Medical Care at TRR

The Toucan Rescue Ranch has grown in our ability to take in sick and injured animals and provide inhouse care and rehabilitation. In 2013 a small veterinary clinic was built at headquarters in San Isidro, Heredia, Costa Rica. Generous donations allowed TRR to equip the clinic with an anesthesia machine, bandaging supplies, ultrasound machine, medications, etc. The clinic has been in constant use since its completion. Today, we are nationally recognized for our successful medical work on rescued wildlife. To ensure the utmost care and recovery the Toucan Rescue Ranch works with orthopedic surgeons, pathologists, radiologist, and physical therapists who visit headquarters to perform these practices, as well as, working in collaboration with their premier facilities.

Every animal received undergoes a thorough health check to evaluate what treatments are needed and if surgery is necessary. An overall observation and/or quarantine period is mandatory for all wildlife brought to our clinic. We have a full-time onsite veterinarian that provides daily treatments and if needed, is able to perform surgery. The Toucan Rescue Ranch also has a handful of highly successful and professional veterinarians that visit our facility on a regular basis. TRR has an accredited Internship Program that invites newly graduated veterinarians, vet technicians, vet nursers, and other medical professionals to learn about wildlife medicine and work hands-on on the clinic.

Most surgeries are done onsite. However, for the procedures we are unable to perform - we've built exceptional relationships with other professionals that enable us to provide the utmost care for rescued wildlife. Procedures we are able to perform onsite include: amputation, physicals, laceration stitching, casting, and so forth.

The medical care we provide at TRR would not be possible without the generous donations of supporters.

A Day in the Clinic

The day starts promptly at 7:00 a.m. with patients lining the walls of the clinic, there’s animals to attend to. This involves cleaning their bedding, feeding, and attending to each different species medical needs. Every animal is given a check-up and updates on their health written down in records. Treatments are administered to those who are prescribed. Throughout the day the animals receive constant care and enrichment, sometimes not ending with sunset - 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 at the Toucan Rescue Ranch!

Learn about our Medical Team

Ana María Villada Rosales

Ana María Villada Rosales is the Ranch’s resident and traveling Veterinarian. She graduated from Vet school from the Universidad de Guadalajara, Mexico and has a Master’s in Conservation Medicine from Murdoch University, Australia. She has worked at zoological collections in Mexico and rescue centers in Australia working mainly with wildlife since graduating University. She oversees the clinic and overall treatments of injured animals, also oversees the caretaking of the sloths and their advancements  within the sloth release program. When needed she travels between the Toucan Rescue Ranch’s Release Sites and headquarters for treatments and preventive medicine for the animals.

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Janet Sandi Carmiol

Janet is the Ranch’s onsite veterinarian. She obtained her DMV from Escuela de Medicina y Cirugía Veterinaria San Francisco de Asís in 2006. During her studies, she worked with Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary 2005-2006 and interned with the Dallas World Aquarium December 2006 (exotics). Janet interned with the Wimberley Veterinary Clinic in Texas in 2007. She opened her private veterinary clinic in Curridabat, San José in 2008, and became a consultant to the zoo in Playa Bonita, Moín, Limón (Paradero Ecotour) in 2008. At the Ranch she conducts examinations, medical logs, procedures and surgeries. She oversees the overall health of all of the animals in the Ranch’s clinic and property. Her role as a veterinarian has evolved into more management tasks since obtaining her MBA.

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Why have Resident Animals?

An animal that is brought to TRR with severe injuries that will prevent it from eating, hunting, climbing, flying, foraging, or supporting itself independently in the wild is considered unreleasable. TRR has an extensive Release Program for orphaned sloths, various bird species, and other mammals. Animals that are desensitized to humans due to human interaction (like being kept as a pet) are considered unfit for release. This is because animals risk being captured and reintroduced into the black market as an illegal pet and could face animal neglect and abuse. As well as, have the chances of dying due to insufficient understanding of wild behaviors. Examples of non-releasable animals are parrots kept in someone’s home for years, an owl that has a missing wing, monkeys brought as orphans and do not have a troop to be released with, etc.

All rescued animals belong to Costa Rica and the wildlife governing body known as MINAE. The wildlife ministry monitors our activities, but do not contribute financially.  As caretakers for wildlife, we are responsible for the cost of their medical care, diets, housing, special demands, and so forth. We do educational walks, have an authentic guesthouse experience, and have a symbolic adoption program to raise money to care for rescued wildlife.

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

Every animal brought to the Toucan Rescue Ranch is given treatment with the goal of returning it to its natural environment. If deemed unreleasable, that animal is given sanctuary at TRR.

Symbolically Adopt with TRR

TRR Complete Species List

Meet some of our Resident Wildlife

Lorita

Mealy Amazon

Meet Lorita. She was brought to us by MINAE because her owners claimed her to be too noisy, and they weren't wrong, Lorita loves to sing and scream. She came in a small cage with metal perches and had no feathers on her chest. Her feet were completely black from the condition of the cage. We asked about her history and she had spent 15-years with one lady in the same cage and another 15-years with the prior 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 seed as well as buying her a new and larger enclosure allowing her to have baths. Within months her feathers grew back.

After a year, she managed to come out and explore her new world. She had to learn to move and stretch and play with toys as well. Watch her take a bath. Adopt Lorita!

Charley

Scarlet Macaw

Meet Charley. Charley is a Scarlet Macaw that was brought to us with deformed feet. Unfortunately, TRR was unable to rehabilitate Charley’s handicap.

Charley was unable to perch himself due to his inability to grasp with his feet. It was difficult providing Charley with the needed support to teach him 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 him with support. She did this by pushing him up against herself and the wall of the enclosure. With this support, Charley was able to use his handicap to balance.

Today, thanks to Rosita’s support and Charley’s diligence - he is able to perch! Adopt Charley!

Sarapiqui

Spectacled Owl

Meet Sarapiqui. She is a beautiful Spectacled Owl that arrived with a severely broken wing and head injury from being hit by a truck in Braulio Carrillo National Park. She had a collapsed wing and was completely unresponsive for several days upon her arrival. After consulting with colleagues in the United States and local vets, 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.

Due to a very strict rehabilitation plan, she was able to recover. She now lives with other owls like her in a large enclosure. If you want to help her you can always consider adopting! Adopt Sarapiqui!

Athena

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 have 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 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. Adopt Athena!

Millie

Hoffman’s Two-Fingered 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 leads 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 at TRR. 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. Adopt Millie!

Stella

Hoffman’s Two-Fingered Sloth

Meet Stella. She came in from a road stop. MINAE set up roadblocks 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. Adopt Stella!

Noelia

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. Adopt Noelia!

Emma

Neotropical River Otter

Meet Emma. She came to us as a 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 attempted 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 a wildlife official who then drove over 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.

Gigi

Greater Grison

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. Adopt Pepper or Gigi! 

Tabu

Oncilla

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! Adopt Tabu!