Sunday, July 31, 2011

New Barred Hawk

Our friend Rita suggested this story to Costa Rica top 10, and so we are on the front page today!

Check it out! We are waiting to see what the x-rays show of his damages wing, and will keep you posted. In the meantime

he is eating very well....5 chicks last night!

She is also mentioned for her famous Bed and Breakfast!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Marley sloth Released!

Here is Marley sleeping in the huge Almond tree on our farm! Marley is the fourth Two Toed sloth that we have released! Many of you met Marley and were able to see him while he was here recuperating. He came from the Caribbean side of the country with severe wounds on his body, possible from a fight with another sloth, and injuries like if he had been hit by a car, or fallen a great distance. Initially refusing to use his arms and hand for several weeks. He also had severe infections in his feet possibly from barbed wire. He was here a little over a month and we cared for him around the clock. Being a wild sloth he did not take to the usual sloth fare around here of green beans and carrots, so every day we had to go find leaves for him to eat...up to 70 leaves a day!! We even had our B+B guests searching for the nice tender almond leaves that were his favorite.

We released Marley 3 weeks ago. He had a bit of trouble climbing the tree since it is so covered in vines, bromelieads, orchids, moss which is very usual in the rainforest. But he made it to the top and found a nice place to rest.

After he was settled, Jorge discovered that there was another sloth in the same tree! We were worried that another fight might happen...but a few days later the other sloth had moved on, and sloth fights are not common.

A week later Jorge found him in the same tree, but he had made it down the tree to pee and poo, so we were confidant that he was using his arms. Another week went by, and I found him still in the same tree.....and this week we was gone. I did not find him anywhere, so that is a good sign. He changed trees and has adapted to being wild again :)

On the other side of the river from Marley I found this very young sloth, probably recently left on her own by her mother. She was just hanging out and resting. Maybe someday they will hook up!! It's good to know that although they are mostly solitary he will have company if he chooses.

So, another successful release of an adult sloth, makes me feel good, proud of the work that we do here at The Toucan Rescue Ranch. We will be looking for Marley every time we visit the farm!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

In Loving Memory

A month ago in the nearby town of Santo Domingo a mother sloth wandered into a neighborhood with large trees and realized she was off course. Local children that sunday found the sloth and decided to have some "fun" with her and stoned the mother to death. A man was passing by and saw what the children had done, he saw the mother two toed sloth laying on the ground and on closer inspection found a little tiny baby sloth terrified, clinging to her dead mother.
She also had been hit in the eye, and her head was swollen. He wrapped her up in his shirt and took her home.

That night he tried to comfort her by feeding her some milk...not knowing how difficult baby sloths are to feed he tried his best. Unfortunately she probably swallowed wrong and some of that milk went into her lungs. Monday morning he started to call different zoos and rescue centers and was rejected time after time...he then called the Minaet office of Heredia and told them: "if you don't come pick up this baby I am calling in channel 7" the local news. Fortunately they had a car that was working that day, and had gasoline (which is always a problem)..they went to pick up the baby sloth, wrapping her in their shirts to keep her warm and drove the short distance to The Toucan Rescue Ranch to leave her in our care.

As many of you know, we have raised 3 sloths successfully, little Georgie only weighed 400grams when he came in. Our guests named the little one Lily, and she weighed only 250 grams. Quite a challenge, but I was up to the task. Goats milk, feedings every 3 hours around the clock, constant checking of temperature and our little one was coming along.
She was very difficult to feed at first, and took about a week to get the hang of sucking on the syringe. Our vet Janet came up and confirmed what I was hearing in her lungs...trouble. We both suspected it was from milk she had inhaled while with the kind man who tried to feed her. Cough syrup was now a staple on her milk menu. A bad bought of loose stools from the cows milk one day, many days inbetween, and finally she was normalizing her bodily functions.

By week two she was gaining weight, her swollen eye was healing, but with a large cataract leaving her blind in that eye...but she was doing really well. We all sighed from relief and were very hopeful....but the lungs continued.
Another trip up from the vet, and still the same reaction...strange sounds in the lungs, but other than that all was well.

Week three came around and she started to reject food, and not gain weight. She was fussing and lethargic. Then she would be back on track and another day down. By the end of the week, Janet and I were both concerned...she came up at 8pm to see her one night, and by the 2 am feeding little Lily had totally collapsed. Once again I called Janet to come up, which she did, and took her back to her clinic for IV fluids. Having a vet that will come up at all hours day or night is a blessing....but that morning Lily passed away.

When I first started rescuing animals it was very difficult when one would die and I would not want to do a necropsy, however since then and in this case especially a necropsy was exactly what we needed. Janet found out that Lily only had one lung that was functioning, maybe from pneumonia when she was born...not sure, but because of that, her heart was working overtime and since she was growing her heart could not keep up and she died of heart failure. Totally natural and nothing we could of done to prevent it. I could put all the pieces of the puzzle together and realize just what had happened to her and it all made sense, as difficult as it was to accept her death.

I had a large tour coming in that morning, and had to focus on the other animals. I used to take Lily on walks around the property all wrapped up in her blankets. I took the walk alone that day, and have been avoiding writing about this, until my friend encouraged me to write her story. We are working with Minaet education and possibly Lincoln school to do an educational program about sloths and wildlife in the local schools in Santo Domingo. This will be very valuable and hopefully educational for the children. Milo and Millie will be great ambassadors for their species.

I find comfort knowing that Lily died warm and loved, not on the cold forest floor, or by the stones that killed her mother. As I write I am sitting next to the young keel billed toucans who are constantly begging for my attention to feed them....I allow myself time to think and miss Lily, but the little toucans need to be fed, the adult toucan that has been ill needs to be checked, guests are arriving, the macaws need more perches in their cage, the sloths need to be fed, supplies need to be ordered for Isadora the monkey's cage and the circle of life goes on at the Toucan Rescue Ranch.

We are setting up a "Lily fund" in honor of her to start fund raising for our Sloth Enclosure, and education program. Donations can be made via Pay Pal on our website, I am very very happy to report that with all your kind donations we are ready to build Isadora the monkey her large habitat, and Jou-Jou the kinkajou her new palace. Thank you so much, from all of us here at The Toucan Rescue Ranch.