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Cutest Rescues of 2019


Like many of the opossums we rescue, Eddie was orphaned when his mother was hit by a car and killed. Due to development and deforestation, wildlife is finding it difficult to travel safely between fragmented habitat, especially across roads. It won’t be long before Eddie and the other opossums in our care are old enough to be released. This year we released 15 opossums that we raised from infancy after they lost their mothers.


Mexican hairy dwarf porcupines have a prehensile tail that they use to help them stay balanced while climbing in the treetops. Unfortunately, baby Joey lost his tail when he was attacked by dogs and now has to learn to climb without out it. We are still not sure if Joey will gain the skills required for a successful release, but since he’s still too young to be on his own, he will have several more months with us to practice.


Mike, a white-nosed coati (pizote), and his siblings were orphaned when their mother was hit by a car in Samara. Two days after her death, the little ones made the tough decision to leave the nest. Mike, Herman, and Artemisa, spent several months learning the essential skills needed for survival in the forest. They were released in November 2019.

Ian & North

This year we released 5 Pacific screech-owls (Megascops cooperi) who were all rescued when they fell from the treetops. Ian was found on the ground with a few small puncture wounds on his wing so we think a predator attacked the nest. Both Ian and North infants were given special care and hand-fed by our staff and volunteers several times a day. Once they grew their flight feathers and practiced flying in our flight enclosure they were released in a forested area.


Petite is a black-bellied whistling duck who became separated from his family and ended up in the middle of a hotel parking lot next to the main road in Playa Guiones. His mother was nowhere to be seen and Petite was very lost and needed our help. Like all ducks, Petite absolutely loves the water. During his very first dip at the Refuge, he instinctively splashed around, quacking excitedly! Petite has now grown into a beautiful adult duck and is ready for release!


Valery was orphaned when her mother was electrocuted in Tamarindo in August 2019. Unsafe power distribution is commonplace in Costa Rica, even in rural areas filled with precious wildlife. Valery was clinging onto her mother’s fur as she climbed onto the power lines and sustained wounds to her hands from where the electricity surged through her mother’s body, burning her. Valery required several weeks of care inside our wildlife clinic, but has now fully recovered and is making new friends inside our infant nursery.