Sunday, March 11, 2012

Another sloth release and a rollercoaster month!

The weather has been very strange this summer, one minute warm and normal for the time of year, another day raining like rainy season, misting, and the last several days horrible winds and rain. Very atypical. We received an early morning call from the head of Sinac/Minae...he was on his way to our house with a sloth that he had just rescued from someones house. The sloth was probably trying to get out of the storm as well, and ended up in this house. The sloth was basically fine, except for these lacerations on his face that we quickly attended to. Interesting to note that all the director had to do was drive another 10 min. up the hill to the ranger station and could of released the sloth there himself...but there are several circumstances: tecnically you are not allowed to release animals into a National Park, and second, he was being driven by the messenger in a small sedan, and the messenger had to get back to work. Minae has very few cars for rescues and use by their staff. So we decided to take him to the farm to release once the weather calmed down and we could make it over the mountain pass for two days he hung out in a tree close to our creek.

We decided to paint his toenails red so that we could try to identify him if we see him again at the farm. I went yesterday and could not find he is happily back in the forest!

This is the 6th sloth we have RELEASED!!
Fortunately this one was very easy.

During the stormy days our at home sloths were all worked up as well, keeping me up all night, traveling from carrier to perching tree to couch and never wanting to settle down. They hate the wind. One night Milo was very upset in his kennel, so I finally moved him to the couch where he is most comfortable and I woke up the next morning to find he had hauled everything that was on the couch on top of him and was at the bottom of this bucket all covered up. Milo is due to be moving outside in the next month when his enclosure is hopefully he will adapt!!

If you look very closely you can see a sloth nose sticking out under the yellow stuffed animal!

Whimsey our large male keel billed toucan that is the official greeter of The Toucan Rescue Ranch now has a wife! We put him in the larger enclosure (inside a small cage) to get to meet the 3 young keel billed toucans, and this one chose him!

It took us a couple of days to figure out which little one kept paying attention to him, and taking food out of his mouth that he was offering in a very flirty way, but we finally did and now they seem happy with each others company! Hopefully in a year or two, when she is older we will have little toucan babies that we can send to the release program. We have several pairs of toucans that seem very interested in the nest logs this year, so we are keeping our fingers crossed!

Jorge Corrales on the left, our biologist friend and Landon Jones on the right.

Speaking of Releases, we have made contact with Landon Jones, a PhD student from the University of Lousiana, Fulbright Grantee, who is in Costa Rica for 1 1/2 years studying Collared Aracaris and Toucans in Turrialba. He is putting radio transmitters (like a gps) on the backs of aracaris and tracking them. We are working together and he will be of great help with our future releases. We tried releasing this aracari, but sadly he did not make it and was predated by some mammal. The research team found him after being out for about 1 week. We were all very sad, we are all learning as we go, as no one has ever released toucans before...but we have learned a tremendous amount and will be making many changes for future releases. The good news is that we now have a way to track our birds and this is a HUGE component of our program that we are really looking forward to exploring.

Landon is also studying seed dispersal in toucans, and having our captive population here will help him take some valuable notes and we can help with his study. Very Exciting!!

Happy Birthday Elena! In the middle of all our guests, tours, animal happenings and daily life here at The Toucan Rescue Ranch we actually hosted our first Birthday party for our friends daughter. I have to tell you, I was exhausted and very nervous, especially when they showed up with balloons and a piñata, but Jorge was a champ and hung the piñata away from the animal cages and everyone had a very good time!

My wonderful Aunt and second cousin came to visit and help me out after my arm surgery (from the sloth bite). They had scheduled their trip for Sarah's my second cousins 16th birthday, and they ended up staying with us hardly getting out and helping with all the chores and babysitting the baby sloths since I was not feeling that great. We managed to escape one day and took them on our favorite day trip: Riverboat on the Sarapiqui river. We have made this trip twice now and each time we have seen different things. Lots of birds, monkeys, sloths and bats! Here are some photos from the trip.
We saw two different types of these small bats, amazing, they make formations on the bark of the trees and move around to ward off predators!

Adorable mother and baby three toed sloth at our farm.Amazon Kingfisher

Sarah helped me organize our photo collection of many of our Released animals! It's actually amazing how many animals we have released...I tend to focus more on the ones that are here, and their care, but folks always ask about Releases, so now we will have this posterboard of Releases, it turned out really very nice!

A very Special Thank You to the Lincoln School first graders! Their 4 classes came to visit and at Christmas time they did some very special fund raising and are donating enough money to build the Sloth Enclosure for Milo!!! Hurray!! Thank you soooooooo much!! We are so proud of their efforts. They are continuing their support with old newspaper collection, old towels and sheets and nuts, and we always need for the parrots!

So, this past month we have had our highs and lows, and I will end with a very sad low. This beautiful Tamandua arrived from Turrialba about a month ago. I am sparing you the other side of her face, as it had a horrilbe machete chop, all across the nose, up to her eye and nasal passage. She passed away the next day from a ruptured pancreas. Seems like someone had her in very bad conditions and with a horrible diet. We could of healed the external wound, but the internal ones we were not able to heal unfortunately. I had written to several vets in the states and I am thankful that each one wrote back with extensive information on their diets...and for that I am grateful and will be ready when and if we ever receive another one.

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Here's to a Happy Spring!