Saturday, November 27, 2010

Adopt Jou-Jou the Kinkajou!

About four days ago, a man that Jorge knows at the farm called us to say that he had found a baby Kinkajou on the ground several months ago. He took it home and was raising it, but that he needed help and wanted to see if we would accept the animal. We talked about it and said yes, that was fine. I expected the Kinkajou to be healthy, and getting bigger and I assumed that is why he wanted to give it up, since it was no longer a baby, nocturnal and can be a real handful. So, you will understand when I prepared a large kennel, and sent Jorge up to the highway to a drop off point so that he could receive it. About an hour before they were suppose to meet, the guy calls us and says, "the kinkajou is very sad, not doing well at all"
I called back to clarify and ask more questions, but that is all he could say.

Jorge took off to go pick up the Kinkajou, returned home with tears in his eyes and said, "Look at this, how can anyone have an animal in these conditions, call the vet immediately!" I took one look at the poor little animal and decided we had to get her out of that stupid crate as soon as possible, so Jorge went to get some large wire cutters and we cut her out. She was in shock, freezing cold, and biting her tail, as she did not know what she was doing. I called the vet and said, please hurry she is more dead than alive...

We got to work quickly, she was wet and horribly soiled, we dried her off in the sun, tried to give some hydrating fluids and she was not doing well at all. Heating pad, more fluids and warmth for about an hour and she finally looked up and the color started coming back to her skin. By then the vet showed up and did a good check on her. We have started antibiotics and now have a protocol for the Kinkajou...our first.

All through the day she would sleep and wake up and eat a little fruit and each time she was looking better, so the initial scare of immediate death was over, and I was greatly relieved. She even bit me at one point when I touched her feet. As you can see in the photos, she has sores all over her feet and tail, from the wet and dirty conditions that she was kept in, so we are also treating these!

Last night I woke up at 3am to check on her and she had not eaten, but when I held her she did eat some fruit and was hungry, so that was a good sign.

And as you can see this morning, she is hungry and looking at all her food options! Still sleeping lots, which is to be expected, as well as the fact that they are nocturnal, but overall has made great progress.

She is skin and bones, completely emaciated, so diet is going to be very important, not only for her development, but also for her fur....which is not soft, and lacking in spots. She should have a good solid coat of honey colored fur.

According to my Costa Rican mammal book, the word Kinkajou originated with indigenous people of Brazil. It is also know as a honey bear, and the Latin name, Potos Flavus meaning Yellow drinker.
They belong to the same family as the raccoon, have a prehensile tail and are arboreal.

So please "Adopt" little Jou-Jou for the holidays, we will send you a nice certificate, 5x7 photo and have regular updates on this blog about her! $100 donations can be made to pay pal, on the website, and e-mail me the address of who the Adoption Certificate should be made out to and sent!
A wonderful holiday gift, knowing that you are helping with her needs. Or if you have another animal in mind of course this would also be welcomed, you can "Adopt" one of the Sloths, Toucans, Parrots, Issy the spider monkey or Quilla the porcupine or one of the many owls!
I thought that maybe we would receive a phone call from the guy asking how she was doing, but he never called, just asked us to "save her" and I am happy to report that indeed she was saved, half an hour longer in that condition and she would of been gone for good. She decided to live and we are happy for her.
Thank you all for your support!
P.S. With the kind help of two friends of The Toucan Rescue Ranch, the amazon in the previous post is now having blood tests done and various other lab work to try and determine the cause of the air sac problems! She is currently living at the vets and everyone is falling in love with her since she is so friendly and talks non-stop! Thank you all for your support, it means the world to us and our animals!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Please help!!

No Name and in a jail for 25 years. This is really one of the worst cases that I have seen of feather picking, and overall poor health. So bad in fact that I immediately called the vet and asked her to come up here (45 min. drive) and take her back to the clinic. This bird was given up voluntarily after several neighbors had complained to Minae (our Fish and Wildlife folks) about her conditions. She was living with an elderly couple who said that she is 25 years old. The cage is iron, completely peeling after so many years, the horrible feather conditions make me suspect some type of lead poisoning, along with very strange respiration and air sac problems. Her feet are hard from standing on metal perches, instead of the nice natural wood ones that we place in all our cages.

But here is the amazing thing: I stood looking at her yesterday in the back of the pick-up truck wondering just what to I say yes, do I refuse to take her and send her away to another facility, make her chances of survival even less? I just kept staring at her and she back at me and the folks were waiting for my decision, and I said, well, leave her here for now, but I may send her away to someone else. The bird kept studying me, so I was intrigued, I just felt like I could not let her down. Once I placed her in the corridor she looked at me and whispered "Hola".
The report from the owners was that the feathers were so horrible because mice go into the cage every night and eat the feathers...bizarre. Yes, there are probably mice, but they are not causing this feather problem. She is so overweight and not able to breathe that I really think it will be amazing if we can recuperate her. She has some beautiful new feathers coming in, and with that I am hopeful that once she is in a proper cage with a great new diet, rain showers and overall improvement in health she will get better. Plus, she has spunk, amazingly she does not look depressed.
She has refused any type of food, I have put in some nice fruit, seed mixture, clean water and nothing. So, this morning I placed coffee and bread and rice (horrible) and she actually took a bite. We will have extreme challenges with her diet.
This leads to my petition for help with all the lab tests that we need to perform on her. We will need to do extensive blood studies, feather studies, the x-ray the vet is willing to cover and of course the medications that she will need. Cheaper than the states, however still a huge expense for us.
So depending on what all the tests reveal, that will be the deciding factor in whether she can come stay with us. I am not willing to risk our other birds health, and that is why she is in quarantine at the vets office. I desperately need a hospital quarantine area here for cases just like this one.
By now you all must be thinking I am crazy or addicted, even I think I should of said no, (logically speaking) but that look in her eye and the idea that she might get better with help had me once again offering to care for her. It's very difficult to be placed in this situation deciding this poor birds fate, I have to do what is right for her, she has suffered enough in the hands of her "caretakers"
Please help if you can, and please pass this blog along to friends, family and social networks lets be Thankful for what we have this Thanksgiving and give a little to help this unfortunate lively soul.
If anyone has any great names please send them along! You can donate using Pay Pal on the website.
Thanks so much and
God Bless you all this holiday season. I will keep you posted on her progress.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another visitor-Collared Aracari

Another unexpected visitor. Every morning I wake up to the songs of the various toucans, the macaws vocalizing, the group of parakeets being really loud, the roosters and my African Grey talking, this morning it was " Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas ho ho ho..."we always start that in Nov. and he readily remembers it and starts saying it for Nov. and Dec! Anyway...I sort of do a mental check half asleep that I hear everyone and that they sound alright. It would be horrible to wake up and not hear any bird noise! But this morning the Aracaris were particularly noisy and they have a very high pitched song. I rolled over and that was it.

Later on when I was up I walked outside to do the morning rounds there was a Collared Aracari in the tree near our flight cages. Again, like yesterday, I quickly checked that it was not one of ours (we have 4) and then realized that he was visiting. They are not from this zone, so he has to be an escaped pet. He looks older and is not very afraid of us. He also lands right on top of the cages and came to the feeder to eat. So, that is good that he is eating. That is the most important factor, that he now has found some food that he recognizes, we will keep the feeders full of fruit for him.

This is one of ours that we raised from a small rescued baby.
Will keep you posted!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Unexpected visitor

Today at coffee time (3pm, daily Costa Rican custom) we were sitting on our porch and Jorge, my husband said, "hey look, a Black Faced Solitaire is on the sloth perch" I glanced over and sure enough, there he was. The sloth perch/tree sits right in our front yard. "Oh gosh," I jumped up and quickly went around to our 5 solitaires to make sure it was not one of ours that had escaped or that the cage had not been eaten by a squirrel (as happened last week to a good friend of mine) and ours were all accounted for.

So, this was interesting: they are at higher elevations, so we discussed the idea that maybe he had come down the mountain...a possibility, but more likely he had escaped from some neighbor or someone local that had we waited to see what he was going to do. We have lots of papaya on a table feeder in the yard, so we thought he could eat there and we sat back to observe. Within 3 minutes he was on our porch trying to get into one of our other birds cages. He was aiming at the papaya and was hungry. So, I ran out back to our storage, grabbed a bamboo cage like the ones they are always in and placed a nice chunk of papaya in it. Came back to the porch, hung the cage up and zoom, he was in it. Poor thing was very hungry. I don't know his story, but he must belong to someone. We will wait and see if any neighbor comes by asking for him.

These are the song birds that we have received so many of, probably 30 total and most we are able to release if they have been recently captured...but this guy today was very comfortable with the cage, even looking to be in one. Very sad that he cannot enjoy his freedom, that being free is foreign to him. Of course, he was attracted to our birds who are constantly singing, so he came to the right place...somehow they just know :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Meet Toucan Mick!

Toucan Mick has been with us for three years now. He is a Keel Billed Toucan who was being sold on the streets by a drug addict for $10. That's right $10. His next fix. A very nice lady bought him and immediately took him to the Fish and Wildlife offices and they called me to go pick him up! This photo is when he arrived, is after I had washed his beak several times with warm water and a toothbrush. He had a cement like mixture of feces, fruit and dirt all stuck to his beak. You could not see any of the colors. He started to go into shock the first night here because he was so dehydrated, so we pumped him full of fluids for several days and he made a great comeback. We named him Mick, because he had this peculiar habit once he started to eat well, of sticking his tongue out and shaking his head. He was having trouble with the normal food after being so sick, so he is named after Mick Jagger, of the Rolling Stones!

It took several months and several different medications to get Mick healthy again, but as you can see he has turned into a lovely great guy. When toucans are dehydtated we notice the more intense coloration around the eyes, and as the normalize the color becomes more natural and lighter. Mick was recently attacked by very large aggressive bees that swarmed the toucan aviary, he was stung several times on the skin around his eyes, but fortunately we got him out in time and we started medications, he took a few weeks to recover, but he is the every ready bunny, he keeps on going!

He is not a candidate to be released because of his history of coming in so sick and he is totally accustomed to people.