Wednesday, 29 December 2010

December and Christmas in Costa Rica!

So December started with A LOT of rain - not unusual for this time of year apparently! It rained so much that the water in the lagoon almost reached the B&B so everything was moved upstairs overnight to try to avoid any damage! The volunteer house flooded with water thigh deep which meant we had to rescue Maxi (the dog) and literally carry her out of there! Here are a couple of pictures I managed to take, including Jenny at the volunteer house:

Unfortunately neither of the dogs who used to live at the volunteer house are there any more. Titan hurt his back which resulted in his back legs being paralysed. After taking him to see a specialist in San Jose, it was discovered that he had been born without his back ribs as well as having a bony growth on his spine. He is still in San Jose having acupuncture and hydrotherapy to try and get some movement back but I'm not sure what's happening now. Since then, Maxi has been playing up, and after she decided that the newly planted palm trees were a good chew toy, it was decided that she needed to be re-homed to a family who could give her the attention she needs as a puppy! So the volly house is suddenly very quiet!

The new project is all set up and ready to go - I am just waiting on the equipment that still hasn't managed to get here yet. I need the carmine red dye as well as a spare daily diary device as a back up for the 3 I currently have. It was planned to have them sent out with a volunteer coming from the UK, but annoyingly it snowed in England and pretty much the whole country ground to a halt, brilliant. Anyway they are due to now arrive next week so hopefully I can finally begin my work - exciting stuff :-)

Christmas was lovely and sunny here in Costa Rica, but VERY different from back home - I missed the cliffe family a lot! It turns out Christmas puddings, mince pies and Christmas crackers are pretty much unheard of outside of England. But work carried on as normal here - the Sloths still needed looking after and people still wanted tours! Surprisingly we had, and still have, a lot of volunteers here! I spent Christmas afternoon on the beach with some friends and had a few drinks in the evening.

Just before Christmas, we had a surprise birth here at the sanctuary! It's almost impossible to tell when a Sloth is pregnant, so it really was a surprise when one of the volunteers found a tiny new born baby in with Busby and Goldie in the morning. We try not to let the Sloths here mate because we can never release the baby so unfortunately it is another mouth that needs feeding! Sadly, the mother didn't bite off the umbilical cord properly so the baby needed stitches, after which, Goldie rejected him. So he is now being hand raised by Judy. We named him Jacque Noel after the volunteer who found him. Not all is well with this tiny baby though - he has developed a worrying habit of stopping breathing after every feed which means Judy has to literally resuscitate him every time. Fingers crossed he is ok!

About a week ago, a man brought us an adult 3 fingered sloth as well as a tiny 2 fingered baby. Sadly, the baby had been left on the ground for too long and died during the day. It was thought that the adult had been electrocuted, but after being examined she had no burns or obvious injuries. We tried to release her but she suddenly deteriorated and so we aren't sure what the problem is. We are keeping her under close observation though so hopefully she will be ok. Just to add to the baby boom, 2 days ago we had a small Choloepus baby brought to us whose mother had been attacked and killed by a dog. She seems to be doing ok though and so has joined the other babies in the incubators.

Finally, we had a small panic with Mateo eating his carrots a bit too fast. We thought he had fallen asleep while eating, but he had actually choked on his food! He had become quite unresponsive and our vet had to force his finger down his throat to dislodge the carrot! Within 10 mins he was right as rain, but now gets hand fed his carrots one by one to stop him getting too excited again!

Oh... just as I was typing that last sentance we had a little earthquake! Not very exciting for anyone else here except me :-)

Lots of love x