• An Intern’s Farewell

    My name is Anaid Fernández, I’m 22 and from Monterrey, Mexico. I’m a vet student finishing my last year at Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León. Since my first year…


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  • From Across the Pond & Into the Jungle

    So, my name is Alice, I’m your average 26-year-old British girl. I’ve been working with animals for half a decade as a zoo presenter, zookeeper, and more recently (for…


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  • 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  var htmlDiv = document.getElementById("rs-plugin-settings-inline-css"); var htmlDivCss=""; if(htmlDiv) { htmlDiv.innerHTML = htmlDiv.innerHTML + htmlDivCss; }else{ var htmlDiv = document.createElement("div"); htmlDiv.innerHTML = "" + htmlDivCss + ""; document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0].appendChild(htmlDiv.childNodes[0]); } /****************************************** - PREPARE PLACEHOLDER FOR SLIDER - ******************************************/ var setREVStartSize=function(){ try{var e=new Object,i=jQuery(window).width(),t=9999,r=0,n=0,l=0,f=0,s=0,h=0; e.c = jQuery('#rev_slider_16_1'); e.gridwidth = [1240]; e.gridheight = [868]; e.sliderLayout = "auto"; if(e.responsiveLevels&&(jQuery.each(e.responsiveLevels,function(e,f){f>i&&(t=r=f,l=e),i>f&&f>r&&(r=f,n=e)}),t>r&&(l=n)),f=e.gridheight[l]||e.gridheight[0]||e.gridheight,s=e.gridwidth[l]||e.gridwidth[0]||e.gridwidth,h=i/s,h=h>1?1:h,f=Math.round(h*f),"fullscreen"==e.sliderLayout){var u=(e.c.width(),jQuery(window).height());if(void 0!=e.fullScreenOffsetContainer){var c=e.fullScreenOffsetContainer.split(",");if (c) jQuery.each(c,function(e,i){u=jQuery(i).length>0?u-jQuery(i).outerHeight(!0):u}),e.fullScreenOffset.split("%").length>1&&void 0!=e.fullScreenOffset&&e.fullScreenOffset.length>0?u-=jQuery(window).height()*parseInt(e.fullScreenOffset,0)/100:void 0!=e.fullScreenOffset&&e.fullScreenOffset.length>0&&(u-=parseInt(e.fullScreenOffset,0))}f=u}else void 0!=e.minHeight&&f


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  • Esmeralda’s Rehab Journey

    I happened upon Esmeralda in my first week at the Toucan Rescue Ranch (TRR). She was clumsy and uncoordinated- the kind of animal I'm normally drawn to- so I instantly felt connected to her. As time went on, I learned she had come from the illegal pet trade, but there wasn't much else known about her history. She didn't fly and spent all of her time on the floor of the enclosure, struggling to grip or perch on branches. Once witnessing this, I made it my mission to get her perching and exercising her little feet. To encourage her to exercise her foot muscles, we spent time building low climbing structures she could navigate to reach her food bowls. More time passed, and her confidence slowly built as she managed to hop from branch to branch. Esmeralda was then moved to an enclosure with many small trees and a dirt floor. This was great for two reasons. She was able to hop between the lower branches of those small trees and continue to build strength in her feet, and secondly, the dirt floor allowed her a much better grip. Now, when I enter the enclosure, I see her hopping confidently without tripping and she is hard at work carving and decorating a nesting log recently added into her enclosure. I cannot express how special it is to see an animal grow and gain so much confidence in their abilities. Esmeralda is one of the reasons I chose to extend my volunteer stay here at TRR. It's animals like her that remind us to stay positive and keep persisting no matter how hard life is. By former volunteer Talia Harris 


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  • The Sloth Journals

    Age: ~ One year and nine months Place of Origin: Guapiles Current Weight: 2.5 kg Nicknames: Chai Picante, Nosferatu Special Talents: Adventuring, sleeping like a vampire   Chai is the eldest of the high school kids (perhaps his size alone being the giveaway). The black coloration of his limbs and body and his habit of sleeping like a vampire give him a gothic theme. While Chai is yet to transform into a bat and fly off into the night, he has an adventurous spirit and will boldly venture off the comfort of the rocking chairs. Chai will descend to the floor, pick a direction and go, even if it’s straight into a wall. As Chai nears maturity, he begins to display adult sloth behavior like hanging on the climbing frame by himself to sleep. In the not-too-distant future, Chai will be heading out to the ranch’s release site to pursue a degree in wilderness studies, and eventually, join his wild companions in the jungle. Meanwhile, his caretakers will be sobbing uncontrollably as they watch their oldest son begin the next chapter of his life. They grow up so fast. *Sniff* You can symbolically adopt a sloth by visiting our Adoption Program!  By intern Mitch Deskovick


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  • A Fiery-Billed & Collared Aracari

    In my opinion, working at the Ranch is a big responsibility and also a big pleasure. Seeing an animal grow stronger each passing day and recuperate from a bad situation is definitely a calling. This is what happened with two of our residents, the collared aracari and the fiery billed aracari. The collared aracari that joined us in February, had just escaped from being kept as a pet.  His situation was evident. His back feathers were a dull gray compared to the iridescent black of a wild specimen.  His chest was a pale white instead of the almost neon yellow characteristic to his species, and his beak was discolored as if drained of life. He started recuperating almost immediately. The protein we provided in his new diet and the attention he received started slowly turning his plumage brighter and brighter, until the day came when he finally was allowed outside the clinic and into a big enclosure with his own species. The transition process didn't go so well though. The other collared aracaris weren't so keen on accepting our little friend, so he was sent back to the clinic. That changed when we saw him interacting with another fiery-billed aracari who was also in the clinic. Hopeful plans were made as we put both aracaris into an  enclosure of their own. Happily, they’ve accepted each other and now share this wonderful living space together at TRR.   By former volunteer Andres Saenz Brautigam 


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  • The Sloth Journals

    Toffee, Female Two-Fingered Sloth Age: ~ 1-year, 9-months (slightly younger than Chai) Place of Origin: Cartago Current Weight: 1.4 kg Nicknames: Tito, Totoro Special Talents: Eating Level of Fluffiness: 10/10   Toffee is by far the fluffiest sloth at the ranch. One would imagine that she is the heaviest among the babies. It may appear so when you see her eating more than the other babies or racing them to get her share of milk before anyone else. But in reality, the hair only makes her appear as such. Once she is picked up to be fed or taken for a potty break, she is probably as heavy as Chispa. Her extreme fluffiness makes her an adorable teddy sloth, but her dedicated caretakers must ignore the urge to cuddle with her. She is a release candidate and must be treated and trained to be a wild sloth alongside pals Chai and Chispa. Once Toffee becomes a wild adult sloth, her fluffiness power will be put to use to get sloth gentlemen and continue her legacy in the wild. Happy #SlothSunday! You can symbolically adopt sloths like Toffee by visiting our Adoption Program!   Article by intern Ana Maria Villada | Read more of these articles by subscribing to our newsletter! 


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  • TRR Inspired Me to Become a Vet Tech

    Before coming to Costa Rica I was working a full-time desk job and working towards a psychology degree. I had considered changing my degree to something geared toward wildlife rehabilitation but I didn't want to make such a drastic decision without first dipping my toes in the water.  I came to the Toucan Rescue Ranch (TRR) in July, 2016, with a plane ticket to go home exactly 30 days later. That changed about a week into my visit. I immediately fell in love with the ranch and knew that I wanted to stay and contribute here for as long as possible. Spending everyday with these animals gave me something that I had never felt before.  After speaking with some of the veterinarian volunteers, I decided it was time for me to make the change and work towards a degree focused on saving animal lives. TRR has completely inspired and motivated me. The best part about it all is that I get to continue working for the ranch while going to school. The experiences and practice that I see daily at TRR have helped me tremendously in my studies. By intern Mackenzie King | Read these types of articles first on our newsletter! Subscribe today! 


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  • The Sloth Journals

    Lenny, Male Two-Fingered Sloth Age: ~ 10 months Place of Origin: Tilarán Current Weight: 1.6 kg (he probably hadn’t gone to the bathroom yet) Nickname: Toffee Jr. Special Talents: Holding his bladder Level of Fluffiness: 8/10   Lenny is the second-most fluffy baby sloth in the group. At first, it may appear that he is jealous of Toffee’s fluffiness, but he’s really just enjoying his Level 8 status. Unlike Toffee, Lenny has an entirely different superpower- holding his bladder for extended periods of time. As the days pass, Lenny’s belly expands in size with each meal until he sports an impressive sumo wrestler stomach. When the time is right, Lenny will unload a mighty… well, we can spare you the details. As with Toffee, sloth nannies must not be tempted to cuddle the exceptionally fluffy Lenny. Fortunately, Lenny is not terribly fond of being picked up, and will remind anyone that attempts to handle him with a not-so-friendly bite.   Happy #SlothSunday!    You can adopt sloths like Lenny by going to our ADOPTION page and symbolically adopting him!    Written by intern Ana Maria Villada | Read more stories like this on our newsletter! 


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  • The Sloth Journals

    Bowie, Male Two-Fingered Sloth Age: At least 9-months Place of Origin: Sarapiquí Current Weight: 1.2 kg Nickname: Bowie Special Abilities: Snuggling with Latte As one of the younger sloths, Bowie seeks comfort from the snuggly warmth of Latte, with whom he is almost always cuddling. Like Ringo, Bowie enjoys hitching a ride on Latte during her occasional romps on the climbing frame- sometimes even double-teaming the poor surrogate mother with their combined weight. Curious in nature, Bowie enjoys grabbing onto his unsuspecting caretakers while delivering his signature “blank stare”. Previously, Bowie had a fairly aggressive temperament and would approach innocent bystanders with a swipe, a hiss or a bite. Once removed from the rest of the gang however, Bowie will whine and pout until he is reunited with mommy. Thankfully, Bowie’s tough-guy façade seems to have come to an end (possibly after Latte had a talk with him about loving your neighbor). Since then, Bowie keeps his feisty habits to a minimum but will still complain if separated from the coziness of the chairs. Happy #SlothSunday and you can symbolically adopt your favorite sloth by visiting our Adoption Program!  By intern Mitch Deskovick


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