Dear Friends of the Sanctuary,
I am writing you today to share with you a small yet mighty challenge we are facing, in the hope that you might be part of the solution.
At Osa Wildlife Sanctuary, we measure our success by the number of animals that we return to the rain forest each year. Yet once back in their natural habitat, our furry and feathered friends need to be prepared to not only survive, but to thrive and reproduce. There are many steps involved in this process, from treating injuries to finding the right conspecifics, and the proper food source and to teaching the animals to avoid danger, etc.
Since we began our important work in the Conservation Area OSA (ACOSA) almost two decades ago, we have successfully rescued, rehabilitated and released hundreds of orphaned, injured and displaced animals back into the wild.
None of this could have been possible without the support of caring and compassionate people like you!
I’m sure that this is all familiar to you, but what you might not know is that the pre-release cages are paramount to their successful release because it is the final step in their journey prior to being free.
These cages are tucked deep in the rainforest away from all human sounds and are enriched only with food that would be consumed by the animals in the wild.
They also play a vital role for many of our social species by acclimating the individual animals to one another, thereby forming a critically-needed bond to each other as a family, group or troop—chances of survival once in the rainforest is far greater with a more natural family or troop size.
Many of you will recall Lulu, our female howler monkey that gave birth. We housed her in this same cage to give her and little Alvarito some quiet time before letting her make the choice of when to leave.
Prior to being released, our first margay learned to adapt to hunting with one eye in this same cage.
Lola, the ocelot was also housed here before being diagnosed with Occipital Malformation rendering her unfit for release.
During this year’s rainy season however, our main pre-release cage was badly battered by a fallen tree trunk, smashing half the structure and the double door entry.
This cage now houses five Central American Squirrel Monkeys, Saimiri oerstedii which IUCN considers them a vunerable species, and is also known as Mono Titis here in Costa Rica. Unlike other monkeys in the region, squirrel monkeys lack a prehensile tail after 30 days from birth, and forage mostly for insects in the lower growth of a secondary forest.
These little monkeys also have a highly synchronized breeding season. We have in our care two adult males and one female—being sexually mature—and the two others in the cage won’t be sexually mature for another one to three years.
We just introduced a juvenile into this troop of Titi Monkeys — a rambunctious little male named Purezo and we received our second female just this past weekend. Candace G. was given the honors and named her Mickey.
Because Purezo and Mickey are not yet ready, we will not release the troop during the synchronized breeding season of this year; instead we will have to delay one more year before returning the entire troop to the wild.
That is why it is so crucial to repair the cage now.
The damaged cage is three meters wide by six meters long and three meters high. To accommodate all six, we will also need to enlarge it by another three cubic meters.
And because the cage is situated deep in the primary rain forest far from any roads or power (and thus a very safe place to release the monkeys), all the construction materials will need to be hauled out by boat, making the cost of repair over double than what it would be in a be in a less remote area.
We need to raise $5,000 immediately to repair this cage…
Will you please help us reach our goal by making a tax-deductible contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 today?
• Friends who make gifts of $100 or more will receive a beautiful Osa Wildlife Sanctuary 2017 Calendar as a token of our appreciation
• Gifts of $250 to $500 or more will sponsor one of the six monkeys (you can choose who to sponsor.)
• Individuals that are in the position to make a generous gift of $1,000 to $2,000 or more will receive a plaque on the pre-release cage with you or your family’s name and come to the Sanctuary to open the cage the day of their release!
The Sanctuary prides itself on its successful release efforts.
With your support, we will keep these six monkeys active both mentally and physically throughout the year ahead, thanks to a larger, safer, and well-enriched cage.
And hopefully by Thanksgiving, Purezo, Mickey and their extended family will all be together enjoying their wonderful meal as we will during that special day.
Please make a tax deductible donation by pressing the PayPal icon below, or write a check made payable to Osa Wildlife Sanctuary Foundation, Inc. and mail to P.O. Box 171, Greenwood, IN 46142-0171.