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World Animal Day – and an animal welfare award!

Blue Flag program emblem

October 4th is World Animal Day! This is an ideal day to help our rescue animals by making a donation.

And to mark this occasion, we’re proudly announcing a landmark in our animal welfare rescue and rehabilitation work.  We have been recognized by Blue Flag!  Yes, Rescate Wildlife is one of only two national wildlife centers to receive the 2020 award in Blue Flag’s Animal Welfare category.

What is the Blue Flag?

blue and white circular Blue Flag logo

Blue Flag is a worldwide program that awards environmental quality and sustainability in beaches, marinas and boating tourism. This gives the right to display the iconic and sought-after Blue Flag logo. You may have seen one of these at a beach you’ve visited.

Alongside this is the Ecological Blue Flag Program. This is awarded annually to voluntary institutions who work to reduce environmental impact and adapt to climate change. 

Here in Costa Rica, numerous beaches have been cleaning up their eco-act, competing for this special ecological flag.

circular blue white and orange logo used by Ecology Blue Flag program

The Animal Welfare Category

Here’s what we will be proudly displaying at Rescate Wildlife: the Ecological Blue Flag for Animal Welfare in Costa Rica. 

This relatively new category was created in 2018 to promote animal welfare and healthy inter-species co-existence within organizations like ours.  It recognizes rescue centers and botanical gardens who demonstrate high awareness and practices that respect wildlife, and who motivate others to do the same.

How and why did Rescate win this award?

Rescate’s Magali Quesada and Katti Altamirano worked tirelessly on our application. Thanks to them, we were able to show how Rescate Wildlife meets Blue Flag’s animal welfare and ecology criteria.

Our animal welfare care:  Blue Flag’s parameter for animal welfare is to respect the five freedoms of wild animals.

  • Freedom from hunger and thirst
  • Freedom from discomfort
  • Freedom from fear and anguish
  • Freedom from pain, injury and disease
  • Freedom to express natural behaviour

A major part in respecting these freedoms lies in the meticulous enclosure design at our Sanctuary. This lets animals experience a quality of life as similar as possible to their natural habitat.

We were able to demonstrate adequate nutrition received by animals in both our Rescue Center and the Sanctuary.

We also showed our procedures for registration of animals received daily, and logs of our projects managed by the Center.

Our environmental care:

As an organization that seeks to reduce negative environmental impact in all areas, Rescate Wildlife takes measures to reduce the use of fossil fuels. We also control and monitor the use of drinking water and incorporate rainwater as an alternative.

We have created projects to work on wastewater treatment, waste management and electricity use. Happily, our new measures have had the desired effects! Evidence collected over an 8 month period has verified that our procedures are environmentally friendly.

Our educational challenge:

As a comprehensive organization in terms of environmental issues, as well as caring for eco-systems, we educate on eco-systems.  It’s one of our greatest challenges. We aim to create a culture of change not only internally, but to each and every person who visits Rescate Wildlife. That’s why our environmental educational program is one of our strongest pillars.

Our Ecological Blue Flag award motivates us to continue our search for increasingly green processes and to transmit this awareness to others.  Let’s all move forward without negatively impacting our precious and fragile environment.

Join us!

It’s been a hard year for everyone, yet we’re using the current situation as an opportunity to achieve further environmental innovation. And to compete again next year, of course!  If you are reading this as a representative of an animal rescue center, we want to motivate you to take part as well. The Ecology Blue Flag is not just any award! All collaborators and volunteers in this initiative will be a valuable part of great change.

We also hope our readers everywhere are inspired to bring environmentally sustainable practices into your life – to benefit eco-systems of the world and the animals who rely on these for survival.

Here’s an action you can take right now. To celebrate World Animal Day, why not click here and contribute to our fundraiser. Your donation will help us to continue our work with Costa Rica’s precious wildlife.  Muchas gracias!

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