That’s a wrap!

What a year it has been! Due to the pandemic that hit Costa Rica in March 2020, we were forced to close to the public for many months, and it definitely has taken a toll on the sanctuary and our funds. Towards the end of the year, we slowly started resuming tours and have re-opened our volunteer program at a 50% capacity. We are remaining positive that we will be able to welcome more people in the New Year in order to support us in continuing our mission to provide refuge to non-releasable wildlife and to rescue, rehabilitate, and release those animals that have a chance back in the wild!

We recently held our 3rd annual Tamaleada with our staff and volunteers. After this year, we were so grateful to all come together and appreciate our accomplishments of the year and relax a little as well. Thank you to our local volunteers, interns, staff members, visitors, and everyone in between for the support. We want to finish the year extremely grateful to be where we are and continue working towards a better future.


Last week we received a distressed call about a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) that was trapped in a fishing net. The net had cut off the blood flow and its right flipper was amputated, leaving only a protruding bone. We were in contact with Laura Vanopdenbosch from the NGO Innoceana who was coordinating the transfer of the injured sea turtle from Drake bay to our center. The reptile was taken by boat from Drake bay to Sierpe, and then collected there by the local firefighters and brought to our center. Upon arrival and despite the horrendous injury, the large female was strong. Our vet team worked on the turtle, cleaning the wound and administering fluids and pain medication. Once the turtle was stable, we were lucky to have had the orthopedic specialist Dr. Kathy Wander come in and finalize the amputation with a clean cut. The female will be in recovery now for some time. We have high hopes that she will return back to the ocean, despite her amputated limb.

Incidental capture in fishing gear is one of the largest threats to marine life, specifically sea turtles. The majority of this ‘by catch’ is discarded as trash. The remaining animals that are not instantly killed by entrapment or strangulation are left with permanent damage and wounds, such as amputated flippers, often causing a slow death. Organizations such as Innoceana work in-field to release such trapped animals, but also, to create awareness amongst people about these issues and to try and promote sustainable fishing. Be aware and conscious about your impact on our natural world.