This coming August will mark 30 years since Dennis Janik purchased a roadside zoo called ZooAve, transforming it into a wildlife rescue center and sanctuary (‘Rescate Animal Zooave’). Dennis, Executive Director and Founder, says “Our vision is to prioritize animal welfare and conservation over profit, and over the last 30 years every visitor admission fee has gone directly to rescuing and rehabilitating thousands of animals.”
Now, with the pandemic causing restrictions to visitors, Rescate are appealing for international donations to continue their operations. Important to this appeal is the upcoming rebrand to ‘Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center’, coinciding with Rescate’s 30th birthday.
A brief history of Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center
The original ‘Zooave’ opened its doors in the 1960’s as a small private zoo (find out more information via our History As Zoo Ave page). Its sole purpose was to earn a profit from the exploitation of animals through exhibitions to the public and the sale of live animals and body parts for the then booming wildlife export trade. In 1990, Dennis Janik purchased the property, buildings and animals in order to close down this major animal export dealership. Rescate Animal ZooAve was born under a new administration and has since saved tens of thousands of animals.
Today, Rescate operates as a non-profit organization to rescue, rehabilitate and release nearly 3000 animals a year, and to provide lifetime care to a further 800 non-releasable animals. “We are a family that puts animals first, and a part of the community,” says Magali Quesada Quirós, President of Fundación Restauración de la Naturaleza (the non-profit foundation that manages Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center). Now Rescate will finally shed the name ‘ZooAve’ and the connotations this holds to making profit from animals.
“International donors are currently put off by the word ‘zoo’ in our name, so we need the name to reflect the conservational work we do. We will transform our marketing, branding, and website over the course of the next few months – these changes will generate more understanding of our mission and subsequently, more help for the animals we rescue” says Dennis.
You can find and download our Press Release as a PDFs below:
- For International Journalists (English)
- For Local Journalists (Spanish)