More details about the project
The Wildlife Rescue project was established in 1999 and has been working to conserve the rainforest and its inhabitants ever since. The project’s mission is to protect Costa Rica’s diverse wildlife by rescuing and rehabilitating the animals and where possible returning them to the wild. The project current has a 55% re-release rate, one of the highest in Costa Rica. They also conduct scientific research and promote conservation by educating local and international visitors.
The project provides education about the ecological importance of the rainforest and has created programmes which preserve and protect both the rainforest and its wild inhabitants. They develop awareness of the critical importance of saving the rainforest for the survival of the planet and encourage ecological practices. There are numerous threats to the rainforest including burning, logging, mining, development and cattle farming. The project has created monkey corridors (which allows the monkeys to move safely around) and organises reforestation programmes as well as education initiatives in an attempt to relieve these pressures.
One example of their impact is their introduction of monkey bridges in the local area in order to protect the endangered titi monkeys. The leading cause of death in this species is electrocution by electric wires while crossing roads and being hit by cars. The project has erected several monkey bridges which allow a safe alternative for crossing the roads and subsequently there has been an increase in their population numbers. They have also campaigned with the local electricity company to insulate electrical cables to allow the safe passage of animals.
The volunteer role at this project has a strict ‘hands off’ policy. The less contact the animals have with humans the more likely they will be able to express normal behaviour, and be re-released.
Although some of the animals have become quite tame due to their upbringing amongst humans, it should not be forgotten that they are wild and unpredictable animals. The policy is also in place for the safety of the animals and the volunteers.
Volunteers support the ongoing work at the project by providing extra resources to assist the local staff in caring for the animals in the sanctuary who are unable to be released. This ensures that all of the animals receive optimum levels of care and can also be provided with enrichment. The support volunteers provide allows the team to focus on treating new rescues and rehabilitating those that are able to be re-released.
Volunteers also carry out observations of the animals in the sanctuary, these observations can help identify animals that may be unwell so that they can receive veterinary treatment as soon as possible.