Twice a month our Gerente (Sanctuary and Rescue Center Manager) Pia Martin visits the animals , here’s an insight on her visit.
JUNE 15, 2013 REPORT – KSTR RESCUE CENTER
• 2013-06-037. BABY TITI CHARLOTTE- Thin and sick. She has a Gastrointestinal infection both bacterial and fungi in origin. Is still feisty. She is receiving treatment and her appetite has improved. In clinic, away from the other baby titis meanwhile.
• 2013-06-038. ADULT WHITE FACE- brought in severely traumatized, fractured femur, lost a lot of blood. Taken for an amputation to Desiree. Died after surgery.
• 2013-06-39. BABY VIREO FLAVORENSIS. Insectivore chick. Died the next day.
• 2013-06-040. JUVENILE KINKAJOU. Confiscated from a home in Damas. Health wise ok. Under behavioral observation to see if it can be released.
• 2013-06-041. ORANGE CHINNED PARAKEET. Confiscated from same house. Adult. In good condition. Taken with the rest to Quarantine 1.
• 2013-06-042. ADULT PORCUPINE. Extremely thin, sick and with two major injuries with maggots on body. Did surgery, cleaned and debrided the wounds. One was left open with a sugar bandage, the other was closed and a drain was placed. Should continue in critical condition with plenty of fluids, food, and medications in the clinic.
• 2013-06-043. ADULT HOWLER. Electrocuted lactating female. She has first, second, and third degree burns on legs, thorax and arms. Has fever, infection, and poor appetite. Does not use her hands. Had to do surgery and amputate 2 fingers. In critical condition in the clinic.
• 2013-06-044 – 047. FOUR 3 WEEK OLD BABY RACCOONS. Are in good health but still very small: ears closed/no teeth. Feedings every 4 hours. Deworming protocol.
• The animals neutered 2 weeks ago (ALVARITO and LITTLE JR.) recovered fine and fast. They went in the enclosures with their families after recovery without any problems.
• PELOTA (10 month old two toed sloth)- found in perfect health too. She is growing fast and steadily. She is very curious (explorer), strong, agile, and has an incredible appetite. She has been staying by herself the whole day at enclosure R2 for the last 2 weeks. Doing great. Eating by herself! And eating a lot of new things: loving red lettuce. Has also been spending time with Kermit and they have bonded. New objectives: start learning to drink suero from a bowl, milk every other day, spend more time at R2 at until 10pm by herself. Get Kermit with her during the day for a couple of hours.
• KERMIT (2 month old two toed sloth)- growing and gaining weight. Starting to eat carrots and other veggies. Spending time with Pelota. Stronger than before. Starting to go outside on trees. Cover R3 floor with palm leafs (in case he falls) and put him in the hammock with Pelota during the day.
• PESTO (Wolly opossum). Raised here. Ready to be released on Monday. Enclosure R1 should be left open with food on the inside available. He may come back at dawn. Close the door again. Open at dusk. Continue feedings at dusk so he knows he can come back. He will leave and not come back when he finds shelter and another source of food.
• Clyde- male titi monkey. Healthy, growing fast and steadily. (from to 220grs to 240grs in 15 days.)
• Bonnie- female titi monkey. Healthy, growing and gaining weight ( from 225grs to 245grs in 15 days).
• Harley- male titi monkey. Also healthy, gaining weight (260grs). They are all learning to eat by themselves at night if hungry.
• Starting to have interest in fruits, veggies and eggs. Been introduced to Peeta and Nibbles and there has not been any aggression.
• Al- the anteater. He is ready to be released. He is healthy, big, strong, knows how to forage for ants and termites. Knows how to climb and dig. He is ready. We are waiting for the gps collar. We need $3000 more to reach the goal. The idea is to soft release him and have volunteers be tracking him to monitor the release.
• Tolomuco- huge, fast, agile, can climb, jump and run, can find food that is hidden and can hunt-kill and eat live prey. He is going to be released in primary rainforest in the middle of nowhere about 40mins from Quepos in a place called Santa Juana. Hopefully this week.
• ARMADILLO- passed away after several days after surgery and trying to recover.
• OWL- still alive and recovering from surgery at Simon Bolivar Zoo.
• FARFEL AND ROMEOS BABIES- and all other marmosets are doing ok. Normal.
• SANDY was moved to Yang and Ninjas cage. They accepted her right away. No sign of aggression at any moment. She has bonded with one of the males. The other one is still included, no aggression there either, but he is a bit a far. No mating witnessed.
KENNELS. All Kennels are full (good and bad ones), do not even have a shift kennel. This means that kennels still need to be fixed: they don’t have doors, the doors don’t work, they have holes, or are broken; or in NEED of new ones. Also that we cant take in anymore animals until we release or someone dies. The 4 raccoons took the last kennel (a broken one, good thing they are still very small). Next fundraiser? Each kennel is about $100 in Costa Rica.
The trail to the Rehab area is finished and beautiful.
The trail to the Quarantine area is in progress.
The stairs from the Clinic to the Bodega are done.
The trail from the bodega to the bridge is done.
MULTISPECIES CAGE. The huge structure is ready! It has 2 doors to enter the place, a ranch with 4 wooden boxes for the animals to shelter at night, day and rain. Some things are still missing: a shift cage, cement under the doors, other details. Then enrichment and planting more trees and or bushes. Then the titi monkeys will be transferred.
WASHER/DRYER- very much needed, they are now new and ready to use. For the rescue center and sanctuary animals.
As you can see there’s been a lot going on here and we will give you updates so you can see how you’re helping and how you can help us continue to save the animals!
Kinkajous (Potos flavus) and in Spanish “Martillas”, are medium size mammals (40-55cms long, weighing 2-3kg), brownish colored from the Procyonid family. This means they are nocturnal, live in pairs or by themselves and are arboreal and terrestrial; just like raccoons (Procyon lotor) and coatis (Nasua narica).
However, they have unique characteristics that make them very special in the rainforest. For example: although they are categorized as carnivores, they do not eat meat. Their diet is basically fruits, flowers, and rarely they will eat a bird’s egg or an insect. They have a 5 inch tongue that helps them get nectar from flowers making them pollinators. Their ankles and wrists can rotate more than most mammals helping them climb up and down trees and walk in branches easily. They also have a long prehensile tail that can wrap itself around a branch and hold on to most of the animal’s weight so it can hang and reach for a fruit in a lower branch.
They are endangered due to the loss of their habitat (deforestation, forest fragmentation, civilization), they were hunted for food in the past and also to use their coat as the bristles in paintbrushes. They are also caught and sold in the pet trade. Here in Manuel Antonio, kinkajous are common but difficult to observe since they only come out at night and stay mainly in the trees. Their main threats are electrocutions, being hit by cars, and attacks by dogs.
Last year we received a very small, furry animal with a huge head; small eyes and long tail. It was a newborn kinkajou found by a woman in Parrita who was walking towards her house and spotted him on the ground by himself. She gave him to MINAET and they brought him to us.
Raising a kinkajou is definitely an extraordinary situation. At first we had to syringe feed him formula with probiotics, and he slept all day and all night. As he was growing we changed to a bottle and started introducing fruits and veggies, and put him into a playpen with stuffed animals, branches, ropes, and live trees.
Now, that he feeds on his own, is very active at night, and he is starting to search for his independence, we are beginning to do a soft release. Every night, the animal caretaker and me, open his cage and let him come out. He follows us into the jungle, just like he would follow his mom. We are training him to explore the world, search for his food using his sense of smell, hide from predators or unknown noises and get away from people. We are letting him climb up very tall trees and develop strong muscles in his hind legs, forearms, and tail so that he will feel secure moving in the canopy of the trees. Every time he achieves a little challenge we give him a prize, a small piece of grape or really sweet mango. It is difficult since we have to do it at night and we are always looking out for snakes and also afraid that he might run away before he is ready and that we will not be able to catch him.
But for the time being, he is still used to us so he is not leaving yet; but when the time comes and he knows how to find food, shelter, and company, he will leave and follow his instinct. We just need to prepare him well to survive and reproduce in the rainforest, just as he was meant to be; free and happy.
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.