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.