10 Owls in One Month

tabby the coatimundis

Welcome to this month´s newsletter! Continue reading to find out what the Alturas team have been up to!


This month we have received a staggering amount of owls. We are currently caring for 10 different owls, the majority of which arrived as juveniles after being found on the ground. When young owls are learning to fly it is not uncommon for them to tire and land on the ground. As long as there are no predators nearby (i.e. domestic cats, dogs), it is usually best to leave them to make their way back to their nests. Bringing them to a sanctuary means that you are taking them away from their parents.

A squirrel was attacked by a domestic cat and we were called to rescue it after the people who found it were not sure if it would survive. Thankfully, the wounds were superficial, and apart from some scratches on its ear and face, there were no internal injuries. After some antibiotics were administered, the squirrel was released.

A young white-tailed deer was brought to us by the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energia (MINAE) after it was found alone and unable to walk. After reviewing the x-rays, our veterinary team determined that it had a broken tibia. Dr. Kathy Wander, an orthopedic veterinary surgeon, came to the rescue again and
performed the surgery. The procedure went great and the fawn is recovering well. This week her cast was removed and she is undergoing daily physiotherapy and learning how to use her hind leg again.

deer finishing off surgery the cast placed around the deers hind legFinishing off surgery; the cast placed around the deer´s hind leg

baby deer a few weeks after surgery her cast was removedJust a few weeks after surgery her cast was removed. She is now undergoing physiotherapy to learn how to use her leg again

A local resident brought in an adult toucan after assuming that it was bitten by a venomous snake. Our veterinary team could find no signs of envenomation or any other injury and are unsure as to why the toucan was not flying. We are keeping it under our care and will soon carry out another flight test.

Two howler monkeys have been rescued. A juvenile female was brought from Quepos after sustaining injuries in her jaw and knee, most likely from a fall. Dr. Kathy Wander operated on the juvenile and she is currently being held under intensive care until her limb heals and she is able to climb again.

The juvenile female Howler monkey upon arrivalThe juvenile female Howler monkey upon arrival

The adult howler was hit by a car. As is very common with howlers, keeping them in captivity, away from their troop causes them to fall into a depression. The howler was reluctant to eat, although she was moving around well. Once she had completed her medication, we released her, in the hope that she will be reunited with her troop shortly.

The Howler monkey upon releaseThe Howler monkey upon release


The male sloth which underwent surgery last month after sustaining a fractured femur is recovering well. Plans for his release are underway.

sloth his hair on the arm that was operated on is slowly growing backAs you can see his hair on the arm that was operated on is slowly growing back

The little coati that was found on the side of the road is doing well! Tabby, as we named her, is a rambunctious ball of energy. Although still being bottle fed, Tabby has begun eating some solid food.

tabby the coatimundis 1 thumbTabby soaking up some sun and fresh air!

Silver, one of our juvenile Tamanduas has been moved to a pre-release enclosure in preparation for his release. Silver was rescued when he was just a couple of weeks old, found abandoned. From his first moments here, his fierceness and natural tamandua-instincts ensured us that he would be a suitable candidate for a life back in the wild. Up until now, he has been living in one of our rehab enclosures, as he was being fed round the clock. Now that he is older (and much larger), he needs to learn how to be more independent. We are hoping to raise enough funds to buy a GPS chip so that we can track his movements once released. Tamanduas are the third most common animal to be killed in road traffic accidents (after the common opossum and iguanas), and we would therefore like to keep track of him in the wild for the first few months. If you are interested in donating to this cause, please click here.

Both Aurora and Harriot, two young, female, two-toed sloths are growing up! Both of these females have begun eating solid food but are still being bottle fed throughout the night. Two-toed sloth babies will remain with their mothers until they are one to two years old, and therefore until then, they cannot be released.

Harriot the sloth having an afternoon napHarriot, having an afternoon nap


The porcupine which got hit by a car and lost a tooth was released by MINAE. Additionally, we have released two of the squirrels which we were raising as well as the milvago hawk mentioned a few months ago.

Owlivia, one of the juvenile owls which we have been raising has been released. Just like with the majority of the owls we received, people mistook her being on the ground as a sign of injury and brought her to us hoping we could help. Once she reached an age where she would naturally be independent in the wild, we released her!

Mani, the adult, male tamandua has also been released after a long stint at recovery. Mani showed us that he was ready to be wild again after all his wounds healed up and he put on weight. This tamandua was rescued a couple of months ago after he was found on the ground, weak and covered in open sores and lacerations. He has come a long way since his arrival, and we were so happy to see him in the wild again!

Mani the adult male tamanduaOn a mission to find food!

May 2019 News