September 4th marks National Wildlife Day in the US. So, a big hi to all our US-based readers! Here are a couple of things to think about.
One: A donation to help endangered and native animals is a great action to take today.
As animal lovers, you may already know that Costa Rica, abundant in biodiversity, is home to around 5% of the Earth’s wild species. So today, while thinking about wildlife closer to home, remember and celebrate your southern-dwelling friends such as the sloth, ocelot, jaguar, toucan, tapir and Geoffroy’s spider monkey.
These unique species are amongst the orphaned, injured or confiscated creatures that we rescue, rehabilitate and release at Rescate. Sloths, for example,
are unfortunately being electrocuted when they encounter poorly insulated power lines in their treetop homes. We have many sloths passing through our Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.
If you want to do something for wildlife this National Wildlife Day, why not make a donation to Rescate.
Our Centre has been funded almost entirely by the entry fees of visitors to the sanctuary, but since Covid-19 has stopped the movement of tourists and restricted the flow of locals, our funds have almost dried up. Your donation will support the $50,000 we need to raise by October to keep feeding, healing and supporting Rescate’s current residents.
We know so many people are doing it tough financially, but if you have even $20 for your wildlife friends, please visit our donate page today. And thank you – sincerely.
Two: Stop dangerous and cruel animal selfies
Almost a year ago, Costa Rica initiated a campaign to curb the dangerous practice of taking selfies with wildlife, after a 2017 study ranked the country as 7th in the world for inappropriate animal-related photos and selfies.
In order to get that ‘wow-worthy’ selfie or novelty Insta snap, tourists were putting themselves and animals in danger. Wild animals were being held, restrained or baited with unsuitable food while the tourist posed for their shot. Sloths, high on the ‘cute factor’ due to their smile-like facial markings, were pulled out of the trees and handed around as if they were toys. And if the animal were to strike out in fear, stress or natural instinct, people themselves risked harm.
Animals should not be subject to the whims of human entertainment. Around the world, wild animals have been captured and manipulated to pose for humans, sometimes drugged or intimidated. Sometimes teeth and claws are removed to prevent injury to tourists, but what about a creature’s own suffering? That’s not a selfie you want in your album.
We’re glad to see the word is spreading about World Animal Protection’s Wildlife Selfie Code. Let’s remind our friends and educate our children today:
Here at Rescate Wildlife Sanctuary, you’ll find a cuddly ‘toy’ sloth in place to pose with, if and when you are able to visit us! But we do ask visitors not to hug our cuddly sloth at the moment, due to Covid restrictions.
Happy National Wildlife Day everyone – with happier wildlife!