Trick or Treat?


Our interns have been working hard on their projects whilst still giving the best care to the animals in our center. They have made wonderful enrichment and improvements to enclosures, all the while learning about wildlife care and rehabilitation.

In order to break up the daily routine here at the sanctuary, this month we organized a field trip for our interns to visit a sea turtle research project in Osa, Playa Blanca (pictured below). Latin American Sea Turtles (L.A.S.T) association was created to collect biometric data on wild-caught sea turtles in order to gain insight into population structure, genetic origin, and health status. Our interns spent the day with their biologists learning about the work L.A.S.T are doing and gaining practical experience with sea turtles.

interns on boatOur interns together with the L.A.S.T team waiting for a sea turtle to approach

bringing in sea turtle onto beachBringing the turtle in for biometric data recording

We have started a new fundraising campaign! Our goal is to replace our old, and energy inefficient fridges with one, large fridge and freezer to store all products for our animals. Click the link below to learn more about how you can contribute to our Fresh Food for Wildlife campaign

Donate Here


This month we rescued a green iguana (Iguana iguana) (pictured below) that was hit by a car and unfortunately dragged down the road. Road accidents are a common reason why we receive animals and we encourage everyone, everywhere, to always drive with caution. Although the accident caused the loss of one toe, the iguana will survive. We are monitoring her to ensure that her scrapes do not get infected but we have high hopes for a release.

the green iguanaThe green iguana

MINAE (Ministry of Environment, Energy and Telecommunications) brought a confiscated chestnut mandibled toucan (Ramphastos swainsonii) (pictured below) to us last week. It was being kept in a cage inside of a house. Overall, the bird is healthy, so together with our biologist, we are observing its behaviors and feeding habits to determine if it is releasable or not.

chestnut mandibiled toucanOne of our most recent arrivals, a Chestnut-mandibiled toucan

Baby animals are extremely cute but always present a challenge. They need a specific diet, whether it is particular milk or a modified diet, to ensure they get the nutrients needed to grow strong.  It is also very important when we are raising young animals to adhere to strict protocols to prevent them from imprinting on humans. When this happens, they could potentially be in danger after release because they may search for humans for food. This is why we must evaluate their behaviors before release and ensure they are not attached to us. This month our nursery has welcomed a baby anteater and a baby agouti.

The agouti (Dasyprocta punctata) (pictured below) was found alone and brought to us by MINAE. He started out in our nursery but was eating well and old enough to be upgraded to a larger enclosure shortly after arriving. In this enclosure, there is much more natural ground for him to practice instinctual behaviors such as digging and burrowing.

tiniest agoutiThe tiniest agouti!

The anteater (Tamandua mexicana) (pictured below) we received this month was approximately one week old upon arrival. Fortunately for us, and the interns here, he is eating well independently and no longer needs to be fed by syringe (which was very time consuming). These babies would remain with their mother for up to a year, and therefore this young mammal will spend quite some time here with us before he can be released. Your continued support will help us to keep caring for this juvenile, and any other young animal we receive.

baby tamanduaThe tamandua is still so young that he needs to be kept in an incubator for the time being

Another iguana (Iguana iguana) that was hit by a car was rescued by one of our local volunteers and brought to us last week. Unfortunately, this one had more severe injuries than the other and x-rays showed a fracture in the right tibia. In addition to this, the reptile is suffering from scrapes all over its body. It will remain under intensive care for a while.


The juvenile kinkajou (Potus flavus) we have been raising is growing well and also displaying natural behaviors, which gives us hope that he can be released soon.

The young woolly opossum (Caluromys derbianus) is still here and growing. It will be evaluated over the coming weeks to see the behavior and hopefully, in the next month, she will have a successful release.

We have begun introducing a Yellow-naped amazon parrot (Amazona auropalliata) (pictured below) to one of our resident Amazons. This bird was recently confiscated from the pet trade and will therefore not be releasable. Yellow-naped amazon parrots are considered endangered and are commonly taken from the wild to be sold as pets.

yellow naped amazon parrotYellow-naped Amazon Parrot

For the past two and a half weeks we have welcomed a course through the University of Madrid. Three students have come with a veterinarian to teach them about a variety of subjects regarding wildlife medicine and rehabilitation. This course is planned twice a year and an English version will be available next year.

our interns and the three studentsOur interns and the three students from the Spanish course practicing how to use a VHF radio tracker.


An interesting animal you have probably never heard of is a mouse opossum (Marmosa Mexicana). They are extremely small, just like mice, but are indeed opossums. This month, we received an adult mouse opossum which was rescued from a cat’s mouth! The marsupial was a bit shaken up but otherwise healthy and we were able to observe it for a day to ensure there was nothing neurologically wrong, before releasing it. These are the exciting intakes because we know we can get the animals back into the wild right away!

We got a call about a magnificent frigate bird (Fregata magnificens) that was distressed on the beach in Dominical. The bird was treated for pneumonia, and after a few weeks of a healthy diet and the correct medication, it was released. We also ended the month by releasing one of the raccoons (Procyon cancrivorus) which we have been raising.

Last month we rescued a howler monkey (Alouatta palliata)  that was attacked by another male. This month we released him! In the wild, it is common that adult male monkeys will attempt to kill off males from other gene pools, and this is what we assume happened here. The male that was in our care was young and therefore, an easy target for another, larger male. Although the primate fell to the ground and had a few superficial wounds, he recovered quickly.

October 2020