10 01.566 N, 84 02.201 W, Toucan Rescue Ranch
This morning Leslie and Jorge of the Toucan Rescue Ranch gave us a tour of their facility. Most of the birds and animals need to be rescued due to the black market or deforestation or accidents. In Costa Rica it is illegal to have a Costa Rican wild animal or bird and recently the law is being more aggressively enforced. The officials conduct raids and road blocks inspecting vehicles looking for illegal animals. In one case, they found a baby sloth in the trunk of a car whose legs were damaged as it was taken from its mother. People who want to get into the drug trade will steal toucan chicks, raise them in small baskets and sell them on the black market to get enough money to buy drugs. Nests of toucans were recovered when a large tree was cut down without being properly inspected to see if there were nesting birds in the tree. Luckily the loggers saw the nests when they were cutting up the tree and took them to the authorities who brought them to the rescue ranch. In one case a toucanet was hit by a truck and the trucker dropped off the bird. Now the bird is recovering from its injured wing and they are hoping it may be released to the wild.
Leslie told us story after story, some with before and after pictures of the animals that she and Jorge have nursed back to health. Some injuries mean that the animal may be released into the wild if at all possible. For others the injuries or situation is such that they will stay indefinitely at the ranch. The toucanet is a potential success story. The baby sloth will recover from its injuries but may never be released as it does not have a mother to teach it life skills and it can not survive on its own in the wild.
Leslie feeding a baby sloth
We were able to see toucans pairs that Leslie is hoping will mate and produce offspring for later release. Other critters include two and three toed sloths, stinky porcupines, a spider monkey, a wild cat, several varieties of owls, hawks, scarlet macaws, love birds, and parrots
Ralph, the whistling duck, who followed us on the tour
Our visit was certainly enlightening. We appreciate the places that are helping to preserve the rain forest and habitats of these beautiful creatures. It also makes the cases where we were able to see the animals in the wild much more special.
If you would like to learn more about the Toucan Rescue Ranch, please go to their website, http://www.toucanrescueranch.com/
After our tour we drove back to Puntarenas and Windarra and the heat. It is definitely hotter here on the coast. We hope to be on our way soon.
Sent from SV Windarra iPad