• 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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  • 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 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 site has 40 acres of rainforest where 16 sloths have already been released by TRR. TSI is excited to further this release program with the release of hand-raised orphaned sloths as well. The collaboration, in alignment with TSI’s mission of the conservation and well-being of sloths, focuses on a 3-part release plan of hand-raised orphaned sloths back into the rainforest. “We are very excited to be able to share what factors we have learned and are learning that contribute to hand-raised orphaned sloths successful re-entry into the rainforest”, said Sam Trull, co-founder and Sloth Director at TSI. “The sloths at TRR will begin their journey into TSI’s Soft-Release Program. Fitted with tracking collars, the sloths will be tracked around the clock to collect behavioral data, locational data and health status information; critical for the replication for other orphans to have a chance at going back home to the rainforest.” “Our hope with this collaboration is to better learn how to prepare orphaned sloths brought to our center for eventual re-entry into the rainforest” said Leslie Howle, Founder/Owner of TRR. “There is a critical need to give these orphaned sloths a second chance at life and with The Sloth Institute’s assistance we are so excited to be a part of the sloths journey back to the jungle where they belong.” Trull, who spent more than a decade working with primates, began her study of sloths three years ago. “Sloths are not a primate species but are very similar and endearing because of their human like qualities and are in danger”, said Trull. Howle who has spent over 12-years working with Costa Rican wildlife and nine-years with sloths, is excited to enhance their release site and see sloths off into their journey to be wild. Trull and Howle have been sharing sloth information for the past two years. For more information about the collaboration, see www.theslothinstitutecostarica.org/blog. About The Sloth Institute of Costa Rica The mission of The Sloth Institute Costa Rica is to enhance the well-being and conservation of wild and captive sloths through research and education. TSI is also dedicated to collaborating with sloth rehabilitation programs to assist with the release of hand-raised orphaned sloths. TSI is located in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. For further information or to donate to this project, email info@theslothinstitutecostarica.org or visit www.theslothinstitutecostarica.org.


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