Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Please "Adopt" us for the Holidays


Please consider the gift of life and hope to our rescued animals this holiday season!
Years ago I "adopted" a whale and the group that was protecting them sent me photos and updates, I really looked forward to hearing about where "my" whale had been seen, how far he had traveled. It was fun and I learned all about whales. Now we have blogs and internet to help us learn about wild animals and the joys of supporting such efforts :)

Adoption is a great option for those who would like to support our efforts...We have released 5 sloths to date and several this past year. Each sloth that comes into our program is here for a reason: an injury, abandoned, fell from a tree, fights, burns and mistreated by humans.

All of them have to be evaluated by our veterinarian, fed and cared for.

This can add up and we are looking for support for our various sloths.

I will give you some good news!! We have donations for Millie and Georgie enclosures, and will begin these in Jan. Thank you!!

Adoption certificates will be sent along with a photo of your favorite sloth,

Twili, Millie, Milo and Georgie. (I finally found a nice certificate-one that I can print up here...)

Eight years ago we began accepting toucans in need, and we have become known for the excellent work we do recovering these beautiful birds. We have had to say no to some animals, but we will never say no to the toucans. Currently we have 35 in our care. We are setting up a breeding program for release, and have been successful in reproducing the Emerald Toucanets.
Owl Fund! Please do an office pool, or a challenge for support, match the donation, for our 15 owls. We have to purchase from a poultry farm 700 chicks a month to feed them along with supplementing them with rats and mice that we breed here. Some of the most beautiful raptors in Costa Rica, and not many rescue centers accept these owls. We receive owl babies since they are very difficult to raise, and every adult owl that has come into the program has come with severe injuries that require extensive orthopedic surgeries and a long recovery process.

Many of you contributed to Isadora Spider monkey's enclosure and I can tell you that she is so happy and appreciative of her new space. Thank You!! She needs constant food since she is so High Energy, to put it frankly, she eats like a horse! Much of the fruit that we purchase weekly goes to her, little miss piggy. She is doing great and is a joy, loves to visit when we do tours and always shows off her acrobatic skills. Adopting Issy would help us keep up the fruit supply!

Jou Jou is just like Issy in a way, constant energy, totally recuperated and loves her new enclosure!

Pokey is back from the vet's, he lived with them for about a month...now you can imagine if your dog or cat stayed at the vets for that long, you would have a huge bill, well, we considered this a huge bill, but compared to the states, this is not costly at all. $120.00 for all his treatment, and as you can see he is doing so much better after his horrible infection from some animal attacking him. He is finally getting new quills and fur, but will probably have a bald backside :( We hope Quilla our beautiful girl will fall in love with him anyway. Pokey still needs medical treatment, so please consider adopting him!

Adopt an endangered Scarlet Macaw! Our macaws are at breeding age, and we are going to set them up for breeding for release. Young macaws will be placed with other release programs in the country. So, if you are a bird person, please help us support the 30 some parrots in our care! The seed mix and nuts that we feed, (along with fruits and vegetables) are imported, and anything imported is extremely expensive, We use a 23 kilo sack, around 50lbs per week, and this costs around $48, add in the nuts and we are up to $60.

300 pounds of Papaya per week, 20lbs of green beans and 25 lbs of carrots!

Farmers market fund! We can easily spend $150 per week on fresh fruits and vegetables for all the birds and animals.

Overwhelmed? I am, whew! I include all these figures so that folks have an understanding of what is involved in the day to day life at the Toucan Rescue Ranch. It's a constant influx of animals, food, bills, medicines, vet checks, operations, love and endless sleepless nights.

Please help us to keep up the momentum, continue to be able to rescue and care for Costa Rican wildlife, begin our breeding programs, continue our educational programs in the local schools and, I will end with a quote from a recent visitor, "I have been to other rescue centers around the world and this is one of the best. Their care for the animals is exquisite, the animals have space, enrichment and the place is sparkling clean."

Donations can be made to Pay Pal on our website, then please send us an e-mail to let us know who you would like to adopt, or what program your donation is helping.

Thank you from all of us, Leslie, Jorge and all the birds and animals of the Toucan Rescue Ranch and may you have a wonderful holiday season filled with joy and a great New Year.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Sloth-Squirrel-Farm Update!

Our good friend Karen made Christmas sloth blankets for all the sloths!! As you can see they love them...Thanks Karen!

Little Twili had a vet check up yesterday and she is doing great! Growing ever soooooo sloooowly...which is good for a sloth.

Farm Update!

We visited the farm last week with our good friend Jerry Jennings and a professional photographer friend of his Paul...I was nervous that the animals and birds might be hiding, but we were very lucky! I wanted them to see toucans and they appeared at the feeders in front of the house! Jerry is a world famous Toucan Breeder and conservation enthusiast, check out his website for all the toucan infomation you will ever need! http://www.emeraldforestgardens.com/

Then we had this very close encounter with a friendly three toed sloth.

Here at the main house we have been having several new hummingbirds arrive! Here is the beautiful Purple throated mountain gem!

The Whistling Ducks have discovered the mirror in our display case on the porch and every morning they are on the here greeting the ducks in the mirror :) and making a mess of the porch!

LuLu the squirrel has been out on her own for about a month, everyday she comes to visit and she has made a huge nest in the tree by the house...she seems to be doing fine and there are several squirrels around that she can get to know. Here is Jerry Jennings visiting with LuLu and Jorge as well.

Our coffee is drying and will be going to the local roaster soon!

The new guest house is almost done! The windows are in, tiles all done, they are working on the intricate bamboo ceiling and it is really beautiful, I keep joking that I am actually moving out to the guest house to get some rest!

Next blog will be soon with Christmas ideas! Please give the gift of life and hope to our rescued animals...photos, ornaments and ideas for adoption in the next segment! Donations are kindly accepted via Paypal on our blog.

Thank you from the animals!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Released Sloth Mic!

My friend Christian Robles Puchi who works for the Costa Rican equivalent of Fish and Wildlife, Sinac-Minaet, runs the office out of Area de Conservacion Tortuguero. He has rescued all kinds of animals and many of the ones here today are from his efforts. Most recently he was called out to rescue this sloth that had suffered burns and a terrible fall from electrical cables. He came in last week, and we immediately called Janet the vet to come and pick him up for the day so that she could check him out. The burns were bad, but he still was able to use his hands, but from the fall he was very stiff and refused to move his body for about 3 days. I kept up fluids and tried on many occasions to get him to eat, but he would only take small offerings.
Antibiotics for the burns and routine cleanings and his hands were improving, but not his appetite, so we all taked about the situation, and I decided to take him to our farm to release him yesterday...by then his hands were much better, and he was very active at night wanting out of the kennel. People frequently ask me, "how do you know when to release an animal?" and I say...the animal lets you know!
Two nights of constant movement trying to get outside is a sure indication!

So, off to the farm we drove, over the mountain down to the rainforest and we selected an area where there was a huge variety of trees, since Mic, as we named him, did not seem thrilled with the usual Almond leaves. We set up the kennel so that he could grab a hold of a large vine, and I could do a quick video of him...well, he literally shot out of the kennel, and ran up the tree...check out the video that I will be posting on youtube. (I don't know why I cannot put the link, so go to http://www.youtube.com/ and look up Slothmom videos and you should find it!)

Here he is at the very top of the tree eating these beautiful green leaves...it re-enforced my decision to release him, he was very hungry and I was so happy to see him eating. He is the 5th sloth that we have released at the farm, all two toeds. We are very happy and proud of our joint efforts to return these animals back to their native habitats!

That went so fast I had some time to go look for other animals and do some birdwatching! Keel billed toucans, Chesnut mandibled toucans and some three toed sloths were all around! Plus this beautiful pair of Crested Caracaras!

Overall a great day!! We will be looking for him with each visit back to the farm.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

A lot going on!

This weekend we had a wild parrot emergency. Sunday afternoon it was raining really hard, and my doberman Ace, who usually does not like the rain kept pacing in the back yard around some plants. I thought it was a bit strange, and he kept persisting. From the kitchen window I watched him, and in our neighbors yard I spotted this Short tailed hawk....Ace kept pacing...so after awhile I thought: this hawk has caught something, and whatever it tried to catch is probably hiding in the bushes by the dog. So we went outside and sure enough found this crimson fronted parrot hiding in the bushes. This is one of my favorite times of year because the crimson fronted parrots migrate thru here and we have had flocks of 100 birds or more in the huge eucalyptus trees across the way. It is so noisy, but amazing to see them flying over the house and all over the property.

Upon inspection I found a small wound to the chest and another similar one on his back. So, we cleaned him up and put him in a kennel with some fruit and heat. The next morning when the flock arrived I took Houdini (as we named him) out to the large flight cage to run a test flight before I released him. Unfortunately he could not get up to any great heights or speed...so, we have to keep him another few days. He is now in a large cage outside and in a few days we will try another flight test. He gets excited when the others fly by, so hopefully he will rejoin them soon.
Prince the Barred Hawk has a new enclosure!

We moved Prince into his new enclosure and left plenty of space to see if he could extend his huge wings and fly. It was so sad to witness, but he made several attempts and failed. His right wing where he was shot with a small pistol just is not working well enough and he looses his control and flops down to the ground. He is getting better over the days about taking some huge leaps from one branch to another, so this is a good sign, at least he is using his wings and getting more exercise. He adjusted really well and is eating fine, so we are all very pleased that he has a nice large habitat.

Minaet (fish and wildlife department education program)

I teamed up with my friends at Minaet who run the educational programs to go into a large public school in the town where our little sloth Lily came from. (scroll down to read her very sad story) my goal was to try and provide some sloth education for the school children in this area where Lily's mother had been stoned to death. So, Minaet had some nice drawings and explanations about sloths and parrots, and each of us gave a 15 min. speech to around 75 children that day. We are planning on having some of these children come up and visit the Toucan Rescue Ranch so that they can see the animals up close and personal!


The spectacled owls are getting along really well, and soon we will have a name for the new little one, the students of Oakridge school in Texas and I skyped the other day. Their school's mascot is the owl, so they are starting a program called Owl's helping owls! and will be naming our new little one, and doing some fund raising for the Toucan Rescue Ranch....Thank You!!
Pokey the porcupine is making slow, but steady progress. As you can see her wounds are very deep and have been severly infected. We are not sure what attacked her. She is still living at the vets office and will not be returning to the ranch until she has some skin covering her wounds. She has required weekly anesthesia to clean the wounds. She loves eating and was so emaciated, that she is gaining weight, the color of her quills is coming back to being a brighter yellow and she is very animated. We are needing donations for her care, so if you are able to donate any amount, it will be greatly appreciated!

The new guest house is coming along and looks great, has beautiful views and we are so excited to see it progressing. It has been so rainy that they have been delayed a bit, but assure me it will be ready by Dec. 15th! I am keeping my fingers crossed.

With all the rain and cold weather the dogs have been miserable, Gypsy dobie just wants to be inside all toasty and warm in her blankets!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Trip to Dallas, BRIT Event!

Last spring, while here in Costa Rica attending the IPED Language school in Heredia, Richard Henderson, an attorney from Fort Worth Texas came to The Toucan Rescue Ranch for a tour! We began talking afterward, his family was coming down to visit him and he wanted to return with them. A few weeks later, Richard, his tico host family and his family from texas, all came up to the Ranch to tour. Richard translated the tour into spanish while I spoke in english!

A few months later he contacted me to see if we would be willing to donate 3 nights stay in our Bed and Breakfast, to an auction dear to his heart, BRIT, Botanical Research Institute of Texas. (http://www.brit.org/) He and his wife Victoria (also an attorney), are wine experts and they have a lovely house just outside of Fort Worth with a large wine cellar! They were donating several wines from their private collection for the auction, a gala fund raiser for BRIT. Richard, had also met Steve Aronson, owner and developer of Cafe Britt here in Costa Rica, and Steve was donating a private dinner by BRITT's famous chef, including some wine from Richard's collection. ( http://www.cafebritt.com/ and their environmental organization http://www.proparques.org/.) So, he now had a packet for Costa Rica, dine at Cafe Britt, and stay at the Toucan Rescue Ranch, which was offered for auction to benefit BRIT in Fort Worth Texas this last week. We were all invited to go up to Texas, be guests at Steve and Victoria's house,
tour the Botanical Research Institute and attend the gala dinner, the Fete du Vin.

From the moment we arrived Richard treated us like family, welcoming us into his home, his sons gave up their rooms for several nights and Victoria assisted us with everything we needed for the big event!

Richard not only loves wine, he also loves food, and cooked incredible gourmet meals for three days in a row! It was very relaxing sitting out on their porch watching deer cruise by...I was exhausted from all the sleepless nights with baby Twili, so having Twili and Pokey (the porcupine) staying with Janet the vet I knew everything was fine and could get some rest and sleep!

Friday afternoon we arrived in Texas and friday night the guys found the perfect bottle of wine to celebrate with! A bottle from 1863....I of course said, please don't waste any of this precious liquid on me, I just took a sip, since all alcohol puts me right to sleep! But they all enjoyed a great evening with wines and ports from the 1800's.
We had a three course meal with a vegetarian version for me!! very thoughtful, and delicious.

Richard, Jorge and Steve, they taught Jorge how to sniff and swirl the wine! (well, he copied them!!)

The next morning we visited BRIT, and that afternoon the Japanese gardens.

Jorge and Dr. Sohmer
The Botanical Research Institute of Texas has a new incredible building, their new headquarters has been awarded the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification by the US Green Building Council. It boasts a living roof, solar panels, use of geothermal energy...and waterless toilets! (not exactly sure how this functions, but it does!) Their goal is to catalog every plant in the world, and are making good progress. We met and toured the facility with Dr. Sohmer, who told us about his collecting expeditions to various remote parts of the world. The oldest plant on record is from 1791. We were able to understand the importance of collecting and preserving these specimens and view the large warehouse full of crates there, the samples are kept at cool temperatures in vaults.

They have a collection of very old books, some of the first records of medicinal plants, and they are also dedicated to education. They have a reading area for school children, use puppets to teach and classrooms that are light filled and interesting. The floor in the building is made out of recycled tennis shoes!

Richard and his family have been supporters of BRIT for some time now, and he and Dr. Sohmer actually met in Costa Rica....so everything was ready for the Gala dinner at the Fort Worth club, and auction.

Richard honored his scottish heritage by wearing the traditional kilt! The slide at the auction, one of Richard and Victoria's friends bid on the CR packet and will be traveling to visit us in Jan. The guests at our table were friends of Richard and Victoria, and there was also a couple from Costa Rica/Texas who we met, and have plans to see each other again when they visit!! Plus Steve Aronson from Cafe Britt and his son, Benjamin who also flew in for the event. I joked that we had to come to Texas to meet Steve and his son from Costa Rica!

The Fete du Vin, also honored Parducci Wine with their International Award of Excellence in Sustainable Winegrowing. (http://www.parducci.com/) I was able to meet Tim Thornhill of Parducci wines in Mendocino California, who not only is of course a wine enthusiast, but he also loves owls!! So, I will be sending him some owl photos soon!

We had a wonderful time at the dinner, were happy to be a part of the BRIT event, and we also met some other friends of Richard and Victorias who invited us out to their ranch the next day. They also invited us to a fantastic dinner at a great seafood restaurant.

Overall it was a great weekend, and we were able to meet so many interesting people.
Breakfast the next morning! Gourmet biscuits and gravy, Texas style.

Then we were off to The Dallas World Aquarium and Zoo, in downtown Dallas. They hosted a nice lunch and tour for Richard of their facilities. http://www.dwazoo.com/ The Dallas World Aquarium and zoo, is completely privately owned, Daryl Richardson has one of the largest toucan collections in the world, and he is always willing to let us stay with him a few days, and see all the animals and birds in his collection, and most importantly, meet with his veterinarian, Dr. Chris Bonar who is very helpful with all my difficult cases!

My favorite, the flamingo pool, the giant river otters, and the little marmosets !

Back at home with Twili, who has grown a tiny bit!, and horrible weather. Since we have been home there has been nothing but wind, rain and fog. Much of Costa Rica is flooded with people in shelters, we are lucky, as we are higher up in the mountains, but all the outside birds are sick of the cold rain, and it is now affecting all of us! Hopefully the sun will come out soon!

Twili, who loves to keep me up all night !