Costa Rica is a popular for its rich biodiversity and it has enormous enormous variety of wildlife, due in large part to its geographic position between the North and South American continents. This country is home to to more than 500,000 species (a little more than 300,000 are insects) which represents nearly 4% of the total species estimated worldwide. Some of the jungle residents can not be seen easily but if you visit to one of the many wildlife rescue centers, you can spot some rare wild creature in enclosures. In these rescue centers, you can also learn a lot about their natural habits and habitats that will help you spot them later when you’re on the trail. Founders, guides, volunteers and scientists who work for the rescue centers, they can also help you to learn about the rainforest wildlife. In the rescue centers, the wildlife comes from many sources. Some are pets that were keeping illegally or people no longer wanted and some others injured on roads or by poachers. Tame animals are on display which couldn’t survive in their natural habitats and other animals are kept isolated from humans to facilitate their eventual re-introduction to the wild. Some of the places are also developed to breed birds and animals to bolster endangered populations.
Southern Nicoya Peninsula Region:
Wild Sun Wildlife Rescue Center:
Bordering the Cabo Blanco Nature Reserve, Wild Sun Wildlife Rescue Center is a non-profit association in Costa Rica. This rescue center is home to hundreds of wild animals and unique plant species.The conservation and rehabilitation of wildlife in the Southern Nicoya Peninsula and in the central America generally is the main purpose of this center. This center also offers unique volunteer programs for those who want to work for helping wildlife beyond just financial support.
Izquierda, Cabuya, Costa Rica
Call: (011-506) 8884-8444
Refuge for Wildlife:
This refuge center was founded in January of 1999. It is working for taking care of injured, displaced and orphaned wildlife from Nosara and the Nicoya Peninsula region of Costa Rica for 17 years. It has a specially trained Emergency Response Team that responds to more than 200 wildlife emergencies each year. In its clinic, the team of professionals and volunteers provide immediate and long-term medical attention. This refuge has the goal to return them to the jungle as quickly as possible.
Tel 506 2682-5049
Cel 506 8708-2601
The Ara Project or Amigos de las Aves:
The Ara Prject, formerly known as Amigos de las Aves is a Costa Rican non profit organization in Punta Islita, Guanacaste. Opened in 1992, this organization is dedicated to the conservation of the two endangered species of macaws-the Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) and the Great Green or Buffon’s Macaw (Ara ambigua) found in Costa Rica. This project employs a ‘soft release’ method for restoring macaws to the wild.
Proyecto Asis Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center:
It is situated in Arenal Volcano area. At this center you can learn and watch Costa Rican wildlife up close. You can also work as a volunteer and get more involve working with the animals. This center works on receiving and evaluation of new born animals and then introduce those animals to their new living quarters according to their natural habitats. They prepare animal diets and foods and also work on eventual liberation of animals back into the forest.
San Carlos, Alajuela, Costa Rica
Call: +506 2475-9121
Las Pumas Rescue Center:
When deforestation was booming Guanacaste, in the early 60’s, Las Pumas Rescue Center developed. Located just outside the small city of Cañas along the Inter-Americana Highway, Las Pumas Rescue Center is home to wild cats, different species of birds and wild animals. Its primary goal is to release the animals into wilderness after having ensured that they can survive on their own. This non-governmental and self-sustainable organization also encourage society’s respect and appreciation for wildlife through these actions.
Cañas, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Office: 2669-6044. Ticket Office: 2669-6019. PO Box: 89-5700.
Nosara Wildlife Sibu Sanctuary is located minutes from Playa Guiones, Nosara. This sanctuary takes care of newborns, orphans and recently injured wild animals. It gives those animals medical care and shelter during their recovery. Then it takes the animals for further rehabilitation. Those animals which can not survive on their own habitat, they are given permanent home at the sanctuary. For more than 10 years, this center is also working to educate the community to protect wildlife and their habitats.
Nosara, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Call: (Costa Rica Only)
6 a.m. – 6 p.m. CST
Southern Pacific Region:
The Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary:
Alturas Wildlife Sanctuary is a nonprofit organization. This sanctuary has the mission to help preserve wildlife in southern Costa Rica through its rehabilitation, rescue and reintroduction to the wild. It also provides shelter to the animals which are unable to return to their natural habitat due to permanent disability or excessive domestication. It also educate and foster appreciation for the wildlife.
Phone: (011) 506 2200 5440
Osa Wildlife Sanctuary:
Located on a remote beach off the Golfo Dulce, just 25 minutes from Puerto Jimenez, Osa Wildlife Sanctuary has the mission to rehabilitate the wounded, displaced and orphaned wildlife in the southern zone of Costa Rica. As it is a non-profit organization, it appreciate donations to help with expenses like staffing, food, medicine and interactive playthings. This location is also perfect for kids. This sanctuary has many animals which are friendly and can be petted. At this place visitors can enjoy unique access to the diverse wildlife that can be found throughout Costa Rica’s southern region.
Puerto Jimenez, Costa Rica
Jaguar Rescue Center:
The Jaguar Rescue Center, a non-profit organization, is situated in Puerto Viejo, Limón (Costa Rica). This rescue center woks to rescue and rehabilitate wild animals and then release them into the protected areas. This center named after their first rescues-a baby jaguar but it not only rescue the Jaguars rather it takes all sorts of wild animals. If you visit this center, you can get the opportunity to make a direct contact with monkeys, wild cats, sloths, reptiles and many more.
Puerto Viejo de Limon
Tel: (506) 2750.07.10
The Tree of Life:
Situated in the surroundings of Cahuita, the Tree of Life wildlife rescue center has the goal to rescue animals that suffered problems to then release them in to their natural habitat. This center has flat trails that will lead you to the different modules where the animals are kept in their rehabilitation process. You will also get the opportunity to appreciate the Botanical Garden with more than 1000 species herb plants and trees and some of those with healing properties.
Playa Grande, Cahuita, Costa Rica (follow the signs)
Tel: +506 83170325 or +506 27550014
The Sloth Sanctuary:
Some of the animals that you would see are howler monkeys, white monkeys, white nose coatis, pecaris, kinkajou, agoutis, toucans, deers, butterflies garden and much more. In 1975, this rescue center was declared as a privately-owned biological reserve by the government of Costa Rica. This is the original rescue center for orphaned, injured and abandoned sloths. This rescue center is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, release and research of sloths and conserving the Costa Rican rainforest.
Phone +506 2750 0775