The Animals of Las Pumas Rescue Center

CAÑAS, Costa Rica – Since the 1950s, the biodiversity of Costa Rica’s Guanacaste Province has suffered through increased deforestation, fires and poaching. More recently, a boom in tourism development has taken its toll. All of this has reduced the territory for wildlife.

Each year, hundreds of wild animals are left injured or rotting on the side of the road as cars and “tourismo” buses whiz by. However, the confines of national parks and reserves cannot protect all of the nation’s wild inhabitants. In a survey of 1,021 households across Costa Rica, approximately 24% keep wild animals as pets (Wild Animals  and Other Pets  Kept  in  Costa Rican Households: Incidence, Species and Numbers, Carlos Drews). Unfortunately, many of these animals cannot be saved. However, one local organization works to provide a safe haven for confiscated or rescued wild animals.

The Las Pumas Rescue Center takes in injured or rescued wildlife and provides them with a second chance at life. Though many animals are provided a permanent home at the shelter, approximately 60% are rehabilitated and released back into the wild, according to the center’s regent biologist Esther Pomareda García. Currently, Las Pumas is caring for about 50 macaws, 30 mammals and 40 quarantined animals being raised and/or rehabilitated for potential release.


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