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Animal rescue center needs rescue

From the print edition

Byblos Resort and Kids Saving the Rainforest are hosting a fundraiser to save the only government-sanctioned, wild animal rescue center in the Manuel Antonio National Park area.

Kids Saving the Rainforest was founded 13 years ago by two preteen girls in response to an influx of tourists who threatened the wildlife of Manuel Antonio. Until now, the program has been funded entirely through sales at the organization’s artisan gift shop, but the downturn in the economy has left the center unable to cover it’s own monthly expenses.

“A full-time resident vet, an animal caretaker, volunteers and a guard all live on the property helping to rehab the many injured or confiscated animals,” said rescue center coordinator Jennifer Rice. “Unfortunately, this comes with a certain fixed cost, not to mention the food, maintenance, vet supplies and numerous other items required to care for a variety of exotic animals.” 

The organization’s first-ever fundraiser will be held Sept. 9 from 1-5 p.m. at the Byblos Resort and will include live music, food, activities for children and a raffle. Tickets are $25 for adults and $10 for children, and are on sale at local businesses.

At present, the rescue center is home to 55 different animals including exotic birds, four species of monkeys, two species of sloths, armadillos, agoutis, coati mundis, marmosets, timirins and others.  While most are eventually released into the wild, some animals are beyond rehabilitation and will remain in the facility permanently.

Despite the animals’ needs, the rescue center will be forced to close its doors unless Kids Saving the Rainforest can find a way to pay monthly expenses. 

“This is not just a feel-good fundraiser,” said Kimberly Barron, director of marketing at Byblos Resort. “These beautiful animals are one of the main attractions for tourism in our area. Manuel Antonio hotels and tourism operations that depend on national and international visitors cannot afford to ignore the need for a full-service animal rescue center.”

For more information about obtaining tickets, contact Anita Myketuk at 2777-1002. To contribute to the cause, visit the Kids Saving the Rainforest souvenir shop at Hotel Mono Azul in Quepos.

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