Costa Rica is a destination on many people’s bucket list, but that’s more for fun in the sun on a resort – and not experiencing one of the most unique and alive landscapes in the world.
For a country that stretches just 51,000 square kilometers it boasts 5 percent of the earth’s biodiversity, ranking among the Top 20 countries in terms of biodiversity with 500,000 difference species of animals calling Costa Rica home.
At the Rescue Center, we come face to face with many of those animals. Our facility is dedicated to the protection and health of Costa Rica’s wildlife and rehabilitation of those animals injured physically or mentally.
If the facts above blew your mind, here are some other amazing tidbits of information about our neighbors and the animals you can find at the Rescue Center in Tilaran, Costa Rica:
Sloths are often a punchline when it comes to nature, with their extremely methodical movements and silly expressions. But did you know that while a slot may be slow on land, these guys are expert swimmers. Yep, that’s right. And because they can slow their heart rate down to an incredible pace, sloths can actually hold their breath for as long as 40 minutes underwater.
One of the reasons we bring a number of sloths into the Rescue Center is because of their vulnerability in the wild. And, as it turns out, sloths are no more vulnerable than when they’re going to the bathroom. Unlike many animals, sloths poop and pee in the same spot every time and that makes them extremely open to predators but also human threats as well. They don’t have much power in their extremities to fend off foes, so this risky venture to the ground is often the reason they have to pay a visit to our facility.
The current numbers project around 5,000 sea turtles are killed every year simply by fishing and human interference, with a 90 percent reduction in populations over the past 28 years. Costa Rica is one of the most populated areas for a number of sea turtle species and our cooperation with the award-winning turtle conservation programs in the Osa Peninsula is one of our most valued relationships.
Sea turtles have one of the lowest mortality rates in nature – even without human influence plaguing their population. According to scientific records, just two of every 1,000 sea turtle eggs actually reach maturity to a point where those turtles can reproduce. Without the threats of dangerous fishing methods, illegal hunting and the destruction of habitats, sea turtles are expected to live as many as 80 years in the wild.
Thanks to a bevy of appearances in Hollywood movies, these incredible and entertaining little creatures have quickly become the target of many people seeking an exotic luxury pet. The white-headed capuchin is a medium-sized species of monkey that live among the tree-top canopies in Costa Rica’s rain forests. They live in groups – or troops – with as many as 20-25 monkeys and are extremely social, with deep family ties and a sense of community.
That’s why when these animals are stolen away by poachers and tourists, they can undergo an incredible amount of phycological stress and harm. White-headed capuchins will often translate that stress into destructive and aggressive behavior, which can not only lead to human harm but also physical harm for these animals. Due to a healthy population, the white-headed capuchin is ranked very low by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in terms of protection, however, that doesn’t matter to us. The Rescue Center specializes in rehabbing these “stolen” animals and eventually getting them back to a place where they can be re-introduced into the society.