Since Toucan Rescue Ranch’s humble beginnings our motto has always been: Rescue. Rehabilitate. Love. Liberate. An axiom that was truly felt on November 9. It was this day that we loaded eight sloths into a car and drove them to their new home – The Release Site. Accompanied by Founder Leslie Howle, Veterinarian Janet Sandi and Sloth Caretaker and intern Natalie Brown – three women who have devoted endless hours of care to these animals with the dream of seeing them one day live in the rainforest.
A monumental day for not only these special sloths but for the Toucan Rescue Ranch. A feat that has rarely been done and an idea that seemed impossible finally became a reality. In 2007 when the Toucan Rescue Ranch rescued its first orphaned sloth, Millie, it was said that you couldn’t release an orphan back into the wild. A heartbreaking reality for young sloths whose homes were being displaced due to the destruction of their habitat and human interference.
Fast forward to June 2016 when we became partners with the Sloth Institute of Costa Rica (TSI), a research based nonprofit organization that recently had released several captive-raised orphaned sloths back into the wild. TSI is a program created by Sam Trull and also a close friend of Leslie Howle. This friendship quickly evolved into a partnership between organizations and the ability to release captive-raised sloths at TRR became a certainty.
Now, here we are today nearly 17-months later, and we’ve prepared eight captive-raised sloths for release back into the wild. Eight sloths by the names of Chispa, Toffee, Latte, Chai, Bowie, Ringo, Santana, and Lenny are now familiarizing themselves with their new home at the Release Site – where they will be evaluated on their final months in captivity before life as wild animals.
The team was overcome by joy, nervousness, excitement and pride as we wrote Toucan Rescue Ranch history. It was the day that we gave these amazing sloths a life that they deserved #backinthetrees.
“Nothing great in the world has ever been accomplished without passion.”