Pito solemnly allows Sharyn to make herself look silly–again.
After meeting Carol in Borneo, I couldn’t wait to visit her at Osa Wildlife Sanctuary (OWS). Smitten with the animals and floored by Carol’s commitment to them, I couldn’t wait to return, but I could never have imagined what I was in for on my second visit. Two volunteer vets were preparing the kitchen table for multiple surgeries.
We all walked the quarter mile to find our patients, Leno, Boogie and Gus. Sedating them was no easy task, and carrying a 50 pound Peccary 1/4 mile on rocky trails was a real challenge for the staff.
While Jay was wondering aloud if Boogie’s (the tayra) ovaries would look like those of the hundreds of dogs and cats he’d spayed in the U.S., Sheddy was relieved that the location of Gus’ (the sloth) wart, which was being removed, was on his snout. Frankly, finding anything else in his long, shaggy fur would not be easy.
What a shock when they tried to slide Boogie out of her carrier only to discover the hard way that she wasn’t fully sedated. In a dramatic save, Jay was able to stop Boogie’s attempted escape, and the surgeries were completed seamlessly on one end of the table, while Carol prepared the luncheon she’d be serving to the next day’s visitors on the other end.
I had a lucky moment. Previously, I’d made a donation which Carol told me she’d used to purchase a medical machine that the animals needed. As Jay was preparing, he commented on how he was able to do the surgeries without the animals bleeding because Carol had this machine. Carol told him that I’d bought it for OWS. I still don’t know the name, but I know the feeling I had when I realized that I was witnessing my contribution in action–improving patient care and comfort.
Carol is the real deal, giving every dollar and every ounce of her being to the creatures that come her way–a discarded pet, an abandoned infant or a howler passing through the territory. I was told on Day 1 not to plan to store food in the refrigerator because that’s for the animals. I thought she was joking. I was wrong.
I never could have imagined that any person of any age could work as hard as she works, refusing to turn in until everyone and everything is accounted for, while enjoying herself and her animals so much and still finding the time to educate the public and train her staff in the principles of conservation.
There are a few great rescue organizations, but OWS–with one on one care from the foundation’s founder–are few and far between. Carol is saving this part of the world, and I think the animals know it. Don’t take my word for it. Take Sweetie’s. She never lies unless food is involved.
And, donate. Please don’t forget. You will like yourself better when you know that you are helping to continue the mission of the OWS.
PS— The machine is an electrosurgical unit.