I finally got to see a sloth up close and personal and this lady of leisure even has the same name as me! 🙂
Did you know sloths sleep 14-16 hrs a day and their fur actually feels rough like velcro?
That’s what I learned on the Kids Saving The Rainforest tour. This non-profit was founded 20-some years ago by two 9 year old girls — one Canadian and one American. An encounter with a wounded sloth impacted these friends so much that they decided to step up and do something to help preserve/protect wildlife and the rainforest they lived in.
KSTR was then born with the mission of educating people about the ecological importance of the rainforest. The girls (Janine and Aislin) sold painted rocks to raise money. Later, the restoration program, rescue center and animal sanctuary was created. It’s truly impressive, all the work and care that has been put into this organization and space!
This was also a fantastic teaching opportunity to demonstrate to our preschool son how one small idea can blossom into a life changing venture!
This past weekend we went on a tour and had a chance to visit with some of the animals and hear their stories of survival. Sadly, many were selfishly used for profitable entertainment purposes. Kerri, our lovely guide explained that as cool as it may be to take a selfie cuddling a sloth, they are actually not meant to be held by humans.
Their fur is also a haven for parasites! And a baby sloth can actually die within a few months if it’s passed around too much. So best to leave them in the wild and report anyone who is using animals as tourist attractions.
This colourful macaw is missing a tail and has a broken beak. He lives in the sanctuary now as he’s unable to survive in the wild by himself.
Monkeys are commonly kept captive as exotic pets. The rescue project does it’s best to ‘un-domesticate’ them so they can be released back to their natural homes. They are not always successful unfortunately, and those animals have to remain here. So while it’s disheartening to see animals caged up, this refuge actually protects them from further trauma and abuse.
At the end of the tour, Kerri showed us the noni fruit tree and the kids were challenged to taste this cheesy but really nutritious fruit. Check out the video to see their expressions! I wasn’t brave enough to actually bite into it but I did give it a lick and it tasted rottenly bitter, yuck!
We highly recommend visiting KSTR and it’s not just for kids! It’s both informative and so fascinating to be able to get this close up to the wildlife.
The 2 hours sanctuary tour runs every morning except Tuesdays and you must RSVP in advance here. It’s located at the Blue Banyan Inn which is about a 25 mins drive from Manuel Antonio, Quepos.
The road in not paved so expect a bumpy ride for about 2km or you can arrange for a driver to pick you up for an extra small charge. You will pass by thousands of palm trees and can get some really Instagram-worthy shots!
Admission is in USD, $60/adult and $20/kids over age 3 and includes snack + drinks. Of course, proceeds fund the amazing staff and their wildlife contributions.