Our Release Sites

At Rescate Wildlife we have 3 different release sites that are essential to our success. Each release site is a reforested area, that has a different climate and habitat to accommodate the different species of animals within the country. This is vital in protecting our natural biodiveristy and giving our animals a safe place to return back to the wild.

 

At Rescate Wildlife, we proudly maintain three distinct release sites that are fundamental to our achievements. Each of these release sites is a reforested environment, characterized by unique climates and habitats, carefully tailored to the diverse array of animal species indigenous to our country. This strategic approach plays a pivotal role in safeguarding our natural biodiversity, while also providing a secure place for our animals, enabling them to seamlessly reintegrate into their native wilderness.

Dulce Nombre, La Garita, Alajuela

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Rescate Wildlife in Alajuela, La Garita serves also as a release site for wildlife that is native to the central valley. Located on 14 hectors of secondary forest, which was originally a coffee farm that has been reforested and transformed into what it is today. The property also boarders the Itiquis river, which connects and is part of the natural biological corredor Interurbano Garcimuñoz. There are various different species that are released in this area; birds such as grey hawks, clay coloured thrush, Hoffmann woodpeckers, crested caracara, and even little neotropical screech owls. Various species of snakes, as well as Iguanas and small mammals like Armadillos and even Porcupines. It is also home to our Lifetime care Sanctuary, Endangered species breeding program as well as hospital and rehabilitation center.

Map showing locations of RESCATE wildlife rescue centers

Bosque Escondido

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Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center developed and manages the Bosque Escondido Wildlife Refuge. The refuge encompasses 1,800 acres/729 hectares of dry tropical forest on the Nicoya Peninsula and is closed to the public. The Dry Tropical Forest is one of the most threatened terrestrial environments in Costa Rica and one of the rarest in Latin America. Bosque Escondido serves as our Northern release site for many of the animals that we rehabilitate. Thousands of animals have been released
at this site, the most notable of which are Scarlet Macaws, Great Curassows, and Geoffrey’s Spider
Monkeys. All three species became extinct on the Nicoya Peninsula in the 1960s. The Geoffrey’s spider monkey we have released now form three troops of more than 140 animals and we have bred, raised and released over 400 Great Curassows. It costs us over 75 thousand dollars per year to manage and maintain Bosque Escondido Wildlife Refuge.

San Josecito, Golfo Dulce

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Our Southern release site bordering the 140-square-kilometer Piedras Blancas National Park and facing the Osa Peninsula, is a 32 acre/13-hectare humid tropical rainforest. The release site is located in one of the most important conservation priority areas and one of the most biodiverse places on earth! This facility is closed to the public. Many thousands of animals have been released at this site, the most notable being the endangered Central American Squirrel Monkey (Saimiri oerstedii oerstedii) and more than 330 scarlet macaws. Both species became locally extinct in Piedras Blancas National Park in the 1950s. It costs us over 50 thousand dollars per year to manage and maintain San Josecito Wildlife Refuge.

Become a Road to Freedom Intern at Rescate Wildlife

Be part of wildlife on their road to freedom

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. Our Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center receives hundreds of animals that have been rescued from the pet trade, injured, sick, or orphaned. It is at Bosque Escondido on the Nicoya Peninsula that we see the fruition of our team’s hard work, and aid the animals in their release and their second chance at life in the wild, the final step on their Road to Freedom.

Want to be surrounded by wildlife, tropical forest off the path and help us release and monitor animals?

How we release animals back into the wild?

Arrival at Release Site

After arrival at the release site, the animals are getting identified, weight and visually checked.
Once this is done, the animals are placed in spacious pre-release enclosures..

3 months in spacious pre-release enclosures

In Nicoya they will stay 90 days (3 months) in a large enclosure like this one in order to get used to the enviroment and acclimatize. Since Costa Rica has different microclimate-zones it is important they get adapted e.g. to a more humid environment.

(Soft-) Release

After 3 months we begin to release the first parrots. We identify which ones are paired (they stay together longer) and we release one of them first, which we call “Pioneer”, while we call the other “Anchor”.

 

The Pioneer scouts the area for food, water, and shelter while staying close to its mate. After a few days, we release the other parrot – the anchor – allowing them to teach each other where to find what they need to survive.
Gradually, over the next few weeks, we release the entire group using this method called “soft release”.

After releasing the animals, we closely monitor their progress. Most adapt seamlessly, but in some exceptional cases, like former pets, the transition back to the wild isn’t as smooth. These animals may wander into human-inhabited areas in search of food, displaying unusual behaviors if they’re unsuccessful. In such instances, we carefully recapture and transport them back to our Sanctuary in Alajuela. There, they receive lifelong care in spacious, natural enclosures that closely resemble their native habitats. Our priority is to ensure their well-being, even if the wild isn’t where they fit best.

This is Just a schematic example and varies from species to species. The Process for Spider Monkeys can take up to 3 years!

Find out more about our lifetime-care Sanctuary here.

Ways to help

Get involved

Get Involved and Become a Lifesaver by becoming a sponsor, a donor, an intern or volunteering at Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center! If you visit us, you can also bring us essential goods we can not buy in Costa Rica from our Amazon Wishlist.

Current Support needed

Help us feed our wildlife like Piki the Tapir by giving a monthly or single donation.

Current Support needed

By sponsoring our sanctuary, you become a vital lifeline for our precious wildlife. Join our community!

Current Support needed

Help us reproduce and release Scarlet Macaws and Great Green Macaws! Make a donation today!

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Our Sponsors

You Make Dreams Come True: Heartfelt Thanks to Our Incredible Sponsors!

We extend our deepest gratitude to the amazing sponsors who stand by us in our mission to protect and preserve wildlife. Your generosity empowers us to make a difference, one animal at a time. Thank you for being the heroes in our story, ensuring a future where nature thrives. Together, we're creating a legacy of compassion and conservation. Your support is the heartbeat of our sanctuary, and for that, we are truly thankful.

Alajuela, COSTA RICA