Thursday, September 30, 2010

Introducing Gandhi-Mottled Owl

We have 11 Owls living here with us. Each is unique and has an interesting story to tell. Our most recent refugee is a Mottled Owl that was bought into my vets office with a very bad wing. Someone found him hanging in bobbed wired and his wing was severely eaten by some animal. No telling how long he had been hanging there, but fortunately they got him down and to the vets office. He was so weak when he arrived he was sitting on the bottom of the cage and I had to prop him up with a stuffed teddy bear. We started treatment right away with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and lots and lots of fluids. He did really well and the second night got his appetite back and has responded well to our treatments. The wing did not appear to be broken, so we tried to give it a chance to survive...however after several days we realized that he had no feeling in the wing and it was drying up and needed to be amputated. So, off to the vets again for the surgery. He survived the surgery well and is making progress. We now have to set him up in a larger cage with several perches at different distances apart so that he can begin his physical therapy of hopping and learning to balance with just one wing. We named him Gandhi, he has such a peaceful demeanor.

We have another owl with similar history and so we now have a routine when this happens. Hopefully once he is doing better we can adapt him to the other Mottled owls and he can live with them and have some company. Socrates has only one wing and his wife Delphi, came in as a tiny baby.

I never envisioned myself taking care of owls, but after I gained the trust of our Fish and Wildlife officers, (first with parrots and toucans) whenever they would find any type of bird they would call after hearing from several other sources..."no we don't take baby owls, they just die...or, no we don't want an owl with only one wing" I decided to learn all I could about owls. Fortunately I have help from a wonderful lady named Jenny Papka who rescues raptors in the states and she helps with every owl that comes in. Please help support her efforts as well. Check them out at I am now known for caring for owls as well, but I can tell you that it is always with Jenny's help that these owls make it! Thanks Jenny!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Quilla the Porcupine

Slowly but surely, I will be introducing you to all the animals and birds here at The Toucan Rescue meet Quilla!

Quilla is a Mexican hairy porcupine who arrived here having been found up on a second story balcony of a friend's hotel! We are not sure how she got there or where her mother was, so these kind people picked her up, cared for her and bought her over to us. She was a tiny thing, probably just a week or two old when she arrived, and now she is blossoming into a beautiful young porcupine!

The quills are yellow and are very sharp, and this is a problem, because Quilla likes to cuddle, yes you read right, Quilla is a cuddly porcupine. Yikes!

She loves to be petted and have her quills and hair "combed" with my fingers and hikes up to my shoulder to give kisses with her huge soft nose. As you can imagine this gets a bit tricky sometimes! She does not realize the quills sometimes get stuck to my clothes or to me!

A few days ago we did a tour for some folks from Costa Rica and Guatemala. There was an older gentleman from Guatemala who told me that the Indians there used the porcupine quills for tooth aches, that they would stick the quill in the gum and it would provide some anti-inflammatory relief...well, I've had a few stuck in me accidentally and it hurts! I don't think I will be trying this anytime soon!

Not long ago I wrote to several friends on our mailing list asking for help to build a a nice large enclosure for her, and as you can see, with the great donations from Kimberley Laferriere, Cornerstone Builders of Atlanta, and The German School of Washington D.C. along with Don and Jean Molde, Terrie Velasquez, Jacqueline Monacell of and Jessica Schoepen, plus our wonderful guests, we were able to build her a nice palace!

We were very excited for her to move off the porch, as she is getting super off to the new cage we went. For several nights I went out to visit her and tried to get her used to the new home, it was windy and raining and she was in a bit of a panic about all the space and elements and refused to eat unless I fed her! So, after 5 days she is now back on our porch! We have several ideas to make her home cozier and are stocking piles of bromeliads and branches from the farm to decorate with, as well as building a larger sleeping box for we are going to try again soon, and hope the transition will be less traumatic!

Thank you all for your support!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sleepless in Costa Rica!

Meet Milo, he is a two year old rescued sloth who came to us extremely ill and had a long a difficult recovery... however now he is a thriving young sloth with tons of energy! Really energy.

BS stands for Before Sloths came into my life, all of our rescues were birds that would go to sleep at 6pm and that was it! I had the night off to cook dinner and watch some TV or read a good book...well, that all changed with the nocturnal two toed sloths!

Many of you know that sloths only go to the bathroom once every 3-4 days in captivity, once a week in the wild. So, we have a sloth pee poo calendar...and last night was Millie's night. While I was waiting up for her to go 11pm, I started to flip TV channels and came across one of those terrible kid shows where the nanny comes in and saves the day I watched for a bit, while I held Georgie, trying to get him to sleep. The kids were really terrible screamers and refusing to go to bed and keeping the parents up all night. I hugged and kissed Georgie and said, "I'm so glad I have you!".... Millie finally went, came inside and it started to pour down rain.

Well, when sloths go, they get tons of energy and especially with rain storms, they are awake and looking for, of course the sloths living with me in the house have shelter, but none the less, they are active.

So, my sleepless night started with Millie waking me up at 2am making noise in her kennel, then Milo was up, then Georgie. So, I got up and Milo was the most active, so I got him out and put him into his daytime sleeping bucket, full of blankets and stuffed toys and went back to bed. We do this about once a week and he goes right back to sleep...not last night! I could hear him up and wondering around the couch, and then making noises with his claws on the plastic bucket, like he was trying to go back to sleep, so we did this back and forth thing several times...I laid back in bed around 3:30am thinking about the screaming kids and thought the only difference is that Milo is not screaming...Thank Goodness!...but I am awake just like those poor parents!

Up again at 4am then again at 5am I gave up trying to sleep, made some coffee and came to write! Good thing we grow our own coffee and I have a ready supply to keep me going with the that is a joke...I need caffeine to keep up with the sloths!

Of course now he is sound asleep and looking like a little angel, and will sleep all day while I have everyone else to take care of! Good news is tonight I will probably sleep, that is of course unless Georgie or Millie decide to have an energy boost!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Progress with young rescued toucans

About a month ago, these three young toucans were decommissioned from Minae, our Fish and Wildlife, they had recently been stolen from the nest and were being kept poorly in small canary cages...yes, canary cages. One had a very badly bruised wing and on the same side she could not use her leg and foot. With treatment she is now recovering the use of her wing and using her leg and foot! We still have her in a smaller cage so that she does not Add Imagere-injure the leg, the other two are out in nice large enclosures and are doing really well. Two of them are Swainson's or Chesnut mandibled toucans and the other is a Keel Billed toucan. You can see the pale colors are turning nice and bright and they have gained much needed weight, you could see and feel most of their bones when they arrived.
My husband Jorge is over on the Caribbean side of Costa Rica, about a 1.5 hour drive away picking up 150 lbs. of Papaya to feed all the toucans and parrots, and of course Issy the monkey. He goes over to our farm, then on to the papaya plantation! Please help us support these guys with a donation using Pay Pal on our website!!
Thank you so much!

Problems during the night!

Two nights ago the dogs were really barking, and I heard the toucanets and small parrots flying around in the enclosures (which they should not be doing at night!) so I got the large flashlight and went out to see what was startling them. On the cage wire was a small opossum trying to get in to eat the birds. With all the commotion and light he took off. Now we have had problems at night before with opossums and I did not want another night time fiasco. So, last night I got a live trap out, set it up with bait and put it behind the cages. Again I heard noises and sure enough, this morning I had the little guy in my trap!

Now, most folks here would say, just kill it. But he is a living creature and deserves to have his life, just not eating my birds or on our property, so I took him a few miles away to a nice wooded area with a creek and let him go :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Georgie 9 months!

Georgie is 9 months old! He is a rescued two-toed sloth that has been here since he was about 1 week old. He is growing up, getting bigger and doing great. He is a fearless climber! We have nick-named him King Kong at night, since that is when he is more awake and quite a handful.

He is still on his goats milk formula with solid foods as well, and this is how I start and end each day, feeding Georgie.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Issy Bath!

Today was bath day for Isadora the little spider monkey! I actually have to wear an old t-shirt and get in the shower with her. It is the only way that I can bathe her! So, to the shower we went with nice smelling coconut dog shampoo! She did really well, it's only her third bath as she has only been here a few weeks. Then she plays with the shower curtain while I take my shower! She then scratches and combs her hair, and likes to play with the towel and have me dry her off! She is approx. 6 months old and was rescued from some folks who had her chained to a tree in a yard with dogs, in one of the local beach towns. Minae (our equivalent of Fish and Wildlife) said that they probably killed the mother to get the baby :(

She was then taken to another friend of mine who has several spider monkeys to try and integrate with that group. Unfortunately she was scared of them, and they did not like her so she passed the time scared and not eating. So, my friend called me and asked me to take her in since she needed some Tender Loving Care and Psychotherapy! After four days she finally came to me and trusted me to hold she is much calmer and getting along really well.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Sloths at Farm

Yesterday we had a great day at the farm!! We saw this mother and juvenile sloth. He was trying to get back closer to her and she hissed at him...poor guy. Then I found them later sleeping in separate trees, close to each other. He is at the age where he needs to become independent. I think this is the same two that I had seen and photographed a couple of months ago. It was an exciting day, howler monkeys, sloths and tons of birds!

New Blog up and Running!

This is a test to get the new blog up and running. We have been super busy here at The Toucan Rescue Ranch