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 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 and look up Slothmom videos and you should find it!)

Here he is at the very top of the tree eating these beautiful green 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 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, 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!