Idaho Girl Finds Paradise

Howdy! I am the Release Site Coordinator at Toucan Rescue Ranch’s Release Site located in Sarapiqui de Heredia, Costa Rica. I’m from Sandpoint, Idaho, a little town located in the Idaho Panhandle, nestled between the Selkirk and Cabinet mountain ranges, alongside Lake Pend Oreille, not far from the Canadian border. I’m happiest when I am outdoors so you’re most likely to find me surfing the snow, blazing trails, or taking a dip in Pend Oreille.

In the spring of 2016, I graduated with my B.S. in Business and Communications; I am currently in the process of applying to law school. I plan on studying environmental law, focusing on the conservation of natural resources in hopes of providing representation for individuals, organizations, animals, and our planet, who or which could not otherwise help themselves. 

I first learned about TRR from my dear friend Zara Palmer, the TRR Marketing Specialist.  We were both working at a pizza shop atop our local ski hill. Over the course of the season, we shared countless stories and experiences, many of hers about TRR. Inspired by her stories, I applied to volunteer and happily was accepted!!! I remember the months leading up to my arrival at TRR seemed endless. 

In July 2016, I packed my bags and spent two months at TRR as a Daily Operations Volunteer. I fell in love, with the animals, the people at the ranch, their mission, Costa Rica - all of it. Needless to say, two months was too short so I went home to save some dough. With little hesitation, I postponed law school for a year and committed to six more months with TRR. However, this time I would be returning as the Release Site Coordinator, an opportunity I am tremendously grateful for. 

In this role my primary responsibilities incorporate my business skills as well as my love for animals and nature, they include conducting daily rounds, monitoring all animal care activities, and providing Leslie with regular status reports. My main focus includes implementing approved pre-release plans, monitoring and managing the Toucan Breeding Program, and identifying and communicating abnormal animal behaviors. In addition, I have some exciting projects I want to finish while I’m here. Two of which I am particularly excited about are geared toward sustainability: building a chicken coop and creating a vegetable garden. 

Although my time at the Release Site will eventually come to an end, the Toucan Rescue Ranch will forever be with me for it has carved out a place in my heart. And I hope to always be apart of this extraordinary organization for the rest of my time here on planet earth. 

By Release Site Coordinator Intern, Kendall Watts 

Release Site Photos Captured by Kendall Watts 

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