KSTR UPDATE from the President

  • by Jennifer Rice
  • KSTR has been very busy with lots of great news that we want to share with you.
  • We now have our official Zoological Garden license. We use this license for our wildlife sanctuary to house any wildlife that can’t be released back into the rainforest, animals that would have to be euthanized if we did not care for them. Currently there are over 20 monkeys protected at the Sanctuary which is called the Kids Saving The Rainforest Educational Center.
    Pia Martin DVM, our wildlife vet, offers private tours to those wishing to learn about the rainforest, it’s destruction, and how they can help to save it.
  • ICE has insulated the live electric wires near the corner of the Hotel Mono Azul and they will be insulating more in the future. They have also covered 40 transformers and placed dozens of physical barriers like “cones and little spiders” on the secondary wires to prevent the animals from jumping onto the wires, so that sloths and other animals cannot get electrocuted. This is wonderful news; we have been working to get this started for 11 years. KSTR meets with ICE on a monthly basis to report updates of the monkey bridges and any electrocutions. We also identify the risk areas for the wildlife, assess them and help ICE determine if it is best to trim the trees, insulate a transformer, put up a cone or another device to physically prevent the animal from jumping on the wire, or to put up a monkey bridge). ICE helps us when we need to install monkey bridges where there is danger due to live electrical wires, they send out their cherry picker with our monkey bridge team.
  • KSTR and Co-founder, Janine Licare, were in an incredible article called “Women of the Forest: Gisele Bundchen, Trudie Styler, Daryl Hannah and Janine Licare” in COCO ECO MAGAZINE. For those of you who don’t recognize the names, Gisele is the Brazilian Super Model who is a rainforest activist, Trudie Styler is Sting’s wife and among many other things is an environmentalist. Daryl Hannah is best known for her acting in Kill Bill, Blade Runner and Splash. She is also known for her activism in preserving Planet Earth. Janine Licare is co-founder of KSTR, and will be graduating from Stanford University in June. She will then be going to teach for the program “Teach for America”. (Teach For America is the USA National Corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools and become leaders in the effort to expand educational opportunity.) Janine will be teaching in East Los Angeles.
  • The US Ambassador to Costa Rica came to our sanctuary and got a tour from Pia Martin DVM, Barbara Thompson, our wildlife rehabber, and some of the kids of Kids Saving The Rainforest. The Ambassador posted on Twitter “Impressed by success of Kids Saving the Rainforest. Outreach builds communities of interest across borders & preserves biodiversity in CR.” and posted 10 pictures of the event online!
  • An elementary school with 19 classrooms in the New Jersey is having their annual reading program, Reach for the Stars – READ. Students are challenged to reach a reading goal of 1000 minutes over 8 weeks. This year’s theme is the rainforest and they are learning a lot about the rainforest. KSTR is partnering with them and part of their reading will be the 4 books written by KSTR teaching about the rainforest. KSTR has donated our books to their library so that all the kids can read them.
    Please help us to save the rainforest by shopping in our KSTR Souvenir Store, where 100% of the proceeds go to save the rainforest.

A Visit To the KSTR Animal Rescue Center

Pía and Kinky, our kinkajou.

We were lucky enough recently to get a tour of KSTR’s rescue center with Pía Martín, KSTR’s full-time vet. For the past year and a half, Pía has been caring for the animals at KSTR’s rehabilitation facility, which is tucked within 4 acres of Manuel Antonio rainforest owned and protected by KSTR. The sanctuary is managed by KSTR’s staff and volunteers and is overseen by MINAET, Costa Rica’s Ministry of Environment and Energy.

Currently, the rescue center is home to about 15 animals, among them Titi monkeys, red squirrels, marmosets, kinkajous, sloths, raccoons, anteaters, and even a toucan. The center specializes in sloths and Titi monkeys, but as the only rescue center in the Central Pacific Coast area, KSTR recognizes the need to help other species as well. The center’s trained professionals and volunteer interns work to rehabilitate and return animals into the wild and reunite them with their respective troops.

Large hand-constructed cages made from heavy wood and screens are used to house monkeys, kinkajous, and raccoons during their recovery periods. Smaller cages, pet carrying cases, and even laundry baskets make great homes for the smaller animals who feel secure in more compact spaces. All of the animals are walked or exercised daily in the surrounding rainforest and are given individualized diets, researched and prepared by Pia and other KSTR staff and volunteers.

Animals arrive at the rescue center from many different sources. Some are found abandoned and brought in by concerned people in the community; others are wrongly kept as pets and confiscated from homes by MINAET; and still others are unfortunate victims of electrocution or car accidents while trying to cross the roads.

Animals suffering from shock may only need to spend a night or two at the center, Pia explained, and can be released quickly after receiving medical attention, food, and water, while other animals with chronic conditions need round the clock attention and basic life skills before they can be reintegrated into the wild. Sammy the sloth, for example, struggled with pneumonia when he first arrived at the center and his growth has been stunted do to chronic illness. As part of Sammy’s rehabilitation, he is placed in fallen trees and low brush so that he can develop his climbing skills. Depending on Sammy’s progress he may be able to be released in about a year. KSTR plans to provide permanent homes for animals that can’t be reintegrated at its Wildlife Sanctuary located at the nearby Blue Banyan Inn.

Urgent and more extensive care can also be provided by Pia in her veterinarian office located on the grounds. Stocked with medical supplies, medicines, a microscope, and an examination table, she is able to perform surgeries, such as amputations of burnt limbs, or investigate samples from the animals to track down disease sources or forms of disease transmission.

To date this year, the center has taken in over 40 animals and expects at least another 20 by the year’s end, although, as Pia said, you can never predict how many animals will be in need of care.

For more information about the rescue center or to find out how you can volunteer or make a donation visit KSTR.

Tour KSTR’s Wildlife Sanctuary Today!

Pia, KSTR’s vet, attending to Sammy, a rescue sloth.

My name is Trevor and I was a volunteer animal rehabilitator who worked with KSTR’s veterinarian, Pia, performing rescue, rehab and release techniques for the many sick, abandoned or injured animals that come into the KSTR clinic everyday. To give you a little glimpse into the kind of work KSTR does, KSTR now has a special tour! I know what you’re thinking, “Oh, great, another tour in Quepos/Manuel Antonio….” Well, I’m here to tell you that this tour is a little different than the average tour you might find in the area.

The new KSTR tour is three years in the making, thanks in part to our very generous donors and volunteers. It offers visitors a chance to get a behind the scenes look at how their money is helping save injured animals with a glimpse into the work performed at the clinic (via a slide show) and a chance to see the new KSTR animal sanctuary, organic garden, and organic farm located at the Blue Banyan Inn. 100% of the proceeds of this tour go to funding projects like our rehab clinic, our sanctuary, and monkey bridge projects. You too can become a donor or guardian of the rainforest.

The tour itself consists of a presentation at the Hotel Mono Azul, where the KSTR headquarters is located. During this presentation we will take you behind the scenes of the rehab clinic, highlighting the animals we currently have at the clinic and how we are helping to rehabilitate them. We will also discuss other projects that KSTR has going on that help save the rainforest. After this presentation, if you choose, you can make a piece of jewelry, a postcard, or bookmark that we will then sell in the KSTR store, from which all proceeds go to protecting the rainforest. Then it’s off to the sanctuary! It is just a 20 minute drive from the Hotel Mono Azul to the beautiful property of the Blue Banyan Inn. Once at the sanctuary you will come face to face with over 20 animals who cannot be released into the wild and call the sanctuary home. After the sanctuary we stroll through the organic garden and farm where you can pick or cut your own fresh limes, sugar cane, or pineapple.

If you are still thinking to yourself, “How is this tour different?” let me sum it up for you…this tour does not make a profit! All of the proceeds of this tour go right back into KSTR’s Wildlife Sanctuary Project.  You’re sure to learn something new and have a good time doing it!

Tour Time: 2 PM to 5 PM. Private tour times can be arranged.

Prices: $35 for adults and $25 for children (open to all ages). For $10 more, dinner and swimming are included at the Hotel Mono Azul.

To book: Contact KSTR at 2777-2592 or email us.

Pia, KSTR’s vet, attending to Sammy, a rescue sloth.