Dr. Zimmerman visits Costa Rica…


During a recent trip to Costa Rica, I had the amazing opportunity to visit the Jaguar Rescue Center and donate much needed medical supplies on behalf of ACCESS Specialty Animal Hospital — South Bay.

The Jaguar Rescue Center (JRC) is a temporary or permanent home for ill, injured and orphaned animals in southern Costa Rica, just outside of Puerto Viejo. With a focus on birds, reptiles, amphibians and small primates, the JRC provides veterinary services, round-the-clock care and comfort to animals that would otherwise be unable to survive in the rainforest or the sea of the Caribbean.

The JRC has a full-service hospital where injured or ill animals receive medications, special diets, physical therapy, and even surgery! The primary goal of the JRC is rehabilitation and return to the wild. In this, the JRC has an amazing track record. The La Ceiba Primary Forest serves as a release point for animals which will be returned to the wild. Even animals who cannot be released due to injury can be taken on “day excursions” into the primary forest. An amazing example I witnessed was an anteater who had suffered brain damage after being struck by a vehicle. He would not survive alone in the wild. He does, however, get the opportunity daily to experience the wild of the primary forest with a chaperone.

The JRC finds space and rehabilitates any and all animals native to the area, even full grown crocodiles! One of the more recognizable animals in Costa Rica is the sloth. Many sloth babies are orphaned when the mother is electrocuted grabbing an electrical wire rather than a tree or vine. The rehabilitation of an orphan is an extensive process. If a sloth cannot be returned to the wild, they can live up to 40 years, a big commitment! The permanent residents are given proper food, exercise, and access to the beach or jungle to maintain the best quality of life.

If you would like to donate or visit the Jaguar Rescue Center, please find them at jaguarrescue.foundation/

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