Travelling to Latin America provides an opportunity to see the various countries as more than just the caricature they are portrayed as on film and television. The vast landscapes, exotic fruits, and fascinating people leave a lasting impression on tourists who want to return time and time again. A thriving tourism economy, however, means there are people who want to exploit the natural resources, including its animals. Among the most popular tourist attractions in Costa Rica are its sloths, the slow moving animal that love to hang high in the trees eating leaves and twigs. Their adorable demeanour make them easy targets for households to keep as pets or animal handlers to use for exhibition.Sloths are found in Central and South America in the tropical rainforests.
They keep themselves atop trees to keep safe because they move at a painfully slow rate, hence, making it easy for natural predators to attack them.
It is believed the sloth was attacked by dogs who were led by a group of hunters.
Locals heard the animal screaming in pain, prompting them to act quickly, and call for help.
It was apparent she had been injured and getting her help immediately was of the essence. Moving her became a challenge since any touch and movement made the animal cried out in pain.
Employees of the Toucan Rescue Ranch transferred the animal to the city of Heredia.
A team of vets tried to clean the wounds, the fear was the dogs may have rabies. Cleaning the infection, relieving Tina of pain, was part of the process.
An orthopaedic surgeon had to be brought in not just to attach the arm but also do it in such a way that once healed Tina would be able to regain use of it.
This would ensure she would be able to climb again.
It took five months for Tina to begin to feel normal again.
Before she could climb trees and returned to the wild, Tina would need help walking on the ground.
Tina had also suffered several dog bites so the staff gave her a strong dose of antibiotics and cleaned her wounds daily to prevent infection.
This led to her climbing higher. She was also encouraged to find her own food such as buds, leaves, and twigs.
It may have been bittersweet for the staff at Toucan Rescue Ranch but they knew it was time to let their patient go back to the wild.
Before letting her go though she was fitted with a tracking collar.
The sloth population is threaten by deforestation, loss of habitat, getting killed by getting by speeding cars, illegal pet trade, and electrocution from security fences.
They climb down once a week to relieve themselves, burying their feces in the dirt so predators cannot track them.
It was initially meant to be a centre specifically for toucans and other birds.
Their mission has expanded to save as much of the Costa Rican wildlife, implement breeding programs for endangered birds, and to rehabilitate and release.
The facility provides volunteer opportunities for local, national and international individuals.
Those with severe injuries that cannot hunt, eat, or fed for themselves will stay in the centre permanently.
Animals that are trusting and comfortable with humans are more likely to be captured and sold on the black market.
The centre has released countless sloths back into the wild.
With the tracking collar, the employees and volunteers will know if Tina pops in for a visit in the future.
->**Watch the amazing rescue and release of Tina.**<-