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

Hello, Friends of the Sanctuary!

Riley is approaching her first birthday—October 17th. Her doting mom, Rosie, takes her to the forest almost every day so she can learn how to forage, as well as receiving instructions in socialization and the proper etiquette for interacting with the wild monkeys.

However, Riley’s non-stop motion can wear Rosie down to the point where, exhausted, she hands Riley over to the aunties (Poppy, Sweetie and Winkie). Given a choice, little Riley loves to joyride on Sweetie through the treetops, but Winkie and Poppy take shifts, too, allowing Rosie the rest and quiet she desperately needs.

What an honor to watch as the baby develops and builds relationships with the rest of the troop including, occasionally, Mr Macho, her father. Riley’s skill and comfort with the social interactions she is acquiring now will define the quality of her future in the rainforest.

Spider monkey and her offpsring

Rosie & Riley… Photograph Compliments of ANDRES MADRIGAL


Woman and dog

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.

Two people operate on a tayra while two spider monkeys look on

Sheddy & Jay operate on Boogie while Sweetie & Winkie observe & offer suggestions.

Vet stitching up collared peccary

As Sheddy stitches up Leno, she comments on his thick and tough hide.

2019 Calendars…

Andres Madrigal

Andrés Madrigal is a Costa Rican photographer/videographer, passionate about photographing his country’s natural beauty. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook @costaricatraveler.

He was kind enough to spend a day with us taking photos of our wildlife for the 2019 calendar.

It has been a tough job to choose only 12 from over 900 photos he donated. The cover is the picture of Rosie and Riley above. Sweetie is not happy about that even though she will have a full page to herself.

Coming Soon…

We have been researching and designing a ‘Children’s Corner’ with interesting facts and projects teaching conservation, ecological importance and the natural history of indigenous animals of the Southern zone of Costa Rica. Our ‘Year In Review’ newsletter will feature the first children’s page.

Three spider monkeys and man

Rosie and Sweetie show their gratitude to Jay King, DVM. They have the final word, as usual.

OWS depends upon your donations to continue our life saving mission. It is kind people such as yourselves that help us with donations throughout the year.

Remember that your donations are tax-deductible and can be made using the PayPal icon below. If you prefer, you can make a check made payable to: Osa Wildlife Sanctuary Foundation, Inc. and mail to P.O. Box 171, Greenwood, IN 46142-0171.

Thank you for visiting the Sanctuary and we look forward to your return.

In friendship,


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