Conservation Optimism Part 3 - NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary, Costa Rica

Every day this week I will be sharing a story of #conservationoptimism from around the world – exciting projects led by passionate people dedicated to saving Earth’s precious wildlife. Next up we journey to the New World, into the vibrant jungles of Costa Rica.

For over 20 years NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary has provided refuge and care for wild animals that have been the victims of human-wildlife conflict, deforestation and the illegal pet industry. Working alongside the Costa Rica government they are committed to caring for the beautiful wildlife of Central America. With an onsite veterinary clinic, a dedicated biology programme and a devoted team of carers, these rescued animals can live out their lives with exceptional care - and where possible, be released back into the wild where they belong.

As well as caring for the essential needs of the animals under their care, NATUWA are also passionate about conservation. They support Macaw conservation by supporting reproduction and a rescue, rehabilitation and release program. They planted 2000 trees to restore the local environment, creating a forest reserve which attracts all sorts of free-roaming wildlife that are seen coming and going daily including Howler Monkeys, Ocelots and Iguanas. They also invest in environmental education, to inspire the next generation of Costa Ricans to protect the treasure that is their nature.

In January I spent a month at the sanctuary, to immerse myself in the natural environment of these species and study their biology and health. I fell even deeper in love with the sloths, tapirs, big cats and iguanas than I already was before, and saw first-hand the fantastic work they do to help animals in need brought to their gates, as well as the loving care provided to those who are sadly not able to be released.