Hello fellow readers! Its Karma Casey, the spokes kid from Kids Saving The Rainforest, a wildlife rescue and sanctuary in Quepos, Costa Rica. This month I am dedicating my article to a kind hearted, sweet souled, three toed sloth named Monty.
I am very sad to report he passed away after spending nine months in Kids Saving The Rainforest’s wildlife nursery and making a huge place in the hearts of everyone who knew him.
About nine months ago, Monty was seen falling from a tree in Manuel Antonio National Park. The Kids Saving the Rainforest professional wildlife rescue team rushed to save him, and he was brought in to the KSTR veterinary clinic where he was examined by the vet, Dr. Carmen Soto.
Dr. Soto was unable to find any visible injuries, and he was held for a few days under observation to ensure he would not start developing any new signs of injury or illness. At the time he fell, Monty was about six to seven months old. Within days, Monty seemed fine and Dr. Soto determined he was ready to be released back into his rainforest home at the National Park. However, as Monty was being observed following his release, he soon fell again. Monty was returned to Kids Saving the Rainforest for further examination. The KSTR team would not give up until they knew what was wrong with little Monty, and how he could be helped. After more days of observation and examination, the nursery manager and the clinic team at KSTR began to suspect there was something not quite right going on with Monty’s heart. Our friends at SINAC, a government agency in Costa Rica that works with the National Park system and helps wildlife, helped give Monty a ride to an appointment the KSTR team had made for him at a cardiologist all the way in San Jose. What a long way for such a little sloth!
The cardiologist, a heart specialist, diagnosed Monty with two congenital heart defects. That means he was born with these problems. Dr. Soto contacted some people she knew who were using experimental medicine for heart problems, but sadly, Monty was not a candidate and there was nothing that modern medicine could do to cure him. What’s more, Monty’s heart problems were progressive, which means they would only get worse and worse as time went on.
Monty returned from his appointment at the cardiologist, and it was official that he would never be able to survive on his own in the wild again. Everyone who was rooting for Monty to go free was saddened by this news. However, the dedicated team at Kids Saving the Rainforest was determined to give Monty the best possible life that they could. Dani Dion, the nursery mom, did everything she possibly could to make every day calm, stress free, and as happy as possible for little Monty.
Fresh leaves like Guarumo (cecropia), mango, and Monty’s favorite, cinnamon leaves, were collected for him daily with care, picking the best leaves to offer to him as he was quite a picky eater!
Monty was brought out to climb in a special jungle gym with a beautiful view of the surrounding rainforest. He was given fresh water and spent time basking in the sun or cooling off in the shade. Monty was well-cared for and loved by so many in his nine precious months at Kids Saving the Rainforest. Had the rescue team not brought him in, Monty very likely would not have made it past that fateful day he fell from a tree in Manuel Antonio National Park. But poor Monty’s heart was bound to stop beating sooner or later, and one day this February his little heart made its last beat. His heart just couldn’t take the stress any longer.
This is a lesson we can learn from Monty that will help all of us respect other sloths and not put them under unnecessary stress. Three toed sloths have delicate little hearts and they cannot take the stress of being handled. While Monty had a defective heart from the beginning and he was kept in a stress-free environment by experienced wildlife professionals, any sloth who is handled or messed with by humans might suffer the same fate and die of a heart attack.
It is illegal in Costa Rica to handle any wildlife, but sloths, in particular, are solitary and want to be left alone. Never hold or attempt to touch a sloth, and if someone is charging money for a “sloth experience” and what you think you want most is a photo with you cuddling a cute little sloth, think of Monty. As soon as you pick up that sloth, his poor little heart will start racing, and he will be under a tremendous amount of stress. If you care about sloths, respect them by observing them in nature up in the trees where they belong. Do not support anyone allowing you to handle wildlife, and since it’s illegal, you can report it to MINAE or SINAC, the government groups in charge of making sure animals are wild and free in Costa Rica.
Even though Monty died and many hearts at Kids Saving the Rainforest were broken, this special little three toed sloth had a love, and care filled life. Sometimes that’s what working with animals is about. Giving them a good, natural life, and sometimes you have to say good bye. But Monty the sweet three toed sloth will always be remembered. If you would like to know more about Monty, go to the Kids Saving The Rainforest Facebook page. And a big thanks to our nursery mom, Dani. She cared so much about Monty, and all the rest of the animals, too.
That’s going to sum up this article. And remember, if you ever find injured or orphaned wildlife, send a WhatsApp message to 88-ANIMAL. This goes directly to our veterinarian team, and they can come to the rescue!
Hello Quepolandia readers! Its Karma Casey, spokeskid for KSTR. I just got back to Costa Rica, and I’m ready to help you learn more about saving the rainforest! This month I will be talking to you about the Kids Saving the Rainforest wildlife rescue center, and some of the animals being helped there! First things first, every animal that comes into KSTR goes straight to the veterinary clinic. There our clinic team comes to the rescue! They determine what is wrong with the animal, and quickly do what is needed to help save them. Take for example Senor Dona, a two-toed sloth I talked about in one of my previous articles. Dona had a very bad day, getting electrocuted and then falling onto the road and being hit by a car. But luckily Kids Saving the Rainforest came to the rescue! Poor Dona used to be paralyzed from the waist down. As you may have read in my other article, the KSTR clinic/rescue team have tried everything they can to help Dona, even teaming up with an acupuncturist to help this very determined sloth regain the use of his back legs. I am very happy to tell you Dona is doing really good! He has now graduated from the clinic and is in the rescue center, or rehab as it is called at KSTR. Rehab is the next stage towards release back into the wild. This area is far away from everyone, making it more natural for the animals. Some animals stay for a few short weeks until they are ready to go, but some like Dona have a long journey ahead of them before they can get back to their rainforest home. After rehab is the next stage towards release, Boot Camp. Boot Camp is a really cool project that is a big football field sized area with a large wall around it so the animals are inside. It has lots of great trees for animals to climb in and eat leaves and grow strong and stay wild. Before being returned to their jungle homes, many animals are brought to Boot Camp for what is called a “soft release”. This is practice to see if the animal is ready to go back into the wild. Can it find food, water, shelter? Does it go up to humans or does it stay in the trees where it belongs? Right now three healthy young two-toed sloths are roaming free in Boot Camp. Their names are Patty, Grubby, and Speedy (aka Jorge). Originally orphaned by their mothers and raised in the KSTR wildlife nursery, these three have been busy practicing all their wild skills are almost ready to be released! If the Kids Saving the Rainforest rescue center team feels the animal is ready for release, it is brought back and set free into the rainforest home it came from! This is the best part of wildlife rescue, when the animal everyone has worked so hard to save gets to go back into the wild where it belongs. Let’s all keep our hopes up for our friend, Dona the sloth, and all the other animals the KSTR team is so hard at work saving. If you find injured or orphaned wildlife that needs help, send a WhatsApp message to 88- ANIMAL. Our veterinary team can help come to the rescue! Speaking of that, Kids Saving the Rainforest is in need an ambulance to help in animal emergencies. Learn more at kstr.org about how you can help us reach our goal and help rescue animals in need! Until next month readers. Keep it wild!
Karma Saving the Rainforest By guest writer Kerri Conrad
Hello Quepolandia readers. Every month you hear from Karma Casey, the spokeskid at KSTR, an extraordinary young girl I am extremely proud to call my daughter. This month, Karma is out of the country visiting friends and family in the United States. She asked that I write to you this month in her place until she can get back to Costa Rica and continue doing her part to save the rainforest. Karma and I moved to this beautiful country over a year ago to pursue her dreams of helping wildlife. Through volunteering with Kids Saving the Rainforest, Karma has had the extraordinary pleasure of being able to make her dreams come true. If you’d like to volunteer with KSTR, families with kids 12 and up are welcome to join the Day Volunteer program! When we came to this country, Karma’s biggest dream of all was to one day grow up and become the Nursery Mom, the surrogate mother who cares for all the orphaned and injured baby wildlife at KSTR. While she has now also developed the aspiration to become a wildlife veterinarian, gaining the skills she needs to be the one who can really save an animal’s life in those critical rescue moments, the care of baby wildlife is still something that is near and dear to Karma’s heart. Since she’s not here this month to tell you herself, I thought I’d give you a peek behind the curtain of the wildlife nursery here at KSTR, and introduce you to one extraordinary Mama who Karma really looks up to. Dani Dion is the Nursery Manager of the KSTR wildlife nursery, although we affectionately call her the Nursery Mom. (A behind the camera kind of girl, Dani prefers to only show off photos of the babies in her care.) Dani has been volunteering with Kids Saving the Rainforest for 6 years, working extremely hard in all areas. She has spent time in the sanctuary, the veterinary clinic, the rescue center, and now has dedicated herself completely to the orphaned wildlife in the nursery. The babies that end up in the nursery have usually either been abandoned by their mothers who sensed a problem with them, or their mothers were killed. All too often, these deaths are caused by human encroachment, whether it is the animal being electrocuted, struck by a car, attacked by a dog, etc. They are often weak, ill, and scared. The babies are often placed with plush stuffed animals to cling to, replicating the comfort they would have had from clinging to their wild mothers. Dani works around the clock providing the babies with the care they need, while still respecting their wild nature and giving them their best start on their journey back into the jungle. The youngest ones need to be fed every two hours through the night, and Dani is on call to provide them whatever they need, whether it be milk, medicine, fluids, a tree climbing lesson, or acting as a cheerleader while a young sloth learns to poop. You will often see her with a bag of leaves slung over one shoulder as she collects wild foods for the young animals in her care. The nursery is a restricted area kept far away from the stress other humans might place on the recovery of the babies, or their chance at release back into their rainforest homes. Only Dani, her nursery intern, and the vet visit this area, keeping the babies safe, calm, healthy, and wild. Since you can’t visit the nursery, I’ve brought some of the babies to you! Here they are: Fozzie, a Two-Toed Sloth Scnozzy, a Tamandua Anteater Oliver, a White-tailed deer Gonzo, a Chestnut Mandibled Toucan Monty, a Three-Toed Sloth JoJo, a White-Faced Capuchin Monkey On that note, this Mama is signing out. Next month, my daughter Karma will be back in paradise and ready to teach you more about how to help save the rainforest and make the world a better place. In the meantime, if you find orphaned or injured wildlife in the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area, send a Whats App Message to the Kids Saving the Rainforest veterinary clinic staff at 88-ANIMAL and they can help!
Pura Vida From a Day Volunteer, Maddie Abene By Maddie Abene Soothing sounds, beautiful views, diverse wildlife, and only a week to take it all in!? Costa Rica is unlike any place I’ve ever been. Upon my arrival, my mind was racing with ideas of how I was going to get the very most out of my trip. As an Environmental Studies Major at University of California Santa Cruz, I’m typically curious about different ecosystems and eager to interact with wildlife wherever I am in the world. The two-hour drive from San Jose Airport gave me plenty of time to take in the scenery of the mountainous jungle and ask my driver Oscar any and all questions I had about Costa Rica. I learned everything from the economic/environmental effects of Costa Rica's biggest industry (Palm Oil) to what species of tree leaves I should use to make henna-like face paint (Teak). Excited to learn more about my home for the week, I did some research and found a nearby animal rescue center that I could volunteer at: Kids Saving The Rainforest. I was excited to hear from locals that this sanctuary is one of the most renowned in all of Costa Rica! I immediately contacted the president and Operational Director of KSTR, Jennifer and Chip. They responded promptly and were very helpful. To my surprise, my younger brothers, Jake and Max, wanted to join me in this adventure. KSTR sent a taxi to pick us up early Monday morning. The drive through the palm tree forest was scenic and bumpy. There were water buffalo hauling carts of the palm fruits and goats crossing constantly. We arrived at KSTR/Blue Banyan Inn around 9am and started off with a tour to become familiar with the site and what our mission would be for the day. As soon as the tour came to an end our work began. Our mentor gave us rubber gloves and brushes and led us to a large cage where we would clean and design a new habitat for the Kinkajous. These small mammals are adorable yet vicious as they're nocturnal and don't like to be bothered during the daytime. The zookeeper and another KSTR staff member handled these animals regularly and made it look easy. Once the Kinkajous were out of their cage is when Jake, Max and I cut zip ties, removed all the old branches, took to ground and got to scrubbing. Before we knew it the habitat went from looking like a 3 star residence at best to 5 stars, complete with clean walls/floors and fresh branches strategically placed for the Kinkajous climbing enjoyment. It was important that we made their new habitat slightly different than the last since these animals need some variation in their lives to mimic the constantly changing and growing rainforest. It was getting humid and I was getting tired...lunch couldn't have come at a better time! KSTR provided us with a delicious typical Costa Rican meal of beans and rice, chicken, salad, and plenty of beverages. We spent some time refueling and chatting it up with Chip and the other volunteer siblings who were coincidentally visiting from the Bay Area. I was particularly impressed by their involvement with KSTR and the video chatting they do with other kids from
all over, spreading the word about the cause. I'm hoping to join forces with them once we're all back in the Bay. After finishing lunch and taking a quick dip in the pool, it was time for us to feed the animals. Some went to the kitchen to chop up fruits and vegetables. The other half of us went with the sanctuary manager to find and capture giant Golden Orb Spiders (which is way more fun than it sounds). Once we had about ten spiders in a bucket we were ready to go. We went from cage to cage filling each animals bowl and feeding them spiders by hand. In the midst of it all it began to rain and we were all laughing, dripping wet, and having the best time ever. We proceeded to clean up our messes then and walked back to the main lodge where we would finish up around 4pm. Costa Rica will take me a lifetime to explore to my full satisfaction. In just one day on July 11 Kids Saving The Rainforest Sanctuary & Rescue Center gave me my first real opportunity to do more than just admire and understand nature through a textbook or a tour. I felt like I played a vital role in an ecosystem. It was rewarding to see the difference that our single day of volunteering made. This was a pivotal experience for me in that it helped me to discover myself. I now know for a fact that environmentalism is my calling and my niche. I'm very grateful for KSTR and all of the work they continue to do to inspire people to preserve and protect this small but important part of the world. I hope to spread this mentality on a global scale by sharing my experience and educating others about the ways to make a positive change through ecotourism. It's important to remember that we affect nature as much as it affects us.
Hi again Quepolandia readers! It’s Karma, the spokeskid from Kids Saving the Rainforest! This month I have a very important message to share with you, and that is about the importance of boating safety and protecting the very special marine animals that share this beautiful place in the world with all of us. I learned this lesson from a graceful animal called the sea turtle! Let me tell you how it happened: Recently, me and my amazing mama were walking on the beach when we came across two lifeguards carrying something large out of the water. We went over to see what it was, and we realized it was a large Hawksbill sea turtle! There were three big gashes cut into the shell. We hoped at first that we could call one of the groups in the area that work with sea turtles to help rescue it. Unfortunately, this poor turtle was already dead and it was too late to help her. We asked one of the lifeguards named Jhonny Lopez, what had happened. Jhonny teaches surfing lessons, and he also volunteers his time as a lifeguard helping keep everyone safe on the beach. He explained to us that the turtle had been sliced by the propeller of a boat and had washed up on shore. Some people were not showing any respect to the body, bothering it a lot, and he and the other lifeguard had moved it to safety while the turtle was reported to MINAE, the government agency who helps wildlife. My mama had their number in her phone, so she sent a message right away! Jhonny told us that many boats and jet skis come way too close in the waves to the shore, and that is very dangerous for both animals and people! He said this poor turtle might have been coming in to shore to lay her eggs. Sea turtles always return to the beach they were hatched in to lay their eggs, and this turtle Mama might have been coming to this very same beach for years and years before the boat took her life! That was a very sad experience, but it was also a lesson. I knew I was on the beach that day and saw the turtle for a reason, and now I am going to spread her message and try to make a difference for all the other amazing sea turtles who are still here with us. Turtles all around the world are beginning to fade from this planet. Danger from boats is just one of the threats they face. First things first is marine debris. Due to littering, trash is infesting the oceans, causing animals like turtles to come across it very often. For a turtle, one of the main problems are plastic bags. One of a turtle's main food source are jellyfish. And from a turtle's point of view a plastic bag looks identical to a jellyfish. If the turtle eats the plastic bag it will end up choking. They can also get caught in all that plastic, stopping them from being able to swim, eat, or even live! If you are fishing, make sure you don’t drop fishing hooks or lines into the ocean as these are very dangerous to animals. Around 100,000 marine animals die a year from marine debris. Lots of people every year travel to Costa Rica just to see sea turtles lay their eggs, and later to watch the babies hatch and make their way out into their ocean home. In November, I am very lucky I will be joining my school Life Project Education to see some of these baby hatchlings going out to the ocean for the first time! We will be working with another great non-profit helping wildlife in this area, the Matapalo Sea Turtle Conservation Project! But we have to think of the turtles all the time, not just when we can see them! If you are boating or using a jet ski, pay extra careful attention to where you are going and avoid hitting any marine life that might be floating there in the water! Slow down, and avoid boating over beds of sea grass which is the sea turtle’s habitat! Have a person on board whose job it is to watch out for any marine animals. They can wear polarized sunglasses to cut down on the glare of the sunlight on the water, making it easier for them to spot an animal and avoid hitting it! Don’t have lights on the beach at night. This can confuse turtles who use the light of the moon to find their way to the water. Even bonfires during nesting season can lead these turtles in the wrong direction! Last but not least, spread the word! If you see a problem like I did, speak up and do something about it! The planet needs the help of people like us who want to make it a better place! Don’t forget, if you find orphaned or injured wildlife, send a WhatsApp message to the Kids Saving the Rainforest veterinary team at 88-ANIMAL and we can help! You can also take a guided tour of our Wildlife Sanctuary every day except Tuesday at 9 am to meet some amazing animals and learn about the important work we are doing trying to save them. You never know, you might just see me there!
Photograph of Hawksbill sea turtle courtesy of Jhonny Lopez.
Dorothy is a two-fingered sloth female we received one month ago.
Unfortunately she wanted to cross the main Manuel Antonio road by an electric wire. She got electrocuted and fell on the road, so a kind person brought her quickly to the center. Electrocution cases are random; they can be really superficial or really deep, and the damage is sometimes only visible after days past the electrocution. 😢 💔 For this wonderful female, the first day we could only see where the electricity passed through the body, but several days later, we realized the real damages. The electrical burning and necrosis of tissue that sometimes continues can slow the natural healing process of wounds...and it is very painful that we can sometimes only assist her through it. Until a few days ago, Dorothy fought to remain alive, but unfortunately the wounds and probably more internal damages caused her death. It’s not always a « happy ending » for all of our patients here in the Wildlife Clinic, and the death is not easy to accept after 1 month trying to save her...but sometimes we have to. We keep fighting every day to bring freedom again, to the wildlife we can save, in the best way as we can.🌳💐🌈
Pets are incredible. But not all are treated equally. Some animals have a terrible start in life and the fortunes of others can take a turn for the worst. Many find themselves in rescue centres waiting to be placed in a new home. Adopting one of these pets can be hugely rewarding. You’ll not only develop a close bond but witness them grow in confidence and happiness. There are thousands of dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals looking for a fresh start in life. And you could be their new best friend. Jump to: Before you adopt
In Nuevo Colon, Guanacaste, a wildlife bridge broke from overuse, forcing the wildlife to travel on the live wires killing 3 howler monkeys. KSTR was able to rally the troops and within 16 hours it was fixed and ready for the howlers again! A big thank you to ICE, especially Jaime Bolanos and Jose Carvajal, to CoopeGuanacaste and Gerry Boule for working with KSTR to save the wildlife.
Kids Saving The Rainforest Succeeds in GlobalGiving's Accelerator, Becomes Recognized Partner of GlobalGiving
(July 6, 2018) Kids Saving The Rainforest announced today that they have graduated from the GlobalGiving Accelerator program, gaining entry into the GlobalGiving marketplace and becoming a recognized partner of GlobalGiving. As part of the Accelerator, Kids Saving The Rainforest successfully raised $5,100 from 45 unique individual donors to support their project, "Kids Saving the Rainforest Clinic & Reforestation." "We're thrilled to have Kids Saving The Rainforest as part of our community. Kids Saving The Rainforest has met our rigorous vetting standards for trust and community support, and we're committed to providing tools, training, and support as they learn, grow and become more effective," said Mari Kuraishi, President and Co-Founder of GlobalGiving. "GlobalGiving donors value the opportunity to support nonprofits like Kids Saving The Rainforest, knowing that they'll get regular updates about how their donations are put to work." "Our headquarters continue to make positive changes in the health of the sloths, titi monkeys and hundreds of abandoned, sick or injured animals who are helped and then released from our Wildlife Rescue Center. Our current Reforestation Project aims to reforest 117 Hectares of land in the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica a reforestation project that will serve as a biological bridge for several species in the area and will be used for education and investigation.", said Wendy Rubiano, project leader at Kids Saving The Rainforest. "Visit our project, 'Kids Saving the Rainforest Clinic & Reforestation' to learn how even $10 can make a difference: http://goto.gg/33346. About Kids Saving The Rainforest The Mission of Kids Saving the Rainforest is to protect the diverse wildlife of Costa Rica's Pacific Coast by rehabilitating wildlife, conducting original scientific research, training volunteers, and promoting conservation. About GlobalGiving GlobalGiving is the first and largest global crowdfunding community that connects nonprofits, donors, and companies in nearly every country around the world. GlobalGiving makes it possible for local organizations to access the funding, tools, training, and support they need to become more effective and make the world a better place. Any registered nonprofit is welcome to apply for the GlobalGiving Accelerator Program: GlobalGiving.org/accelerator/
Due to no cell service in our area, please use the free mobile app "WhatsApp". Change to and message our WhatsApp line: 506-8826-4625 or 506-88-ANIMAL You can also email us at: ClinicDVM@kstr.org
To Book a Tour
Due to no cell service in our area, please use the free mobile app "WhatsApp". Change to and message our WhatsApp line for tours: 506-8599-7341 You can also email us at: Chip@kstr.org or Jennifer@kstr.org
Kids Saving the Rainforest 3790 El Camino Real, #206 Palo Alto, CA 94306 USA
KSTR, Costa Rica P.O. Box 297-6350 Quepos, Costa Rica 60601
Thank you for helping us to save the wildlife in the rainforest!
Kids Saving the Rainforest (KSTR) is a 501 (c)(3) U.S. non-profit organization that works with local and international community to save the rainforest, with our reforestation, corporate social responsibility, wildlife sanctuary and bridge programs.