The Battle for a Wild Life

By Elle McGraw (Wildlife Rehabilitation Intern at KSTR)

No one enjoys losing. Especially when losing means life or death of beautiful animals. Everyday at our wildlife sanctuary, Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR), we embark on the battle of life or death in the case of each animal we receive. For some animals the battle is the immediate intervention between life or death; and for other, less severe cases, it consists of preparing goals in order for them to return to the wild. For all of us here at KSTR, we put our heart and soul into every animal that comes through our clinic.

In professions such as ours, it is imperative to detach yourself emotionally, at least until the animal prevails through the initial critical stages. However, in my personal experience, I have found this to be quite difficult, sometimes impossible. Each person at KSTR has dedicated their life to the welfare and conservation of wild animals, and when one’s love for animals runs so deep, it makes detaching oneself quite difficult. This lack of detachment can make the loss of an animal more painful, but the release that more rewarding.

I have seen some amazing things while working at KSTR, as well as endured the pain of loss. The enjoyment of seeing an animal released, continues to renew my spirits in order to continue the grueling work we do. I have witnessed animals that come in badly wounded from cars, electrocutions, and dog attacks, that survive in cases that seemed hopeless. There is never a time that we give up on an animal without trying, without putting our hearts into it.

In one case, of an agouti that was hit by a car, her hind leg was so severely broken that it required amputation. We knew that she required the amputation to save her life, but we didn’t know if she could ever be released with only three legs. When her wound was healed enough, we began taking her for walks, which quickly became runs. After a short time of her learning how to maneuver without her hind leg, she was too fast for us to catch. She fought her way through the pain of being hit by a car, infection, and the loss of a leg, all the way to release. We have since seen her a few times at the site we chose to release at.

The joy of seeing animals that would have otherwise been cast off, not only survive, but thrive back in the wild, has no equal to a wildlife rehabber. These are the moments we work so tirelessly for, these are the moments we live for. I cannot imagine a more rewarding job, or volunteer opportunity.

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KSTR featured on BBC One! Nature’s Miracle Orphans Costa Rica

Ellie Harrison and Max Hug Williams to present Nature’s Miracle Orphans for BBC One

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Presenters Ellie Harrison and Max Hug Williams follow the early lives of orphaned baby animals as they make their brave journeys back in to the wild, in a 2 x 60 minute series from the BBC’s award-winning Natural History Unit.

Filmed in Costa Rica and Australia, the series follows the teams and individuals who devote their lives to caring for young orphaned wildlife, teaching them the basic survival skills they need before they can be released back into the wild.

Wildlife cameraman Max Hug Williams visits Kids Saving the Rainforest in Costa Rica to meet the carers of a three-toed sloth named Newbie, who is battling a life-threatening illness. Max is also introduced to two-toed, two-day-old sloth Tiny, who is in need of constant care and attention, and anteater Al, who must learn to tackle aggressive biting ants if he is going to survive in the wild.

At Cape Otway Conservation Centre in Australia Ellie meets a tiny koala called Danny, who was found abandoned at the roadside after his mother was killed and ran up the leg of the motorist who stopped to rescue him. She’ll also visit Wildhaven Wildlife Shelter on the outskirts of Melbourne, where she’ll meet baby wallaby Neil and the carers working around the clock to teach the skills he’ll need for a life in the wild.

Max says: “Through the dedication of the amazing carers I met in Costa Rica, the animals that have had the hardest start in life are given the second chance they deserve. These incredible people have given up everything to nurture and care for these orphans 24/7 and having seen what they go through, I have to say, it must be one of the toughest jobs in the world.”

Ellie says: “Few jobs require as much personal sacrifice for no pay as rescuing and rehabilitating wildlife. The carers I have spent time with in Australia are woken through the night, convert their homes to rescue centres and have their personal schedule determined by the needs of the animals. But the reward is clear: a second chance for the orphans who would never have otherwise survived and the return of the animals they have nurtured back to the wild.”

Executive Producer Lucinda Axelsson says: “All the animals featured in the series are handpicked for their plucky personalities and their will to survive. It’s almost impossible not have your heart melted when you see Danny the baby koala being weighed in a little glass jug, or little Neil the orphaned wallaby trying hard to find a friend to cuddle up with. These babies are trying to survive against formidable odds and every survival truly feels like a miracle.”

Nature’s Miracle Orphans was commissioned for the BBC by Tom McDonald, Acting Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History. The Executive Producer is Lucinda Axelsson and the series producer is Kate Broome, both for the BBC’s Natural History Unit.

 

Our Adoption Program has changed to a SPONSORSHIP PROGRAM!!

All funds received through our site go to Kids Saving the Rainforest, a 501(c) 3 US non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of the endangered mono titi monkey and Costa Rica’s Rainforest.

 

Sponsorship levels describe what your dollars will accomplish for funding each critical project or rescue and release or sanctuary care for that type of animal.  These funds are used immediately for our ongoing programs and for helping the animals in our care. New short term projects  are supported through specific project fundraisers which are listed at the bottom of our Razoo DONATE page.  This includes options for you to create your own campaign for your group through Razoo. To Learn More about each program and project please go here:

http://kidssavingtherainforest.org/sponsorship-levels/

Save the Sloths with Kids Saving the Rainforest!

kermie ellen pelota

Named Pelota, Ellen and Kermie, these delightful close-knit threesome two-toed will hopefully become the first ever once orphaned baby sloths of their kind to be released in Costa Rica and the first in the world to be released with GPS collars. Two toed sloths typically spend up to two years with their mothers learning how to be wild. Three- toed sloths spend between 6 months and 1 year with their mothers learning to be wild. This time allows for the young to gain weight to stay warm, to learn how to find good shelter, what to eat, how to climb and to learn about predator avoidance. Vital to this process is the pre-release of the threesome into a 50 by 40 M “boot camp” facility with large trees and ample climbing opportunities which is being built by a group of volunteers on KSTR property this June. This will allow the three as well as the other up and coming youngsters to move into a protected environment that provides a needed learning environment before their release.

KSTR is raising funds to help facilitate this important project to outfit the sloths with tracking collars to ensure their safety and to study their behavior upon release. Kids Saving the Rainforest encourages you to get on board to maintain and preserve the magnificence of the rainforest and wildlife that is a vital part of Costa Rica.

For more info visit kidssavingtherainforest.org or view relevant updates on Facebook athttps://www.facebook.com/pages/Kids-Saving-the-Rainforest/146280833519 or our blog athttps://kstr.wordpress.com/ You can also email jennifer@kidssavingtherainforest.org or call 011-506-2-777-2592 in Costa Rica.

Volunteering for KSTR….what’s it all about?

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Our volunteer season has arrived early this year and to kick it off was Chela Crinnon’s group from the Fieldston School and True Nature Education who returns to KSTR every year with groups. Now our individuals are arriving now until Mid –August and we even have a few families volunteering and staying with us.


So, you want to be a volunteer and know what your day will be like here @ KSTR? Why do you have to pay to volunteer? Let’s get the money issue out of the way first. Kids Saving the Rainforest is solely operated on donations; therefore your donation (registration fee/volunteer fee) helps to feed and care for the animals of the sanctuary and covers the expense of food and housing for you. Your dedicated hard work is your volunteering for the amount of time that you are with us.


A volunteers’ day will almost always consist of 2 animal feedings a day, cleaning cages, behavioral observations, enrichments for the animals (toys or objects to keep them from getting bored) and even sometimes you may get the special chance to walk an anteater or even get to help out with the animals in our Rescue Center. Most volunteer will not get the chance to work with the Rescue Center/Clinic animals due to us wanting to limit their contact with people since once they are well, they will be returned to the rainforest. Although at times we get so many animals in the Rescue Center help is needed.


We also often have volunteer groups come in for the day and do a major cleaning and enriching  of cages which is always fun to see what volunteers come up with that’s new and exciting for the animals. Getting to see an animal actually use something that you made is pretty rewarding and watching them try to figure what it is and what to do with it is even more fun!


Our volunteer program is growing more and more every day and saving animals lives and giving people an experience that they will treasure for a life time makes us happy and to continue this we will always need the support from you.


We accept day volunteers, 1/2 day volunteers and you can stay with us in either the volunteer center bunk rooms or a cottage for a minimum of 2 weeks. For more information please go to:  http://www.volunteer4kstr.org/ or email the Volunteer Coordinator at: volunteer@kidssavingtherainforest.org


Other ways you can help Kids Saving the Rainforest is by donating or even taking a tour of our KSTR Wildlife Sanctuary. To find out more: please go to: www.kidssavingtherainforest.org


 


 


		

What a year!!! What’s to come in 2014?

Wow, as I sit here and review our holiday newsletter from last year, it is absolutely amazing of the progress and changes KSTR has been through.

Since moving the rescue center to BBI in Mar 2013, we’ve had several animals come and go. Some have survived and been released back into the rainforest and some are still here growing and gaining strength for releases in the future. Unfortunately, some have also passed away but I assure you that their time here was pleasurable.

Our Vet tech Sam Trull has learned so much on her own, from our Gerente Vet Pia Martin and even from other animal caretakers in other countries. Sam’s knowledge has strengthened incredibly and we are so proud of her and that she’s on our KSTR team.

Pia Martin has and will always be an integral part of caring for the animals during the days she visits us to do check-ups. We continue to support and learn from her. Her monthly wildlife report keeps us and our supporters up to date on the statuses of the rescue center and sanctuary.

The multi species enclosure is completed!! Currently we have 8 titi monkeys and a porcupine living in it. We are still in the process of learning about which animals can live there in harmony. We’ve enriched the enclosure with more trees, plants and blue rope for the animals. We’ve added an additional door to make it easier to feed them.

Vernita Gundy has taken to wearing several hats for our organization. She is not only the Volunteer Coordinator but is also the Administrative Assistant and the BBI Hostess. She steps in at any given time whenever she is needed!

 

Dani Dion who’s been part of our team for quite some time took on a huge responsibility to help out a man with a terminal illness who had several dogs that he asked us to help find homes for in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area. To date we’ve adopted out 7 of the dogs and still with the possibility to receive more in the coming months.

Dani also continues to help out with the animal feeding and anything else that goes on at the sanctuary. Her official title is Canine Captain, Monkey management & Wildlife caterer. Wow …that’s a fancy job! J

 

Hannah Lindstrom, our repeat volunteer who just can’t stay away from us extended her stay here as an intern to assist in the research, releasing and tracking of Al the anteater. She has come to love Al and although she will be sad to see him go, she will be very happy to see him return to where he belongs………back in the rainforest.

 

Oh and to top it all off, we’ve had an incredible volunteer season! But wait there’s more…….incredible donations from funding to supplies brought to us from people visiting Costa Rica and the local community helping us transport animals.

We are creating awareness, growing and making so many improvements here that we can’t even keep up! And you know what? We love every minute of it and we hope everyone will continue on this journey with us.

I really wish I could type every single person/group that has played a part in our growth but it’s impossible. There are two words that I can say though, “THANK YOU!”  We hope to do it all again in 2014!! Have a Happy and Healthy New Year!!

 

KSTR Crew and KSTR animals

 

 

New Kids Saving the Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary Tour!!

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Who’s been here to experience our tour? What ! You have never been? Check out what you’re missing! Tours will start up again on 12/22, so book your reservation!

New Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR) Wildlife Tour

By Dani Dion, Doglandia Manager and KSTR Volunteer

KIDS SAVING THE RAINFOREST, (so named when it was started 15 years ago by two 9-year old girls), specializes in the RESCUE & RELEASE of wild animals. There are SO many special success stories to share and hear from the animal caretaker! However, there are many animals, which cannot be released, and KSTR offers safe sanctuary to them. They are given an environment in which they can thrive and enjoy life, along with great nourishment and care! As you can imagine, this takes a good deal of time and money to run a rescue center/sanctuary, which is primarily funded from donations, volunteer stays and tours.

KSTR is a registered non-profit organization in the US, and one of the few MINAE-approved, legal rescue centers in the country.

We invite you to take this special TOUR and come see the dedication and love it takes to help save these rainforest animals—over 130 animals every year.

Meet our precious Monkeys up close—the endangered Titi Squirrel, Whiteface Capuchin, Spiders, Marmosets, and Tamarins!

Other animals like a kinkajou, a porcupine and different parrots and more will also be seen on the tour!

-One of our Animal Caretakers will take you through the Wildlife Sanctuary so you can see and learn about wildlife animals.

-Our Vet Tech will introduce you to a 2 toed or 3-toed sloth or another recently rescued animal being rehabilitated and being prepped for release in our Rescue Center Clinic. You will have a close, clear view through our clinic window and appreciate the care given to these animals.

-You will also walk through the largest enclosed cage in Central America and see animals all around you!

-A light snack will be served after the 2-hour tour!

-Donation of:-$40 for adults and $25 for children under 18!

The tour is located about 7kms outside of Quepos Central on the property of the Blue Banyan Inn, part of a 70 acre property that has a mountain view and are surrounded by primary and secondary rainforests!

The tour is available Monday, Wednesday,Friday and Sunday
from 9 to 11 AM. Reservations are necessary. Special tours for groups can also be arranged.

You can drive there or have KSTR arrange transportation, (which is not included in the tour price). For directions go to bluebanyaninn.com

Please contact volunteer@kstr.org or call us at 2777-2572 or 1548 or 2592 to make arrangements. You will enjoy this special tour, the only one of its kind in the area and learn so much more about KIDS SAVING THE RAINFOREST and how you can help save the rainforest!