She arrived at Toucan Rescue Ranch late one afternoon in 2007, as a very sick, very tiny orphaned baby – just 1 week old.
As implied by their name, TRR was initially established as a rescue center for toucans and other birds. But the second Millie arrived, rescuers knew: Their mission was evolving. Since opening their doors in 2004, the need for help has only become more prevalent amongst several of Costa Rica’s native species, with an alarming rise in the number of abused and injured sloths.
So, that very same year, TRR expanded – working with government agencies to coordinate a collaborative response to the emerging rescue and rehabilitation needs of affected wildlife. And together, with a dedicated team of highly experienced and qualified vets, vet nurses, and wildlife conservationists (most being volunteers/interns, we might add!), TRR grew to be the fully-operational, multi-species rescue and rehabilitation center it is today.
The center offers animals like Millie a safe sanctuary to heal while their medical/special needs are treated – with the goal being rehabilitation, and then eventual release. However, Toucan Rescue Ranch also has some “lifers,” like Millie – animals unsuited to rejoin their natural environment. But don’t worry; Millie isn’t letting that get her down! In fact, she just celebrated THIRTEEN whole years with Toucan Rescue Ranch – and boasts the title of TRR’s longest sloth resident!
During this time of uncertainty, rescuers’ priority is to remain committed to the safety of the community, staff, and resident animals. But as developments of the COVID-19 pandemic persist, rescues and wildlife sanctuaries/organizations such as TRR are experiencing a huge loss, coming in the form of one of Costa Rica’s most lucrative and major sectors: Tourism.
Drastic measures have needed to be taken, just to keep the center’s electricity and water running. Things like emergency funds and basic supplies are now running dangerously low, while at the same time, other animal projects are closing and clearing out. However, the mission TRR was founded upon – to save those ones who need them most has not, and will not stop. As of August 2020, Toucan Rescue Ranch remains steadfast in continuing to save lives, as there are so many more deserving lives still in need. But already, the rescue is home to over 320 animals – dozens of sloths, toucans, macaws, parrots, owls, cats – just to name a few.