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The Osa Wildlife Sanctuary has been permanently closed to the public.

Another Anniversary Celebration!

Another Anniversary Celebration!!!

Poppy in tree

Poppy upon arrival

We are rapidly approaching a “red letter day” for the Sanctuary-another anniversary of helping wildlife!

October 29, 2003 was a momentous day that changed the lives of many, especially mine! We were asked to accept a nine month old spider monkey that had been confiscated from a home.

Since that momentous day, we have enjoyed significant growth, starting from an open-porch aviary in 1996 to the multi-species facility we have today.

Poppy opened the flood gates for all wildlife indigenous to the southern Pacific zone of Costa Rica. Over the past 14+ years we have worked with over fifty-five different species of birds, mammals and sea turtles—a hawksbill sea turtle that we were able to save and release.


Poppy today—Photo Compliments of Jeff Cable

We not only help wildlife on their way, but the Sanctuary has and is helping young people with their career choices by giving them opportunities and an experience not offered anywhere else.

Included below are articles written by Ingrid Molina and Kimberly Espinosa, both are from Costa Rica. Some of you may have met Kimberly as she has given tours to many of you that visited this year and some may recall Ingrid when she was here giving tours. The following articles are written in their own words.

I would like to add that I am honored to have the Foundation affiliated with these two outstanding people.

9 Summers with Monkeys…


Ingrid Molina Mora

I met Winkie soon after I turned 19, while volunteering at Piedras Blancas National Park, a ranger took me and 4 friends to visit the Sanctuary. She must have been around 3 years old and was very slim; she hadn’t yet achieved the curvy figure she carries now—she was last year’s calendar cover girl. I knew I must see her and the other spider monkeys—often referred to as ‘the girls’-at least one more time, perhaps as a volunteer.

Like many of you, I was part of a group of tourist captivated by the many animals the Sanctuary was taking care of. And like many of you, I signed the newsletter/guest book, a small note book where we all wrote our emails hoping to hear more about these animals and their progress. Later that year I wrote Carol to let her know that I wanted to volunteer, the rest was history… I’ve been coming to the Sanctuary several times a year for the past 9 years, I’m able to visit so often because I’m Costa Rican (Actually, Carol doesn’t know that I am sitting at her desk as I write this).

I’ve seen Winkie and Sweetie and Poppy and Rosie and dozens of other animals (Boogie, Lola, Lulu, Conguito, Panzón, Ceibo, just to name a few) leave or live at the Sanctuary freely. I’ve been a Biology student for 7 of those 9 years, I’ve traveled my country, I’v seen other Rescue Centers and I am convinced that this place is unique.

Winkie at palm tree

The Rubenesque Winkie of Today—Photo Compliments of Cassie Festa

It’s uniqueness lies in the close proximity to the National Park that gives the animals a more familiar environment to recover, the enormous efforts of the foundation to overcome the obstacles life presents, Carol’s energy and her love-driven constant capacitation and of course all of you who read the newsletters and have supported the Sanctuary over the years.

At the University of Costa Rica and at their Biology school I learned to evaluate and calculate, to asses and compare, to make meticulous choices and fact-based decisions; maybe that’s why I liked this place. Here I feel we have an opportunity to be like an outdoor laboratory where we can apply all we have read and learned to help as many animals as we can. Always looking how to improve and never allowing ourselves to think that we have all the answers.

I’ve also learned a lot from many hands-on experiences that weren’t taught to me in the classroom, all the way from how to handle the animals and how to act around the different species. I’ve learned how to truly observe an animal in an effort to see how it feels. I’m grateful to have met ‘the girls’ that will teach anyone that cares to take a minute of their time about what it is like to have lost a family and be given another chance.

In 9 years I’ve had been through a lot, as well as the Sanctuary, ‘the girls’, Carol and all the other amazing volunteers. But I hope that we will all continue to do our best for the conservation of species no matter where we are.

My Experiences at the Osa Wildlife Sanctuary…

Kimberly Espinoza—Photo Compliments of Ana Victoria Carrillo

Kimberly Espinoza—Photo Compliments of Ana Victoria Carrillo

Hello everybody, my name is Kimberly Espinoza, I am a proud Costa Rican and proud to be working at the Sanctuary. This is my second time working here-what a beautiful place! I worked here 6 years ago for my high school practice, and now, with the previous great experiences I kept in my heart, I’ve came back, with a more mature mentality and thoroughly convinced of what I really like doing and what my passion is.

My tasks here are diverse and demanding, but that’s not a problem, when you live in a paradise like this you must learn to be versatile in every way possible. My job description ranges from the nutritional food prep to the welcoming of our visitors and accompany them through the Sanctuary explaining about the natural history, ecological importance and the conservation of our charges. I also explain about how these animals came to us and help our guests to understand the ramifications and the impact that the pet trade has on wildlife.

The first time I came to the Sanctuary was in October 2010, in an unexpected way, to be honest it wasn’t what I had planned. I was just 18 years old and was and finishing highschool, I was hoping to do my practice (which is a requirement for graduation) at a five stars hotel, or better said a five leaves hotel (which is about the same but for ecotourism businesses). However by beautiful fortune I arrived to this little piece of land. First impressions are very difficult to change and even though it wasn’t what I expected it became just what I needed.

I fell in love with the birds that flew around free and surrounded by the wild vegetation, and finally the only thing I wished for was to be a part of it, whatever it was and no matter what (since I didn’t quite knew what was upon me). The animals became an essential part of me, I couldn’t stop talking about them to my friends and family. Even though not everything has been easy, there is no doubt in my mind that I would not change that strange fortune that brought me here.

Kimberly giving a tour

Kimberly giving a tour

Know, every time I wake up I breath in the fresh and clean air that surrounds me and feel grateful and peaceful. Days are never the same and even though nothing is predictable- one day I am taking phone calls, another I am giving tours (tour guide is my secret identity) and on other days I am helping to nurse and take care of injured animals.

On the best days I have the pleasure of seeing them leave to be freed into their habitat-there is no way to compare the satisfaction that you feel when you are able to see an animal safe, healthy and grateful for the work you put your love into.

I am Kimberly Espinoza and I studied ecotourism, but that doesn’t define me as a person and it doesn’t say much about who I am. What does define me are my actions every morning when I wake up beating tiredness with a smile. I thank the founder of this Sanctuary for allowing me to be a part of the big wildlife family and for helping me grow in my career, for helping and guiding me and even more for helping the sentient beings that sometimes my country is not able to help.

Behind the Scenes…

David holding Red Lored Parrot

David Nieto—Photo Ana Victoria Carrillo

We enjoy the calm waters of the Golfo Dulce—most of the time! The crossings are known to be rather rough on occasion and even in our small ‘bahia‘ it can be rather tricky.

David, our captain was born on the coast and living here his entire life. Like the lads on farms learning how to drive a tractor at an early age, David learned how to drive a boat and the lifestyle predicated on tides is similar to the farm lad learning the different seasons.

David was gathering all that was needed to be put into the boat for ‘town-day”; vegetable crates, recycling materials, gas cans, etc. The waters appeared to be calm and the anchor was holding. Out of the blue came a rogue wave that swamped and immediately sank the boat. When you hear a call for help from the beach you know a boat is about to sink or has sunk! Everyone was able to right the boat and with whatever was available at-hand was used to bail the water out.

Chan bailing water from the boat while David and Luis hold it steady

Photo Compliments of Ana Victoria Carrillo

The boat was later towed to the Suzuki dealer in Golfito for repairs. Prior to the new and environmentally correct four stroke motors were the two stroke motors truly a work-horse. These engines do not have the sophistication of the new models and can easily be rinsed down, tubes drained, carburetor cleaned and they will normally start after a few hard cranks with the rope. Not with the four-strokes…

As I was writing this letter, Hurricane Nate was upon us with torrential downpours for three solid days. The Costa Rican government sent warnings against flooding and high waves through text messages. If the rains hadn’t stopped, we were prepared to give the sloths hot water bottles to keep them from succumbing to hypothermia. We were very fortunate as we only suffered from no cellular service or wifi for one day. David had his boat up on the beach, away from the hard breaking waves and we were all keeping our fingers crossed that no emergency would require him to have to navigate through the dangerous and choppy seas.

A Little Help From Our Friends…

Bottle feeding spider monkeys

A lot of time-consuming special care—Photo Compliments of C. DeJori

What we do here at the Sanctuary—and we do it well, is to care for wildlife in need. Why then, when there is so often as now a shortage of funds, do we continue accepting any wild creature in need? Because not to do so is simply unconscionable!

We never want to have to turn any animal away simply because we cannot afford the cost of its care.

Of course, each animal has its own set of needs: things like surgeries, medicines, round-the-clock critical care, special housing and often-special diets.

And, when healthy or recuperating, they all need to eat, and eat well.

Dr. Tello with Chana the parrot

Dr. Andres Tello

Carol giving a shot

Critical care

Feeding Robin the free-tailed bat

Round the clock feedings

Food for the spider monkeys

Eating well

Flash the squirrel's meal

Special diets

Peachie asleep in her hammock

Special housing

Our expenses have become truly overwhelming and our doors can only remain open with your help.

Over 40,000 people have visited the Sanctuary; many have commented that it had been the highlight of their trip; others have found it to be a life-altering experience. Imagine the growth and amount of continuing care that we could provide if only half of everyone that has visited the Sanctuary gave just an additional $5.00.

Carol getting a hug from spider monkey Guapo

A huge hug from Guapo

This year in particular, please consider not waiting until the end of the year to send us your donations. If you haven’t made a donation yet, we hope that you will. If you have, our heartfelt thanks. It would mean the world to us—and a whole lot more to every animal that arrives on our doorstep.

We ask you to please donate what you can to help us with every animal that needs our help.

Please send your tax-deductible donations to our United States organization Osa Wildlife Sanctuary Foundation, Inc. at PO Box 171, Greenwood, IN 46142-0171 or through PayPal by pressing the icon below. When sending a check, please include your email address.

Thank you for visiting the Sanctuary, we look forward to your next visit upon returning to the Osa and thank you for your continuing support.

In friendship,


Carol A. Patrick
Fundación Santuario Silvestre de Osa

Keep an Eye Out for the 2018 Calendar Offer Coming Soon

Close-up of Sweetie's eyes

Sweetie—Photo Compliments of Ana Victoria Carrillo

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