other, but all with very different background stories. One was rejected from its troop and was suffering from mange, another was being hand raised at another institute and transferred here, and the third arrived with a story that was difficult for us to believe. We were told that it was found riding around on the back of a dog in the jungle. When it arrived, it was covered with fleas and ticks. Now all three are living together and it is our intent to release them all together once they are healthy and old enough.


Our little howler monkey, Roo, is developing well. A few weeks ago we had to make the tough decision to amputate her leg after noticing that antibiotics were not able to control the infection. Roo got attacked in the wild, most likely from a white faced monkey and suffered serious damage to her lip, leg and also lost a few teeth.  As she is juvenile, her young bones did not hold the pin which was placed in her leg, and additionally, the bite carried pathogens. Without fully functioning limbs, the little one will not be able to be released.

howler monkey named RooRoo, having an afternoon lie in the sun


The little White faced monkey who was mentioned last month has been transferred to another sanctuary. Isaac will be raised with con specifics (an animal belonging to the same species) in order to give him a better of chance of being released back into the wild. Raising orphans, especially mammals, is incredibly difficult. Without wanting to, any baby animal that has lost its mother will imprint on humans to a certain extent, and there are a lot of precautions we must take to reduce this. Imprinting reduces the animals´ chances of release. Whenever possible, and if necessary, we aim to raise any young with another individual from its species. It is when we do not have a minimum of two of the same kind of social animal that we will transfer them to another facility that does.

The juvenile aracari mentioned last month has now been transferred to our sanctuary. We are waiting for the bird to grow a little more, after which, we will introduce it to our other two sanctuary aracaris.


grey lined hawkOne of our veterinary interns releasing the grey-lined hawk

A couple of months ago we rescued a mouse opossum. We were called in to rescue the tiny marsupial after a resident found a domestic cat harassing it. It was very young upon arrival and was therefore kept in our nursery. Although still tiny in size, the opossum reached an independent age and was released.

male northern tamanduaThe release of Silver, a male northern tamandua

Silver, one of the tamanduas which we have been raising since December 2018 has been released! Silver was rescued after his mother was killed, and left him as an orphan. He was approximately 4 months old upon arrival. We released him last week, at a healthy weight of 3kg.

Educational Presentations

As part of our education program we have begun completing weekly lectures regarding husbandry and veterinary topics. So far we have covered welfare and wildlife enrichment, animal handling, reptiles, Costa Rica´s wildlife and animal training. Every week we go live on Facebook and show snippets of our presentations. Follow us there and stay tuned!

Educational Presentation 1 Educational Presentation 2

Educational Presentation 3 Educational Presentation 4

July 2019 News