Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Update!

It's been two weeks now and the little squirrels are doing great. One morning I was taking the birds outside to the flight, when the neighbor called me through the fence, shaking the bushes! I wondered what was up, and he said that he had just found a nest of baby squirrels on the ground all torn up! There were two babies that he picked up, one had just opened her eyes, the other still had her eyes closed.
He passed them through a hole in the fence, I showed the babies to my mother who was here visiting and she was very excited. She loves to tell the story of when I was younger in school, living here in Costa Rica, we had a pair of squirrels that lived with us. One day I went to school with my favorite squirrel hiding under my long hair, the teachers did not see the humor and asked my mother to come pick up the squirrel....So there we were years later looking at baby squirrels, remembering the fun times we had had. I called the vet and she alerted me that being so young they would be very difficult to get started on milk and raise, that they would probably die...well, now that's a challenge! So, we set out to give these little ones a chance at life, every 3 hours around the clock, fresh goats milk and pedialyte and as you can see they are doing great! We have so many squirrels here in the yard, hopefully when they are older they will find some friends to teach them about living outdoors!

Corazon (heart in spanish) Is recovering well from his amputated wing. Soon he will be able to be outside in a handicapped flight cage. I'm sure he will feel better once outside with all the night sounds and activity. Currently he is in physical therapy learning how to hop and get around off balance. He is our 3rd owl with amputation, so now we have the routine down! Last week another owl came in needing amputation as well, a Mottled owl, with bones exposed, but unfortunately he died the next day of internal injuries before the operation. That's how it is sadly. We can save some, others pass on.

The Amazons are recovered, gaining weight and are no longer the quiet stressed out birds that came in. Now they are super loud, and having a blast in the new enclosure that we built for them...well actually we built it for Jou-Jou the Kinkajou, but we had a design problem with the roof, for the Kinkajou it was dangerous, so we did a switch and put the Amazon parrots here and they are loving it. Our porch is almost clear of cages!! Lorita, the two new Amazons (we need names!) and Bella are here, as well as handicapped Charly, Scarlet macaw. Charly is still inside her smaller cage, as we are building a handicapped jungle gym for her. Once that is complete, she will be able to be in the larger area. They are all getting along well...whew! It's just very loud!

So, now we have started Jou Jou the Kinkajou's enclosure and it's actually almost finished! We love the design and style of these cages, they are elegant, simple and very spacious. Cement floors with drains make it easy to just hose down. Each one of these cages cost $900.00, so please keep that in mind if you are able to do any fund raising projects for us!!

We had our first guest request to help with taking a little stray kitten back to the States! Carol Beck and her lovely family found this little kitten on the side of the road one night in Guanacaste. They were staying their last two nights in Costa Rica with us and asked if we could help with the paperwork and vet care to be able to take little Corazon back to the states. He was absolutely adorable and loving his new pampered life! They call him the black panther from Costa Rica. I loved the name so much, we named the Black and White owl in his honor. Janet the vet spent two days running around getting all the papers, shots, carriers etc. and now little Corazon is in San Diego, with his loving new family.

For the rainy season we have actually had very sunny mornings, so the sloth's have been outside on their perch getting some much needed exercise.

And for all of you that have met Ralph the whistling duck on our tours, he says hi!

Next up is Issy, Isadora Spider Monkey's enclosure/palace and then finally Prince the hawk!!! We need to do some major fund raising for the hawk, as it needs to be a tall flight cage with plenty of room for his huge wingspan!....and then eventually our sleepy sloths!

Hope you all had a wonderful summer, we are bracing for our heavy rains this time of year :) Thanks to everyone who has toured or stayed with us, and who have sent in donations...as you can see, these do go directly to our rescued animals and are put to very good use.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Toucan Mom, Sloth Mom and now Owl Mom

We have been super busy with Raptors lately, this young Spectacled owl came in two weeks ago, from the Caribbean side of the country. Some folks found her on the ground and took her in. The problem is that they also clipped all her wings. Unfortunately when this happens it can take a year to grow out...so she is stuck here with us. We have a large adult Spectacled owl that I have always wanted company for, and indeed he has accepted her well and they are together in a huge enclosure, but for now I have her in a large cage within the cage while we make sure that she is adjusting and eating well. This is the type of situation, that if they had left the baby alone, in the trees, the parents would come and feed it. Education is very important and we will be talking about her to our visitors. She is very large, like 15 inches, and looks like cotton candy with claws.

This Black and White owl also came from the Caribbean with horrible injuries in the wing...all the tendons and blood vessels were gone, so the vet decided the only way of fighting infection and problems would be to amputate the wing, so he survived the surgery and is actually doing very well. He is the third owl that we have with an amputated wing. It's a long recovery process, which we are just beginning. Once he heals from surgery we will be doing extensive therapy with him to re-gain his balance. This marks owl number 14 in our program! Amazing creatures that I never imagined I would be working with :)

Our Barred Hawk is getting along really well, eating tons, and adjusting to life at the ranch. I was able to speak with the veterinarian who initially treated him and we spent a long time on the phone discussing his situation. He has actually been in captivity for 6 months now. He was found on a farm with his "elbow" shattered. The vet in Turrialba had the bird with him for a few months, then they sent it to a macaw rescue where they had him in a huge flight and there they realized that he really cannot fly. Apparently that is why they asked me to take him. I was under the impression that he might be able to fly when I accepted him, for possible release. I did a flight test in our large flights and he flutters down to the ground. He is able to move and use the wing, but not sustain flight, or hunt. Very sad. I had my biologist friend come check him, as well as my vet, and another friend, everyone has the same conclusion....he can probably fly a bit, but not well enough to hunt...one friend even suggested that his wound looked like a small pistol shot from a 22. I asked the vet about this and he said very likely. His scientific name is Leucopternis princeps, so we named him Prince.

The Toucan babies are now juveniles and full of energy, they spent a few weeks in a smaller cage outside, getting used to the elements and now are in one of the small flights. They cried all day every time they saw me, begging for me to feed them, but they can feed themselves now, so I just went in to visit with them :)

Also new to the Ranch are these two Emaciated Red-Lored Amazons. They were taken out of a very bad situation and came in literally starved to almost death. They have not stopped eating in 7 days and barely bring their heads out of the food bowls. Soon they will figure out that there is more food coming each day and settle down. When this happens they usually start to shed the feathers and grow beautiful new ones...good thing, because once again...you guessed it, horrible wing clips.

Remember Charley the Scarlet macaw? Well look closely, she is finally using her foot to hold herself up and perch!! Only one foot works, but as you can see she is getting along nicely. She now climbs up and down her cage and gets plenty of exercise like this. (scroll thru previous blogs to read her story)

We are working on constuction of Enclosures!!! Tomorrow morning we have ground breaking for Jou- Jou the Kinkajou's palace, and then we finally got the permits back from the Municipality to make a huge enclosure for Isadora Issy the spider monkey...hopefully she will be as thrilled as we are. Thanks to many many donations from our visitors and followers we are making wonderful habitats for these two lucky ones!!

I will send photos of these habitats when finished, and now we have a new challenge, funding for Prince and his large flight that we will need to build! It never ends.....but just in case you are wondering if I ever say no to anything, in the middle of all these new arrivals I got an emergency call from Fish and Wildlife here asking if I could take in several small parrots and amazons that were all confiscated out of some trafficers house. We were waiting for the owl to return from surgery, and trying to accomodate all the new arrivals, so I actually said, no I'm sorry...we are full for now!