What Should You Do If You Find A Wild Animal In Need?

Slide1By María Pía Martín, DVM, Wildlife Veterinarian, Kids Saving The Rainforest

Kids Saving The Rainforest has a Wildlife Rescue Center. It works in coordination with the Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Technology (MINAET) to look after the wellbeing of native wild animals. Thanks to Good Samaritans we are able to rescue sick, injured or orphan animals, rehabilitate them and then release them back to the wild.

In Costa Rica, many people with the best intentions find animals in need and want to help. The best option is to take the animal to an experienced veterinarian with permission of MINAET.

The first step is to determine if the animal is really in need. Is this animal unable to feed, to hide, or to get away? Is it bleeding? Has it been electrocuted? Has it been run-over by a car? Is it vomiting or does it have diarrhea?
If you answer yes any of these questions then the animal probably is in need of help.

Is it an orphan?
It’s important to do a correct identification of the species and then look for information about their behavior.
For example, some parents leave their baby by itself while they are looking for food, like deer. In other cases, the lonely animal is just looking for a mate, like male monkeys leave their troop for some time until they find a female from another troop (genetic diversity) to procreate. However, in other species, moms can leave their baby behind if they feels it is sick (like sloths), so sufficient time should always be given to allow the mom to come back.
Please call us if you see a baby by itself, we will gladly help you search for the best option.

What do I do if I find a sick or injured animal?
When you are going to grab it be very careful, remember that they are wild animals and are extremely frightened of people.  They may either run away (injured) or attack you. You can use a thick towel or leather gloves to protect yourself. Do not touch them with your bare hands; animals have diseases that may be transmitted to people. I recommend using latex gloves always and wash thoroughly with soap afterwards.
Place it in a box appropriate for its size with a dry and clean towel and keep it in a dark and calm place. Please call us to assist you in the next step.

Should I feed it? Should I give it any medication?
Please don’t. You may offer clean fresh water in a dish. Remember to keep it calm, away from dogs, cats, and other people while you find professional help.

The Wildlife Rescue Center’s number is 2777-2948, English and Spanish spoken.

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Amy the Anteater Part One: The Queen of the Night

Slide1By: Intern Duncan Coleman

The darkness was setting in on the “secret” garden. The night’s grasping fingers had finally prevailed over the shining rays of the sun. My mind swam in a sea of uncertainty. Panic was overcoming me. Questions surfaced from the depths of my consciousness like so many crashing waves in a tempestuous ocean. Would she ever come down? Would she sleep in the tree all night? What would happen if I lost her? Will she die?! A bloodthirsty swarm of mosquitoes now descended upon me in the twilight dusk, buzzing in triumph at having secured a new host. Now I questioned whether I would make it through the night.

I came to be involved in this dire fiasco when I decided to take Amy on a walk in the Secret Garden. Amy was an anteater. She had reached her full adult size and was a sight to behold. She was the queen of the night, garbed in a flowing black jacket over her broad grey shoulders. Her beauty knew no bounds. For, she possessed an untamed, wild spirit within her that all the more enhanced her majestic figure. Amy, however, was scarred by the merciless hand of life. She was attacked by a dog. In the struggle for her continued existence she lost her right front claw and badly injured her left paw. It was in this deplorable condition that KSTR found her; bleeding, afraid, and desperate for help.

Then… she arrived. When I first laid my eyes upon her I could not help to stand aghast, awestruck by her. It was as if she was the sun and I was the sole beholder of the dawning of the world. She came into my view with all her golden glory, all her crimson creation, and all her maroon majesty. I was caught, helpless to escape from the web of wonderment that now seemed to envelop my heart.
Amy gathered her strength in the wildlife rehabilitation clinic at KSTR. As each day faded into the next, Amy grew stronger. The healing ointment, the fresh termites, the cosy anteater abode, and the unconditional love of her caretakers sped Amy’s recovery.

Yet, for all this, I longed to take her out into the Secret Garden to see her in all her glory. I hoped for a glimpse, a small taste of what it was like to see her in the wild. In my eyes, she was but a reflection of her true, unbridled beauty outside of her natural environment. She was a moonlit marvel, masking the true, raw, blazing flames of her innermost soul. Taking Amy to the Secret Garden was the only way I could peer into her that natural inferno of the purest beauty.
The Secret Garden is the paradise for anteaters. When you enter the garden, you enter from high above. Trekking downwards, you can see an expansive meadow surrounded by towering rainforest trees to the right. These trees act as the gatekeepers to the garden, sheltering it from wandering eyes. A small gurgling brook runs through the meadow, which feeds into a stream that flows on one side of the garden. The grass grows long and green. The butterflies glide across the meadow this way and that. Wild monkeys can be faintly heard in the distance. Aromas of fresh citrus fruit and blossoming hibiscus can be smelled in the breeze. The birds fill the air with sweet melodies that seem to briefly touch the soul with each chirp. In this land, a bountiful feast of ants and termites beckons anteaters across the land to climb up the leafy trees and lap up the juicy morsels.

Soon enough, I found myself with Amy in this veritable Anteater Eden. I watched from afar as she climbed in a tree dressed ornately in lush, light-green bromeliads. Even without her front claw, she climbed with a grace that I had never before witnessed. Her movements were slow and calculated, yet absolutely effortless, as if flying on the whims of the wind or swimming with the currents of the ocean. Then, all of a sudden, she stopped her graceful sail through the branches. In drowsy ant-induced ecstasy, Amy fell asleep in the tree.

And so… the darkness crept into the garden, the mosquitoes descended upon me, and my mind became awash in a tempestuous sea of unanswerable questions. I paced back and forth. I worried and fretted over what to do. My radio did not work and I had no headlamp to see Amy. Worst of all, my exposed legs and arms were getting attacked by a never ending onslaught of vicious mosquitoes.

In a frenzied panic, I ran. I ran up the hill all the way to the clinic. I told the others what had happened, snatched a headlamp, a working radio, and a rain jacket. With these items in tow, I raced back to the Secret Garden, hoping that she was still asleep in the same tree where I had left her.

To my amazement, Amy still lay asleep in the same nook of the tree that I left her in. Relief welled over me and I thanked the heavens for her continued slumber. My feeling of relief was short lived when the thought of staying in the Secret Garden overnight crossed my worried mind. Bloodthirsty monsters were – quite literally – draining me of life, weakening my resolve and willpower to continue. In a spout of hysteria, which was partly due to my predicament, I began to think that what I was watching was not really an anteater at all, but a part of the tree that looked like an anteater.

I called over the radio for someone to come down and ameliorate my fear of my own mind playing tricks on me. The two brave souls who came down to the Secret Garden, Dani and Kristy, assured me that I was in fact looking at an anteater. With this assurance, I left the secret garden, vowing to return at dawn. The decision would later come to haunt me…
To be continued in September’s Quepolandia…..stay tuned!

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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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/

Just a friendly reminder on why we need the rainforest

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Did you know that…
Rainforests are primarily defined by two factors: where they are found on the earth and the amount of rainfall they receive. Rainforests are typically found in tropical locations and receive from 160-315 inches of rain per year.
There are 3.4 million square miles of tropical forest around the equator.
While rainforests cover only 2% of the Earth’s surface or 6% of its landmass, they house over ½ of the plant and animal species on Earth.
Costa Rican rainforests contain:
850 kinds of birds
100 species of dragonflies
729 types of butterflies
205 kinds of mammals
10,000 different varieties of plants
There are at least 3000 types of fruits in the rainforest including: avocados, coconuts, figs, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, bananas, guavas, pineapples, mangos, and tomatoes.
Vegetables include: corn, potatoes, rice, winter squash, yams · Spices include: black pepper, cayenne, chocolate, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, sugar cane, turmeric, coffee, and vanilla.
The US National Cancer Institute has identified 3000 plants that are active against cancer cells. 70% of these plants are found in the rainforest.
Despite these benefits…
Rainforests are being destroyed at a staggering rate. According to the National Academy of Science, at least 50 million acres a year are lost, an area the size of England, Wales, and Scotland combined
An average of 137 species of life forms are driven into extinction every day in the world’s tropical rainforests due to things such as logging and cattle ranching which are destroying the trees and the animals’ homes.
On average, rainforest destruction includes:
64 acres/minute · 3,800 acres/hour · 93,000 acres/day
2,800,000 acres/month
33,800,000 acres/year

So, what are you going to do to help it survive?

Self Sufficient Living by Volunteer Vernita Gundy


HMMMMMM…What is that?

I am a US citizen who lives in the City of Philadelphia in Pennsylvania and although I’ve heard of self sufficient living, I have never learned what it actually meant until now. Self sufficient living means self reliance in learning to grow your own, make your own, sell your own and bake your own, for homesteading, urban homesteading or mini farms.

I’ve been in Costa Rica volunteering for Kids Saving the Rainforest the last 3 months and I have slowly started to understand what it is all about and how important it is to change our way of living so we can all be on this earth for years to come.

My first exposure to being self sufficient was at Finca Braman.There priority is to grow their own fruits and vegetables for the animals living at the Kids Saving the Rainforest Santuary and for their guest staying at Mono Azul and the Blue Banyan Inn. They currently have growing on their property mango trees, nance trees,lime trees,orange trees,guava trees,sugar cane,corn,pineapples and many more things to come like a tilapia farm.They have also started a compost pile and that is where they store any leftover food waste.

Did you know that much of our household waste can be food for the garden and very valuable if we compost it, sustaining a cycle of production with little waste, incorporating ideas of permaculture and organics which also benefit the soil, and the plants you grow?

Now I’m not going to preach to you on how to live your life because I myself may not go back to the states living a self sufficient life and I don’t know what is available here in Costa Rica for you to make any changes but now I will be more aware of what I buy, throw out, and what I can do to protect our environment. Self sufficient living reduces our Carbon Footprint by making small changes in every area of our everyday life.

Here are some ideas to get you started on self sufficient living:

1) Buy appliances with the energetic seals like FIDE or the Energy Star, this will tell you how much energy is consumed while in use.

2)Buy furniture made from certified wood that comes from forest plantations managed under international sustainability standards.

3)Use compact fluorescent light bulbs, they provide the same amount of light as incadescent but they consume less energy.

4)In order to improve air quality have plants inside and outside of your house. Within the house, plants are capable of absorbing up to 87% of hazardous toxins present in the air.

5)Use natural cleaning products without chemicals that may damage the environment.

6)Paint your house with light colors both on the inside and outside.On the roof this color reflects the light andon the inside these colors off light.

7)Make your own compost.

8)Start a worm farm to enrich your soil and have rich vermicompost freely and cheaply by feeding the worms your kitchen scraps.

9)Grow your own vegetables. This is the first step to self sufficiency and self reliant living.

10)Raise some backyard chickens. You can raise bantams if you have a very small space, or you can have full sized chickens. You don’t need too many for a steady egg supply. If you get a good chicken breed for eggs a good laying hen will lay about 5 eggs a week.Self reliant living at its best with fresh organic eggs every day.
So, if we all do at least one thing from this list we will all be on the right track of making our world a better place to live in.

References:
Kids Saving the Rainforest
http://www.self-sufficiency-guide.com/index.html
http://www.countryfarm-lifestyles.com/self-reliant-living.html
Compania Nacional De Fuerza Y Luz, S.A.

Kellie Holsey Brings Children’s Books to Winter Goose Publishing and Aids in the Survival of Rainforests

“The Secret Sloth” brings to light a beautiful and little known creature

November 1, 2011 – There are so many reasons to fight to keep our rainforests thriving, and Sloths are at the top of the list. These beautiful and slow moving creatures are a little known resident of rainforests. The Secret Sloth educates and stimulates a child’s mind with a great story and detailed hand drawings by illustrator Jim Koukis.
Take a journey through the rainforest as we learn about the amazing sloth. Discover the dangerous and uncertain world of one of Earth’s cutest and most gentle creatures. Enjoy the detailed hand-sketched drawings which bring this beautifully fun and educational story to life. You will be inspired to help one of the most peculiar and adorable animals on our planet. May they continue to thrive in the lands they have always considered their home.
A portion of the proceeds from each sale will go to Kids Saving the Rainforest at http://www.kidssavingtherainforest.org, an organization that aids in the survival of rainforests.

The Secret Sloth is a 32-page children’s book on paperback, with a retail price of $8.99 and eBook retail price of $5.99, benefitting Kids Saving The Rainforest. The ISBN is: 9780983676454. Published through Winter Goose Publishing and available now through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other major retailers. For more information or to request a review copy, contact Winter Goose Publishing at info@wintergoosepublishing.
About Kellie Holsey:
Kellie Holsey lives in a small gold-mining town in Northern California with her husband, two horses, three dogs and five cats. She is a small business owner and is active in her church. She has four daughters and seven grandchildren spread out all over the United States.
About Winter Goose Publishing:
Winter Goose Publishing is an independent publisher founded in 2011. We are a royalty-paying publisher dedicated to putting out the best literature in prose, poetry and art; covering a variety of genres. You can visit wintergoosepublishing.com for more information or email info@wintergoosepublishing.
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