Hailing from across the pond, Paul made the trans-Atlantic journey to work with animals here at Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center as a Wildlife Intern for one week. As a photographer, he took great snapshots of Rescate’s permanent residents:
Q: What did you do here at Rescate?
Paul: I had the luxury of participating in the Wildlife Internship Program at Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center. Though I only spent one week at the sanctuary, there was so much to learn and do. I myself have a Bachelor’s in Natural Resource Management: Wildlife and Fisheries.
Q: How did you find the animal sanctuaries here in Costa Rica?
Paul: Prior to coming to Rescate, I volunteered 4 months of my life to an incredible sanctuary in Nosara. It was a small Sanctuary with only around 6 staff. I was blown away by the sheer scale of Rescate when I arrived. Rescate itself housed approximately 800 animals, not including those in rehabilitation, or vital conservation breeding programs. It tackled a much grander scope.
Q: What was your favorite part of Costa Rica?
Paul: My favorite part of Costa Rica was finally being able to make new additions to my bird journal. I know, I know, far from exciting to most, but Costa Rica has such a vast, incredible diversity of birds that just cannot be found anywhere else on the planet!
Q: What experiences at Rescate had an impact on you?
Paul: The experience that really stands out to me would be giving the marmosets an enrichment we prepared. It was a false nest with an egg inside. Upon placing it in the enclosure, it was remarkable to see them all spring to life to investigate. Tiny monkeys began bounding around my head on route, flinging pieces of the nest around, and suspiciously lapping at the egg.
It is difficult to choose a favorite part of my short-lived internship. I was absolutely honored to assist with the Scarlet Macaw Breeding Program. Being able to help feed, conduct observations and monitor nest boxes was a truly rewarding experience.
With 158 macaws in the breeding program, they can be quite the handful to feed, clean and monitor, but that made it all the more satisfying to complete a full day with those beautiful animals. We began that day preparing a grand assortment of food for breakfast, dishing it out, distributing it to each enclosure and ensuring each macaw has clean water.
Next, we had the opportunity to peak into the nest boxes for any eggs or hatchlings, as well as clean them as needed. Our group was fortunate enough to find 3 little hatchlings. We then conducted observations on assigned breeding pairs to ensure they were physically and mentally well.
The only downside was that, with 158 macaws, their squawks are just about loud enough to wake the dead. Ear plugs are wholeheartedly recommended.
Q: Do you have any advice for future Interns?
Paul: To anyone thinking of volunteering at Rescate, I say, “Jump in head first.” The experience is like any other, and the staff and interns are incredible people who make you feel at home.
Watch our Wildlife Interns in action:
Email Jeanne Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org and picture yourself conserving wildlife here in Costa Rica!