The Creation of Refuge for Wildlife
The Bombard family arrived in Nosara, Costa Rica in July of 1998. Originally from Santa Catalina Island, of the coast of Southern California, Brenda had always cared for the orphaned baby deer, Spanish mountain goats and young wild pigs that were common to the island. So when she arrived in Nosara, she was immediately recognized by residents and locals as an animal lover. At the time there was no where to take injured and orphaned wildlife so over the course of Brenda’s first few months in Nosara, injured wildlife were brought to her doorstep.
In January of 1999, a groundskeeper brought a young female howler monkey to Brenda. The howler had been electrocuted on an uninsulated power lines and had horrible electrocution burns. Several veterinarians were called immediately, but unfortunately she only survived three days.
This tragic incident with the badly electrocuted young howler Monkey, launched Brenda on a very personal mission that has so far lasted for 18 years. During this time her effort to save the local wildlife has evolved from a part-time endeavor to a full-time commitment. Refugio Animales de Nosara, now known as “Refuge for Wildlife” began in 1999 as a result of those efforts. Refuge for Wildlife became a legally titled Costa Rican Non-Profit, the “Fundacion Albergue de Animales de Nosara” in January of 2015. We are the only legal non-profit rescue centre in Guanacaste.
Rescue, Rehabilitate and Release Injured, Orphaned and Displaced Wildlife
Rescue – To accomplish our Rescue Mission we have members of our staff trained in wildlife emergency response procedures. These include removal of injured wildlife from High Voltage electrical lines and transformers, dealing with injuries caused by other animals, cars and falls from trees. Training to provide field medical stabilization and transportation to the Refuge Veterinary Clinic and Rehabilitation Facility. In 2016 Refuge responded to 263 emergency responses calls and received 57 transfers/deliveries of injured wildlife.
Rehabilitate – Immediate medical attention and long-term rehabilitation work is conducted at the facilities of the Refuge for Wildlife. Our on-site Veterinary Clinic is available and staffed by our Refuge Volunteers and Veterinarian. Many animals will remain in the Refuge Clinic’s Intensive Care Program for many weeks before being transferred to the outdoor enclosures to complete their rehabilitation prior to release.
Unfortunately many of the animals rescued or received at the Refuge are orphaned or displaced infant animals and birds. The majority are young Howler Monkeys ranging from days old to a year old. These young animals are cared for at the Refuge Nursery where they receive constant medical supervision and feeding. These young animals must be feed every 3-4 hours day and night. When they reach 11 – 14 months of age they will be transferred to the outdoor enclosures where they will join a group of 5-7 other young monkeys to form a new group. This group will then begin preparation for their release as a new family. Other young animals, Squirrels, Pizotes, Raccoons and Birds mature faster and are normally able to be returned to the jungle much sooner.
Release – Return to the wild is our goal for every animal that arrives at the Refuge. Adult animals that are received and successfully rehabilitated are whenever possible, returned to the same location where they were rescued and released into an environment that they are familiar with. Hopefully they may rejoin their original family group. Others that cannot be returned to the same location are released in areas that are as remote as possible. Some animals have sustained injuries that will not allow their return to the jungle and these animals are given long term care at the Refuge or placed at another facility that can offer the best quality of life.
Young Howler Monkeys that have reached age 18 – 24 month are normally transferred to a remote release center to begin their return to the jungle. These young animals while at the Refuge begin a process of continually reduced human contact and exposure. This is a procedure that must continued at the Release Center to prepare them to again be wild animals in the jungle.
The number of animals at the Refuge for Wildlife is constantly changing. The average population of injured and orphaned animals at Refuge for Wildlife during 2016 in one of the Refuge programs, Clinic, Nursery or Rehabilitation has been between 39-48 animals.