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Our Uniqueness

Why we’re different

There are hundreds of wildlife rescue centers in Latin America and Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center is truly unique.

What makes Rescate so distinct is its full dedication to animal welfare and its engagement in preserving Costa Rica’s wildlife. Our commitment can be seen in the amount of animal species that Rescate Wildlife has preserved from extinction, as well as the resources dedicated to giving all animals the best possible life circumstances either in their release area or in the lifetime care sanctuary.

Be assured that the only animals who are kept in lifetime care are those cannot be released into the wild, read on to learn more about how much we do our best to provide all animals a high quality of life.

Here are the top 10 reasons,
why Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center is so unique:

  1. Rescate’s history laid the foundations for a non-profit that will always prioritize the animals’ welfare. After all, our founder purchased the land and animals to save them from wildlife traders, who were exhibiting the animals in terrible conditions to then ship them abroad. After purchasing land for animal release, he then liberated all releasable animals and created large, natural habitats for the non-releasable wildlife. Read more about our history.
  2. Rescate’s contribution to educating people on how to treat animals and why humans are the biggest reason of why animals can’t be released: Most of the non-releasable animals cannot survive in the wild because they are too used to humans. This is why we at Rescate Wildlife would never permit a visitor to hold an animal. Rescate has even been involved in a nation-wide anti-selfie-campaign to create awareness that wild animals should not be humanized. As soon as they are too human oriented, they cannot be released into the wild. If you wonder why, just imagine a jaguar walking into your backyard because he likes to play with humans. Often animals are shot or abused because people are afraid of them and our duty is to prevent this from happening by educating people, by releasing animals only in save areas and by giving the non-releasable lifetime care in our sanctuary. Check out our blog for educational content on endangered animals and how you can help.
  3. The fact that only animals that cannot be released back into the wild are kept in our sanctuary. Sometimes they are only kept for a while until their human-made behaviors can be reverted.
  4. Rescate’s commitment to enriching the lives of animals in our sanctuary as much as possible. We are constantly improving our lifetime care sanctuary facilities, one habitat at a time. We won’t ever stop enriching and enlarging the habitats, because it is always possible to improve the life of a lifetime care animal and we embrace that. It is crucial to make sure the habitats contain animal enrichment, to prevent possible behavioral disorders of animals in captivity.
  5. Hence, what makes Rescate’s sanctuary so exceptional is the size and authenticity of the lifetime care sanctuary’s habitats, which have the look and feel of the animals’ native environment and consist of 34 acres of natural tropical forest. Come visit our wildlife sanctuary today and see for yourself.
  6. Our Lifetime Care Animal Sanctuary’s habitats do not force the animals to see humans all day, because most enclosures are so large that animals can choose to hide from visitors. By providing such large habitats, we can identify if any animals may become releasable if they frequently hide from humans – their natural behavior. The work to improve the animal habitats is always ongoing, and we still have a few older enclosures where animals can’t hide from humans yet. Be assured that we are working on enlarging them as a priority, and the only reason for not doing this yet is a lack of funding. If you would like to make a donation for making bigger enclosures, visit our donation page.
  7. The incredibly well equipped Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, a veterinary clinic and center for rehabilitation, where everything is done to cure injured animals and maximise the number we release back into the wild. To make sure that animals in the clinic do not get used to humans, the clinic staff can see them through one-way windows, but the animals won’t be aware that they are observed. Also, the Rehabilitation Center provides habitats for releasable animals far from sanctuary visitors.
  8. Rescate’s innovative release techniques increase post-release survival rates. What makes those techniques so unique is the enrichment invested into keeping the animals’ natural behaviours, getting them used to their release habitat first before releasing them completely and making sure that they have the needed nutritions to survive in their first weeks after the release. Our founder, Dennis, received the Carole Noon Award for his innovation in supporting wildlife.
  9. Rescate’s breeding and reintroduction program is an exceptional example of how much can be done to prevent the threat of mass extinction worldwide. We already have saved several Costa Rican species from extinction such as the Central American Squirrel Monkey and we are continuing our work with breeding programs such as the Scarlet Macaw program. Even on a local level in Alajuela, Rescate has recovered  single-handedly the extinction of iguanas and chachalacas, which are now flourishing in the area again.
  10. Rescate’s volunteering opportunities and internships are set up to benefit the animals and not threaten them. Hence, only volunteers with the right training and experience have direct contact with the animals , and only where necessary. Nevertheless, if you would like to volunteer with us, there are many ways to have a huge impact on animal welfare and we even give scientists and science students the opportunity to study animal behavior for better enrichment.Our

Would you like to get involved yourself?

Become an Intern and have a unique wildlife experience.

Veterinary Internship

Veterinary interns work directly with our highly experienced veterinarian and our rehabilitation staff. You will assist with with animal intakes, exams, treatments, surgeries, feeding and record keeping.

Wildlife Internship​

Work hands-on in the Lifetime Care Sanctuary, Endangered Species Breeding Center and the Rescue Center, feeding animals, conducting behavioral research, and creating enriching experiences for our non-releasable animals or even clicker train our Jaguar „Guapo“.

Road to freedom Internship

This internship gives you the unique opportunity to not only see, but to play an active part in what we call: The Road to Freedom. Aid the animals in their release, monitor and research them and their second chance at life in the wild, the final step on their Road to Freedom.

Alajuela, COSTA RICA