'Leaping' in to February Newsletter!


This month we have made lots of new developments in our sanctuary – visit us and you wouldn’t even recognize it! New enclosures, developed spaces and never before seen animals on our sanctuary!


Some more illegal pets have been confiscated this month, with a parakeet and a dove both joining our rehabilitation center after being kept as illegal pets. Their behaviors will be monitored during their quarantine period to see if they could still be released.

Another frequent rescue for us was a couple of baby common opossums who were found alone. As we have spoken about before, sometimes baby opossums are left in safe spaces by their mother while she goes to collect food so it is always best to monitor them before trying to rescue them as the mother will often come back for them. These two babies will be released once they reach their target weight!

We have also received several baby squirrels over the course of the last month. Some had fallen from nests and were too young to fend from themselves and a couple was raised by humans and therefore confiscated by MINAE. We still have a few too young to be released and are being fed round the clock in our nursery, another is in our rehabilitation area, and we have two more who are in our pre-release enclosures and almost ready to be released back into the wild! In the last few weeks, it has been quite clear that ‘baby season’ is upon us.

Not only have we received squirrel kittens, but we have also received 2 two-toed baby sloths, a baby three-toed sloth, two anteater pups and a clutch of parrot chicks!

two toed slothsOne of the two-toed sloths we have recently rescued. 

Our sloths were abandoned by their mothers and found by themselves on the ground; one just a few hours old, and another which was a possible victim of electrocution. One of our anteaters came in missing an eye and was treated for infection, we are still unsure of how he lost his eye and if this could be a potential cause for abandonment and our second was found alone but otherwise seemed healthy. All are either in our nursery or in our baby garden being cared for by our dedicated team of staff and interns.

anteatersThree of the anteaters soaking up some vitamin D and playing with one another in our baby garden

The species of our three parrot chicks are yet to be identified – they have so few feathers that we won’t be able to identify them until their adult feathers start growing through. They are eating incredibly well, and are very vocal which is always a good sign (much to the annoyance of our other nursery residents). They were found after the tree in which their nest was in was burned down. Their nest was recovered and they were brought straight to our sanctuary where they could be tended to by our vet staff. Luckily they did not suffer any major injuries.

three parrot chicksA blurry image of the three parrot chicks

You, too, can help raise these orphans! If you are interested in volunteering, we consider volunteers who can commit to a minimum of 3 weeks for baby feedings.

In our clinic, at the moment we have a magnificent frigatebird (Fregata magnificens) who was found on the ground in front of a hotel in the south of Costa Rica. After our vet team took a look at her, it was evident that she was very weak and couldn’t stand up on her own. After just a few days on antibiotics, the difference was incredible; you could see her regaining her strength more and more every day so we have high hopes we will be able to release her soon.

We have a tropical screech owl (Megascops choliba) which was brought to us after he, too, was found on the ground. Our vets completed x-rays which showed he was suffering from a head trauma which is quite common in this species after they have flown into an obstacle. We are waiting for him to fully recover and allowing him to regain his strength before we can release him back into his natural habitat.

Back to the jungle!

Last month a baby crane hawk (Geranospiza caerulescens) was brought to us after being found alone on the ground in Sierpe. We developed a system that allowed him to learn to hunt freely in the wild as with raptors so young it is important they are given the opportunity to learn the same skills they would do if they were still with their parents. With this system in place, we were able to observe him hunting and learning to fly and so we were confident when it was time to release him.

Crane HawkOur veterinarian, Dr. Sandy releasing the Crane Hawk after a successful hunt and flight tests

A pet raccoon was confiscated and arrived at our sanctuary to complete his quarantine – raccoons (and most animals) can harbor many different diseases, therefore, it is important they all complete a quarantine period before they can be released in the jungle or introduced to other animals. The raccoon stayed with us for 40 days in which time we were able to feed him more natural foods and encourage more natural behaviors. After his quarantine period, it was clear he was still very wild despite his stint as a pet, so our biologists were able to confirm him as a candidate for release.

We were able to release two more common opossums (Didelphis marsupialis) back to the jungle after they were found alone, too. After countless night feedings and observations, they reached their target weight and off they went!


The two juvenile ocelots (Leopardus pardalis) we received as cubs are now in our large cat enclosure ready for the next stage of their rehabilitation! They are very active so you can sometimes see them exploring their new enclosure on one of the tours (please note; we are not able to take visitors to the enclosure however you can view it from a ‘lookout’ point in our sanctuary). They have grown so much and are responding well to their new environment, showing off their climbing skills and jumping from tree to tree! We are still so happy with this enclosure we were able to build with the help of all of your generous donations – it truly is perfect for these cats to help them thrive before being released back into the jungle where they belong. Every day we are grateful for the opportunity to help these animals, and we couldn’t do it without the support of our followers, visitors, and volunteers!

Tabby has sadly left us to be with a band of coati (Nasua narica) in another rescue center in Costa Rica. As a female coati, she would naturally stay with her natal group where there can be up to 30 individuals all travelling, eating, and interacting together. We hated to see her by herself so we knew it was the best thing for her! After spending several months in our sanctuary while we waited for another sanctuary to prepare for her arrival, she became a firm favorite on our tours and amongst our staff and volunteers, but we cannot wait to see what she gets up to in her new home!

If you were all excited about our aracari enclosure then get ready because we just did it again! We were able to join and expand 3 of our smallest enclosures to make another large enclosure that we have been able to transfer our amputee howler monkey (Alouatta palliatta) in to. Roo was attacked by capuchins and suffered a bad fracture to her knee at a young age. She was found by herself, badly injured, with her troop nowhere to be seen. Our vets attempted surgery to fix the fracture however her young bones were too soft and the surgery was unsuccessful, leaving us with no other choice than to amputate her leg. After just a few hours she was climbing around and hungry for her food, showing no signs of distress or even that she realized she was missing a limb! Now, she climbs exceptionally well and moves through her enclosure with ease; come and see for yourself on one of our tours!

Howler MonkeyHowler Monkey 'Roo' in her brand new enclosure!

Howler Monkey 2Up high! This enclosure allows her to climb way up top, simulating her natural behavior

We also have two new additions to our birds, as well! We were able to move our small parrot species to be introduced to each other meaning our Brown-hooded parrot (Pyrilia haematotis) and orange-chinned parakeet (Brotogeris jugularis) is now housed with two white-crowned parrots (Pionus senilis) in our sanctuary enclosure!

white crowned parrotOne of the two white-crowned parrots

orange chinned parakeetThe orange-chinned parakeet

brown hooded parrotThe brown-hooded parrot

February 2020 News