Medical Care

The Toucan Rescue Ranch has grown in our ability to take in sick and injured animals and provide inhouse care and rehabilitation. In 2013, the Ranch built a small onsite clinic where surgeries, quarantine and overall monitoring take place.

Every animal starts with an overall observation and/or quarantine period depending on its circumstance. Once a week our veterinarian comes to the Ranch and completes a full physical and a parasite check. These results determine the care and treatment of that particular bird or animal. Now, we are able to do nearly all of the primary procedures onsite. Such procedures include amputation, anesthesia, physicals, antibiotics, laceration stitching  and so forth.

Much of what medical care we provide on the Ranch would not be possible without the generous donations. Since our onsite clinic we have been donated: A microscope which allows us to do parasite checks; an anesthesia machine which allows us to perform surgeries on birds and other wildlife with ease; as well as bandages, antibiotics, surgery glue and other very important tools!

What Procedures We Perform

  • Anesthesia
  • Amputation
  • Parasitic Evaluation
  • Physicals
  • Stitching
  • Surgery
  • Biopsies
  • Emergency care

A Day in the Clinic

The day starts promptly at 7:30 a.m. with kennels lining the walls of the clinic, there’s animals to attend to. This involves cleaning their bedding, feeding and attending to each different species needs. Each animal is given a check up and updates on their health written down in records. Medication is administered to those who are prescribed. Throughout the day the animals receive constant care and enrichment, sometimes not ending with sunset and care will continue late into the night. Many of these animals are release candidates which need rehab work and exercise. Other animals in the clinic are orphaned babies in incubators, those with injuries or confiscated animals in quarantine for assessment. A day in the clinic is always an exciting and rewarding experience here at the Ranch.

Success Stories


Two-toed sloth

Milo was brought to the Ranch because his mother and him were very ill. Unfortunately, his mother passed away and Milo was left as an orphan. He was still suffering from a terrible cold and was unable to regulate his body temperature. Yet, through his sickness he grew stronger with the proper care. Today, he is our second oldest sloth on the Ranch!


Spider Monkey

Noelia was brought to the Ranch as an orphan. She was kept as a pet and the humans who kept her cut her tail off. She was so young that she had to be kept in an incubator and was on 2-hour care and feeding schedule. She was also infested with parasites and suffered several wounds (including her tail). Today, she is now growing and is good friends with Izzy, our other spider monkey.





  • The Sloth Institute and Toucan Rescue Ranch Partner to Help Orphan Sloths

    Collaboration focuses on releasing hand-raised orphaned sloths back into the rainforest The Sloth Institute of Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica (TSI) announces its collaboration with Toucan Rescue Ranch (TRR) to enhance its Sloth Release and Education Program at TRR. TRR’s release site is located in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica, which is one-hour from their rescue center.This release […]

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The Release Site

The release site is expanding and enabling the Ranch to release more wildlife! The Ranch has two properties, one parcel of 25 acres and another one measuring 16 acres where our farm house is located.  Here, we provide volunteer opportunities for zoology, biology, veterinary and other wildlife professions to gain hands-on-experience with releasing and monitoring wildlife. We also conduct  an education program for the local area to inform locals about the importance of keeping wildlife wild and the influence humans have on our ecosystems.

A Release Candidate VS. Permanent Residents

Release Candidate:

An animal that is brought to the Ranch with prior instincts and the knowledge of surviving in the wild is likely for release. Such cases are adult raptors, owls, sloths and birds that are brought in with minor injuries that can be treated within a timely manner. Also, toucan offspring in our breeding program will be also be release candidates. However, it is important to note that process of release depends on the collaborative agreement of Leslie, Vet Janet and MINAE on whether the animal can be released.

Permanent Resident:

An animal that is brought to the Ranch with severe injuries that will prevent the animal from eating, hunting or supporting itself in the wild. As well as offspring or orphans that have little to no prior knowledge gained from parental guidance for proper diet, habitat and behaviors. Also, animals that have desensitized to human interaction will be unfit for release; because that animal risks being captured and reintroduced into the black market, illegal pet

Partnered with The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica

The Sloth Institute (TSI)’s vision is to expand scientific knowledge and education about the sloth to enhance their well-being and assure their conservation here and on this planet. The Sloth Institute’s 3 part mission: 1)  RESEARCH of captive and wild sloths. 2)  COLLABORATION with other institutions that work with sloths around the world. 3)  EDUCATION to generate and disseminate responsible and balanced information about sloths to the public.

The Toucan Rescue Ranch and The Sloth Institute Costa Rica has joined forces to release more rescued orphaned sloths! This partnership was established to help assist TRR with its soft release program of hand-raised sloths.  The collaboration will also allow TRR and TSI to expand the research of both wild and released sloths! TRR is excited to enhance this component of its release efforts so it can contribute to the overall release success and science of sloths! TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For further information or to donate to this project, email or visit

Sightings at our Release Site


The Ranch houses full-time animal residents. Wildlife that come in as orphans or with serious injuries require long-term and sometimes permanent care. Click on the following for more information on our permanent residents that are birds, owls, sloths and other wildlife.

Why We Have Long-Term Residents

Not all rescued animals can be released. Juvenile or adult birds and animals that come to us with minor injuries receive medical treatment, care while they recuperate, and then are released back into their natural habitat. Ones that come as babies or with serious injuries require long-term and sometimes permanent care. All birds and animals are visited by our vet regularly.

The rescued birds and animals belong to Costa Rica. The wildlife ministry monitors our activities but they do not contribute financially.  As caretakers of this wildlife, we are responsible for the cost of their medical care and food. We do tours, rent out guesthouses, and do symbolic adoptions to raise money to care for the animals.

The Ranch rescues wildlife with the intention of releasing the animal back into its natural environment. If the Ranch has the capacity to completely rehabilitate the animal from its former injuries/condition, then, with permission from MINAE, we release that animal back into its habitat.

The Ranch rescues wildlife with the intention of releasing the animal back into its natural environment. If the Ranch has the capacity to completely rehabilitate the animal from its former injuries/condition, then, with permission from MINAE, we release that animal back into its habitat.

Adoption Program

Do you want to donate to the Ranch but to a specific animal, consider our Adoption Program!

Species List

The Toucan Rescue Ranch cares for 186 animals and 51 species!  Click below to see our species list.

Meet some of our residents


Mealy Amazon

Meet Lorita. She was brought to us by MINAE because she was noisy, Lorita loves to sing and scream. She came in a small cage with metal perches and had no feathers on her chest and her feet were completely black from the condition of the cage. I asked about her history and she had spent 15 years with one lady in the same cage and another 15 years with the current owner who finally gave her to MINAE. She never left the cage that was about 15 inches in diameter. We changed her diet to include fruit, vegetables and pellets as well as buying her a new and larger enclosure allowing her have baths. Within months her feathers came back. The problem with Lorita was that she was completely cage-bound and refused to leave her enclosure. After a year of opening the door and encouraging her and she managed to come out and explore her new world. She had to learn to move and stretch and play with toys as well. You can see Lorita taking a great rain bath on YouTube.


Scarlet Macaw

Meet Charley. Charley is a Scarlet Macaw that was brought to us with deformed feet. Unfortunately, the Ranch was unable to rehabilitate Charley’s handicap. Charley was unable to perch herself on branches do to his inability to grasp with his feet. It was difficult providing Charley with the needed support to teach her how to successfully balance. That is until Rosita came to the rescue. Rosita was a fellow Scarlet Macaw that became good friends with Charley. Rosita was able to teach Charley to balance on a perch by providing her with support. She did this by pushing her up against herself and the wall of the enclosure. With this support Charley was able to use her handicap to balance. Today, thanks to Rosita’s support and Charley’s diligence she is able to navigate in her enclosure!


Spectacled Owl

Meet Sarapiqui. She is a beautiful Spectacled Owl that arrived from MINAE with a severely broken wing and a head injury from being hit by a truck in Braulio Carrillo. She had a collapsed wing, and was completely unresponsive for several days upon her arrival. After consulting with colleagues in the United States and the local vets here we devised a treatment plan and she slowly recovered. Her wing was fractured in two places and we battled a bone infection among other traumas. Large owls weight can around two lbs (she’s 950 grams) and eat large rodents. Costs for Sarapiqui’s maintenance is about $2.00 per day, so adopting Sarapiqui would be tremendously helpful. Sarapiqui is up for ADOPTION.


Striped Owl

Meet Athena. She is a Striped Owl that was rescued by a group of boys from their neighborhood dogs. Striped Owls nest on the ground, or close to the ground, so she might of just wandered away from the nest and found herself in a mess. Leslie hand fed her for a couple of months and she is very tame and interested in her surroundings. She unfortunately was not able to learn to hunt since she has been in captivity from a young age. There was a hurricane and the roof of her enclosure flew off and she flew away. For a week we put food out every night. Yet, on the eighth day at 2 a.m., Leslie heard the chickens making a noise and told Jorge to go check on them. Jorge came over to the bedroom window and said, “Les, you better get up and come out here, there is a large owl sleeping with the chickens!” It was Athena! She found her way home and entered the only cage that was open! Today, Athena has had owlets of her own. Athena is up for ADOPTION.


Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth

Meet Millie. She arrived late one afternoon in 2007 as a tiny one-week old baby. Her mother had died, she was found by park rangers. When they dropped her off it was with a special warning, “Don’t get too attached to her since she will probably die.” Well, that made us very nervous. Then talking with others, they had the same warning, “Sloths are very hard to take care of, she will probably die.” Well, one thing lead to another and we found a great sloth vet who comes to visit. We set up a very intricate plan for Millie and years later and many sleepless nights (they‘re nocturnal) Millie has become the oldest sloth on the Ranch. Her name is short for Milagro, Miracle, Millie is now the subject of a book we’ve published; “Millie, the two-toed sloth: A Costa Rican rescue adventure.” Millie has a huge following on YouTube as well and is our sloth ambassador for our education program.


Hoffman’s Two-Toed Sloth

Meet Stella. She came in from a road stop. MINAE sets up road blocks to inspect cars for contraband, and they found little Stella poached away from her mother in the trunk of this man’s car. Totally against the law to take wild animals from the forest. For Stella it was a painful ordeal and when they took her out of the tree, or away from her mother they unfortunately pulled her legs and for several days she was unable to even move. With walking and climbing therapy she is doing really well and completely rehabilitated.


Spider Monkey

Meet Noelia. She came in very dehydrated from a horrible pet situation where her tail was severed. Today, she is sharing an enclosure with Izzy, our first Spider Monkey. Noelia can be a handful but has become quite athletic. Due to her past she’s had to learn how to climb without her tail. She has adapted well and can get around the enclosure just as well as her friend Izzy. This is quite the feat considering the Spider Monkey has the longest tail in the monkey family. The Spider Monkey also uses its tail to climb serving as a fifth limb. Against all odds, Noelia has grown-up to be 100% rehabilitated.


Neotropical River Otter

Meet Emma. She came to us as a tiny baby from the Sarapiqui River. She was involved in an incident of children on vacation swimming in the river who decided to throw rocks and separate her from her family. Fortunately another lady who came to the river with her children realized what was happening, scolded the children and tried to get the baby otter to return to the river but she wouldn’t swim away. So the lady stuck Emma in her purse and took her to the wildlife official who then drove over the the mountain range in poor weather conditions to deliver her to our care. Today, she is full of energy and thrives off interaction. There is a crowdfunding campaign for Emma to build her a large pool enclosure. Help Emma and build her a larger enclosure where she can swim and play! Emma’s project.


Greater Grisonr

Meet Gigi. She is our first weasel. Gigi is very similar to Emma, webbed feet and enjoys playing with both Emma the otter (separated, but they can interact) and Pepper her boyfriend. She came into the program because her mother was poisoned. She was very ill, but now is a very healthy and animated weasel. Gigi was featured on TV as an ambassador to other grisons, we did some education and asked people to please protect them and not poison them just because they are different and people are not familiar with them. Gigi has been ADOPTED!



Meet Tabu. His name means forbidden and sacred, which completely fits him because he’s an Oncilla, one of the most endangered and smallest cats in Costa Rica. He was found in Cartago in peoples backyards looking for food. Tabu came here and four different wildlife official evaluated him as well as people who have worked with feral cats. We found that he was used to people because at an early stage in his life he was probably someone’s pet. He was poached out of the forest as a kitten, then as he began to get larger and dangerous they chose to let him go. He is endangered and looks to humans for food, it was decided that he should stay at the Toucan Rescue Ranch. He is about the same size as a house cat. We have been very fortunate and two of our guests gave very nice donations and enabled us to build him a huge enclosure!