After our day at The Sloth Sanctuary we were keen to find more rescue centers while we were in Costa Rica. So we were really stoked to find The Jaguar Rescue Center in Puerto Viejo, on the Caribbean coast during our road trip.
The center opened its doors in 2008 by married couple, and biologists, Encar and Sandro, who moved to Costa Rica from Barcelona in 1998.
The name is a little misleading because it’s not just a center for rescued Jaguars! They take in all sorts of wildlife but the name came from their first rescues; a baby jaguar whose mother had been murdered by a local farmer.
Today the center sees so many difference species including reptiles, monkeys, sloths, big cats and birds just to mention a few!
The Jaguar Rescue Center rescues, rehabilitates and releases the wildlife. When it is unsafe for the animal to be released, they keep it on their grounds to ensure it stays safe and healthy.
The center has large areas for all the animals and most of them are not in enclosures. For the ones that are in enclosures, the staff lets them out into the jungle for a play when it is safe to do so!
The volunteers and staff there were really invested in the animals. It was quite obvious they cared for these animals as if they were their own pets. You really could see the love they had for them.
The center takes volunteers on a regular basis. They have programs for 2 weeks right up to several months. They also take donations to help keep the center running.
If you are just visiting for the day like us, its costs $15USD per person which is more than reasonable!
You are guided through the grounds for 90 minutes. You guide will give you some history on the center as well as information on the animals you find there. After the guided tour, you are permitted to wander round the grounds on your own, going back to visit parts you really enjoyed during the guided tour.
Part of the tour allows you to enter one of the monkey enclosures, which was really cool! The monkeys are not afraid of humans because they are handled by the staff often. We even had a few monkeys on our backs or swinging from our held out arms!
If you are a regular to our site, you may know we are huge animal/wildlife lovers so this really was right up our alley! We are now looking into the volunteer program! It’s a great project and we are both very passionate of helping wildlife in any way we can!
So next time you are in Costa Rica I would highly recommend a visit to both The Sloth Sanctuary and The Jaguar Rescue Center. And remember to thank them for all their efforts in saving the local wildlife.
Have you been to a wildlife rescue center? If so which one, we would love to put more on our ‘must do’ lists!