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2014, It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times

Locket at 5 weeks

Locket at 5 weeks

By Sam Trull ~ Kids Saving the Rainforest & The Sloth Institute

Sometimes I wonder if truly great things can only be born out of tragedy. Is pure excitement always coupled with fear? For me, 2014 was a combination of huge personal losses and experiences that resulted in substantial personal growth. As I sit here and type this message, I am waiting for goat milk to warm so I can feed one of the most inspiring animals I have had the pleasure to care for. “Locket” a 5-week-old three-toed sloth, literally arrived at the KSTR wildlife clinic the day he was born. His face covered in amniotic sac and his umbilical cord freshly attached to the placenta…there was no doubt that his first moments in life were spent face down on a forest floor…covered in dirt and without his mother to clean him or feed him. We have no idea why he fell from the trees or why his mother did not retrieve him…but he is alive today. Already in his short life he survived a fall from the top of the forest canopy, three weeks of bacterial diarrhea, lack of immunity received from his real mom and just the general inadequateness of having me – a human – for a surrogate mother. Some would say “Locket” is a miracle…but really his success so far is attributed to the hard work from an amazing team of people at KSTR and TSI.

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The Life of a Wildlife Lover

By Sam Trull, Wildlife Manager of Kids Saving the Rainforest

Newbie

Newbie

I want to apologize now for the sad nature of this but everyone has been asking me to write about what happens when animals don’t survive. Finally, tonight, I feel inspired to type.

I’m no stranger to death. Coming up on the 7-year anniversary of my father’s death I can’t help but be a little extra emotional. Things make me cry that wouldn’t normally…and snippets of moments from the past flash through my mind on a more regular basis. I was there the day my father took his last breaths surrounded by family and friends. I saw the look in his eyes, the way his breathing changed…it all happened right in front of me. As difficult as it was to see my lifelong hero lying in a bed slowly losing his light, I am so glad I was there for his final moments…for two reasons.
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Kids Saving the Rainforest, December 2014

By Volunteer Kerstin Johnson, Assistant Principal at Nimitz Elementary School, Cupertino, Ca

This summer I spent two hours a day observing a young tamandua (anteater) search for food in a cecropia tree. When she climbed to 20 meters, I felt like a proud mom watching her baby walk for the first time. This anteater arrived at the Kids Saving the Rainforest clinic after she was orphaned and found in palm trees. In a few weeks, she will be re-released to the wild to live a full, natural life. If not for a sanctuary and rescue clinic like Kids Saving the Rainforest, she might not have survived.
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Duncan and Lucy: An Unlikely Love Story That Will Melt Your Heart

Lucy the tamandua

Lucy

By Volunteer Duncan Coleman

KSTR would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! The holiday season is a time of giving thanks so we chose this heart warming story to welcome in the season! Enjoy!

Lucy… An anteater to many, a remarkable novelty to others, and to a select few- a beautiful creature that will never be forgotten. When I wake up and feel the sunlight from my bedroom window brush my face I think of the beauty of it all and my mind always wanders to the memories I’ve shared with Lucy. I feel her sway on me in every action I make and in every step I take. Lucy has burrowed herself right to the center of my heart and who could blame me? The memories I made caring for her at the KSTR wildlife sanctuary are hard to forget.

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Getting a second chance at life in the Rainforest . . . as it should be

Baby 2-toed slothsBy KSTR 

So much has happened since we published the news about our sloth needs in the June issue! And we are thrilled to announce this news with our community. As we all know, thanks to Sele and Sloth Kong leading the way, these adorable creatures, with their bed-head hairstyles, smiley faces, and just plain cuteness have taken the world by storm. Sloth videos, paraphernalia, and sanctuaries abound, yet what is not as known, is that right here, deep in our rainforest, a team of individuals have been working 24/7 to do something that has rarely been done in Costa Rica . . . giving orphaned sloths a second chance to go home…to live the life that they were meant to live…to be free to climb and eat and explore the rainforest…that is the dream of Kids Saving the Rainforest. By starting the new offshoot organization, The Sloth Institute Costa Rica, www.theslothinstitutecostarica.org, they are helping make this come true.

The new organization, has a four part mission:

  1. Rescue and Release of Sloths including meeting all husbandry needs and funding all equipment/enclosure needs
  2.  Research of Re-introduced Sloths (GPS collar program), captive rescued sloths and of wild sloths in the Manuel Antonio area
  3.  Collaboration with other organizations around the world that work with sloths
  4.  Education—promoting responsible and balanced information about sloths to the public.

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Kids Saving The Rainforest Quarterly Report

By KSTR Wildlife Vet, Pia Martin DVM

KSTR would like to share part our quarterly report submitted to MINAE (the Ministry of the Environment):

In the last 3 months KSTR has rescued 44 animals, so in addition to the 31 we already had at the rescue center, it was total of 75 animals rescued with 27 different species!!

From these: 24 were RELEASED!! YES!!! That is a great release rate for rescue centers.

35 were moved to the Sanctuary because they are non-releasable (beautiful confiscated birds that don’t even know how to fly), and of these, 20 are still at the rescue center, and only 10 died, which is also a great number.

Our most miraculous recovery was a Howler monkey who had been electrocuted and had first, second and third degree burns over 80% of her body. We were able to save her and she was released back into her troop!
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Sloth Re-Entry Project

By Seda Taysi SejudOwner of Villa Perezoso and KSTR Volunteer

Young sloths climbingPelota. Ellen. Kermie. Three of the cutest, sweetest, and most special two-toed sloths you will ever meet. Their story is one that we hope will make scientific history and provide vast amounts of knowledge about sloth behavior that hasn’t existed until now. What makes these three so incredibly special and unique is that they were brought to KSTR as orphans and have been successfully hand raised by an amazing group of volunteers led by “sloth mama” Sam Trull who serves as the organization’s Wildlife Manager and “mom” to the orphans.
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Primate Art Enrichment

 Primate art enrichmentBy Biologist Pedro

Some primates are incredibly intelligent and need enrichment for their well-being. KSTR’s biologist, Pedro came up with amazing enrichment for them. Here is his story:

From cave paintings to Banksy, painting has almost always being considered a human´s art; but when you take the white canvas and vibrant paint that served as the starting point for the great painters (Picasso, Van Gogh, etc.), and give them to the white faced monkeys, (capuchins), Georgia, Hector, and Hugo at the KSTR sanctuary you get art too! Armed with the strongest paper we could buy, and non-toxic paint, we went inside the painters cage!
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1st Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release Conference in Costa Rica

Monos TitiBy Pia Martin, DVM, Wildlife Vet for KSTR 

Kids Saving the Rainforest wants to invite the whole Quepos Community to come, participate, and support the First Ever Wildlife Rescue, Rehabilitation, and Release Conference in Costa Rica. 

It will take place from August 7 through the 11th, with participation of around 200 people from all over the country. We will have fieldtrips, presentations, posters, and workshops. To be a sponsor and support this exceptional event please write to congresorescate@gmail.com, your help from $50 to $5000 will indeed help save the lives of many wild animals and help to release them back into the wild.  

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Saving the Sloths: KSTR Sloth Rehabilitation and Release Program

Baby SlothBy Mary Elizabeth Wallace, KSTR volunteer

For over the past 14 years Kids Saving the Rainforest has been rehabilitating and rereleasing sloths back into the rainforests of Manuel Antonio. It all started with Buddy, a baby three- toed sloth who was brought to us on News Years Day in 2000 by a young neighbor.  Buddy was weaned back to health, taught the important survival skills that his mother would have and was successfully released back into the wild.

In total KSTR has rereleased over 20 three- toed sloths and one two-toed sloth with our Sloth Rehabilitation and Release Program.

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What a year!!! What’s to come in 2014?

KSTR tourWow, as I sit here and review our holiday newsletter from last year, it is absolutely amazing of the progress and changes KSTR has been through. 

Since moving the rescue center to BBI in Mar 2013, we’ve had several animals come and go. Some have survived and been released back into the rainforest and some are still here growing and gaining strength for releases in the future. Unfortunately, some have also passed away but I assure you that their time here was pleasurable.

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Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR) Wildlife Tour

Titi monkeyBy Dani Dion, Doglandia Manager and KSTR Volunteer

KIDS SAVING THE RAINFOREST, (so named when it was started 15 years ago by two 9-year old girls), specializes in the RESCUE & RELEASE of wild animals. There are SO many special success stories to share and hear from the animal caretaker! However, there are many animals, which cannot be released, and KSTR offers safe sanctuary to them. They are given an environment in which they can thrive and enjoy life, along with great nourishment and care! As you can imagine, this takes a good deal of time and money to run a rescue center/sanctuary, which is primarily funded from donations, volunteer stays and tours. KSTR is a registered non-profit organization in the US, and one of the few MINAE-approved, legal rescue centers in the country.

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Are rescued Squirrel Monkeys suitable for release to the wild?

By M.Sc. Daniela Solano-Rojas, President, Fundación Saimiri
dsolano@fundacionsaimiri.org 

Bonnie & Clyde

Bonnie & Clyde

In 1999 when I started my career at the University of Costa Rica, I never imagined that an organization started by 2 kids willing to save the rainforest in tropical Costa Rica would be such an important inspiration to my future work. 

Kids Saving the Rainforest started as a dream of Janine Licare and Aislin Livingston when they were only 9 years old, back in 1999. They both saw the rainforest disappearing and the negative impact of this on the animals, particularly the Squirrel monkeys. After 13 years, the KSTR role in the conservation of Central Pacific Squirrel Monkeys has been astonishing. Rescued animals and monkey bridges are some of the highlights. 

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Kids Saving the RainForest – November 2013

By Vernita Gundy: KSTR Volunteer Coordinator

Wow, where do we begin? So much has gone on since last month!

We had a good volunteer season with groups like True Nature Education and the BBYO Group. We also had some amazing new volunteers and return volunteers join us this summer. I would like to thank the following volunteers for spending time with us :

Seanna Daise, Jackie and Jaelyn Graber, Kensey Cross, Kerstin Johnson, Michelle Ogilvie, Will Koenig, Dominic and Zack Rauzi, and Hannah Lindstrom. We hope all of you will return in the years to come! 

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Baby Raccoons: Orphaned, Abandoned, or is the Mother Out Foraging to Feed the Babies?

By Sam Trull, Wildlife Vet Tech, Janine Licare, co-founder, & Jennifer Rice, President 

It is baby raccoon season!  We have recently gotten many calls about abandoned baby raccoons. If you have a raccoon in your roof or walls, please read this! 

Here are solutions on how to deal with raccoons:

Once you know how they’re getting in, find out if your unwanted guests happen to be a mother raccoon with young. If so, the best thing to do is wait a few weeks until the babies grow old enough to leave with their mother—they won’t survive without her.  (We have a mother and babies living in our roof and we have to wait until they are fully grown to shut the entrance they created in our roof.) 

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