The Toucan Rescue Ranch (TRR) mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release Costa Rica wildlife. TRR works with a model that focuses on conservation, education, and research to ensure a brighter tomorrow for Costa Rica wildlife.
Who is the Toucan Rescue Ranch
TRR emphases on the care, rehabilitation, and release of national wildlife. We receive and care for confiscated, sick, and injured animals from government agencies. The Toucan Rescue Ranch works closely with the Ministry of Environment and Energy of Costa Rica (MINAE) who brings injured and displaced wildlife to the center. TRR provides sanctuary while giving treatment, rehabilitation, and when possible, release to their natural environment. We specialize in toucans, sloths, and owls, however, we have a large array of wildlife from weasels, porcupines, cats, kinkajous, parrots, and so forth.
The Toucan Rescue Ranch (TRR) was founded in 2004 by Leslie Howle and Jorge Murillo. The original intention of TRR was to rescue, rehabilitate, and release Costa Rica toucans. MINAE (wildlife governing agency) noticed the success TRR had with toucans and began bringing various bird species. In 2007, when a baby sloth given the name Millie arrived, TRR transitioned into a full-time, multi-species wildlife rescue facility that specialize in toucans, sloths, and owls. TRR receives, cares for, and releases a wide range of species.
- To establish a captive breeding program for all six species of Costa Rican toucans.
- To accept, evaluate and treat rescued animals in need.
- To rehabilitate and release injured wildlife back to its’ natural environment.
- Provide educational programs, research sites, and facilities across Costa Rica.
- Provide volunteer opportunities for national and international individuals.
Timeline & Milestones
The sloth release efforts have grown. TRR receives many orphaned sloths each year. Thanks to TRR’s continued partnership with Café Britt and The Sloth Institute, TRR can acquire tracking equipment for more sloth releases. This equipment enhances the Saving Sloths Together project and enables both institutions to monitor sloth release movements, activities, and intervene if sloths do not appear to be adjusting to life in the wild.
Learn about TRR’s Wildlife Guardians
The Toucan Rescue Ranch is privilaged to work with professionals from all over the globe. Since TRR's humble beginnings, its human capital has grown exponentially. This has allowed TRR to expand its internal and external operations, enabling its mission and vision to cultivate true change. Thanks to this growth, Toucan Rescue Ranch now functions in different locations across Costa Rica due to its diverse team of voluntary and paid-staff positions.
As the Project Coordinator, Carol maintains and monitors project plans, project schedules, budgets, and expenditures. She organizes, attends and participates in administrative meetings. Carol documents and follows up on important actions and decisions from meetings and strategic plans.Read More
As the Marketing Manager and Fundraiser/Education Supervisor, Zara is responsible for marketing and communications strategies, as well as overall branding and image. She prepares annual marketing plans, creates campaigns and events, and analyzes the market and competitors. She also supervises the Education Center and its functions as well as the tourism sector of TRR.Read More
As a Vet Supervisor, he shares the responsibility of keeping a record of all wildlife casualties and correlating said casualties to potential threats that local fauna face. As a part of the Medical Team, he assists in the diagnostic approach such as diagnostic imaging with X-rays and ultrasonography. As well as other diagnostic methods such as laboratory tests. He supports the team with surgical procedures and other therapeutical methods such as the use of regenerative medicine techniques, which include the use of tilapia skin and collagen. Santiago is in charge of the preventive medicine protocols implemented for the welfare of the animals in the sanctuary.Read More
Andrés Sáenz Bräutigam is one of the veterinarians for Toucan Rescue Ranch. He started as a volunteer in July of 2014 and worked for Toucan Rescue Ranch in a lot of areas such as being a tour guide, vet and animal husbandry intern, and Toucan Team coordinator. He has always had an interest in sloths but has developed a true passion for them since working at the rescue center.Read More
Tesa Mendoza Blowey is the Release Site Supervisor and oversees the last stage of rehabilitation for many animals under our care. She studied Wildlife Conservation Biology at the University of California Davis, where she specialized in animal/human conflicts and wildlife management.Read More
Isaac Brenes Jiménez is currently studying biology with an emphasis on tropical biology at Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica. He is originally from a town in the south of Costa Rica named Pérez Zeledón. Isaac started working at Toucan Rescue Ranch as a volunteer in April 2021. Soon after, he applied and became an on-call tour guide.
Starting in August 2021, he became the Toucan Rescue Ranch’s receptionist. In this role, he assists the Education Department with phone calls, reservations, attending guests, parking, and general customer service.
+506 8953 3735
Stephanie Valle Cubero is the Environmental Education Coordinator and a guide at Toucan Rescue Ranch. She studied Tropical Biology at the National University (UNA) of Costa Rica and she is getting a Lic. degree on Natural Resource Management at the Universidad Estatal a Distancia (UNED). She is currently doing her thesis on Environmental Education, and she hopes to have a long-lasting impact on the local communities’ view and relationship with wildlife.Read More
+506 8547 0957
Dani Calvo is the marketing assistant at the Toucan Rescue Ranch. They studied Social Communication at Universidad de Costa Rica. Dani has a big passion for storytelling and social action, so working at the TRR has been a great opportunity to bring these together. As part of the Marketing Team, they support content creation, social media, crowdfunding, and internal/ external communication.Read More
Ivette oversees daily operations in the outdoor animal kitchen where she advises volunteers and interns on animal diets, food preparation, and general care. She is the reason we are able to keep hundreds of animal residents and patient animals happy and healthy. Ivette has proven to be a crucial role at TRR.Read More
As the Executive Assistant, Laura assists the administrative team by acting as the point of contact among executives, employees, clients, and other external partners. She also helps with managing information flow in a timely and accurate manner. She assists in daily tasks such as payroll, supply orders, and other important tasks to keep the center running!Read More
At Toucan Rescue Ranch she started as a tour guide in 2022. She loves TRR because she fell in love with its mission. Having the opportunity to teach people, not only from Costa Rica but all around the world, about wildlife and why people should care for them is something important to her. Her goal is not only to keep educating, but help with the animal nutrition, check on their diets, and help as much as she can with the knowledge on those topics with the animals in the sanctuary and the new arrivals.Read More
U.S. 501(c)3 Non-Profit
- Leslie Howle, Founder & Executive Director of Toucan Rescue Ranch
- Cindy DiGesualdo, USDA Veterinarian
- Richard Henderson, Attorney
- Jerry Jennings, Owner of Emerald Forest Bird Gardens
- Seymour Sohmer, Executive Director, Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Ph.D, FLS.
- Joan Marie Embery, Conservationist, Public Speaker, and Equestrian
Company Officers: Leslie Howle: Chair; Terrie Velasquez: Treasurer; Vacant: Secretary
U.S. EIN: 80-0516453
Costa Rican Foundation
- Leslie Howle, Founder & Executive Director
- Janet Sandi, Veterinarian & Animal Care Coordinator
- Fabian Pacheco, Ecologist & Environmental Activist
- Manuel Vega, Accountant
- Andres Chaves, Municipalidad Employee
Costa Rican Foundation: 300667701803
Toucan Rescue Ranch started an annual art contest in 2016 to raise funds for various projects and programs. In years past, this fundraiser has raised money for new medical equipment, pre-release enclosures, and an education center!
2023 Toucan Rescue Ranch’s Call for Artists will fund our WildMed Fund for THREE MONTHS. This encompasses medicine, procedures such as X-rays, and medical supplies!
It is time for our 3rd Annual #TRRShareYourShot photography contest! We are excited to bring together photographers and philanthropy to help us accomplish accessibility at our sanctuary!
Helping wildlife brings us together! With your help, we can rescue, rehabilitate and rewild Costa Rica’s wildlife. Every week we receive many cases of injured animals and orphan babies that we take under our care. When you donate you become part of this mission!
The Call for Artists is back and submissions are OPEN! The theme this year is #OurWildWorld! One of our favorite fundraisers is happening NOW to raise $13,000 to build an Education Center at our Release Site in Sarapiqui, Costa Rica! Our Release Site is integral to our mission of getting animals back in the wild and soon will be a hub for community education.
We care for over 200 animals and nearly 50 species of wildlife. That means we have to feed all of the animals constantly. What do the animals love the most? Papaya, of course! Toucan Rescue Ranch goes through nearly 1-ton of papaya in JUST one week. This doesn’t include the various fruits and vegetables that we also provide in our diversified animal diets. Did you know that Toucan Rescue Ranch spends $42,000 each year on JUST papaya?! How wild is that?
Watch as your favorite slothlete competes in the 2021 Sloth Ironman Games Series. The series includes a 4-part challenge of enrichment activities. And yes, the fastest sloth wins! All donations made during the Sloth Ironman Games will be put towards each sloth’s release back into the wild. Be on the lookout on our social media for updates leading up to the event!
The entire month of June will be dedicated to our 2nd Annual #trrshareyourshot where you can share your wildlife photography with the Toucan Rescue Ranch with a chance to take 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in both the adult and junior photographers categories. The winners will receive unforgettable prizes (see below) including overnight stays in eco-lodges all over Costa Rica and the opportunity to visit the TRR sanctuary!
We care for over 200 animals and nearly 50 species of wildlife. That means we have to feed all of the animals constantly. What do the animals love the most? Papaya, of course! TRR goes through nearly 1-ton of papaya in JUST one week. This doesn’t include the various fruits and vegetables that we also provide in our diversified animal diets. Did you know that Toucan Rescue Ranch spends $42,000 each year on JUST papaya?! How wild is that?
Watch as your favorite slothlete competes in the 2020 Sloth Ironman Games Series. The series includes a 4-part challenge of enrichment activities. And yes, the fastest sloth wins! All donations made during the Sloth Ironman Games will be put towards each sloth’s release back into the wild. Be on the lookout on our social media for updates leading up to the event!
This year is especially important due to Covid-19 and the lack of funds from being closed to the public. This online fundraiser will help us with our relief fund to care for all the sloths in our care and help with their rescue, rehab, and release journey.