Animals Friends for Life interviewed a volunteer from the CRARC (Germany)
(42.000 sold exemplars)
Rescue under Palmtrees
To support an Animal-Rescue Center, Linah Hein from Germany travelled to Central America. Here she assisted in the Costa Rican Animal-Rescue Center. Anyone interested can help – and that aid is needed badly. Costa Rica has a great faunal biodiversity, but many animals are endangered by unauthorised hunters.
Linah, you volunteered in an Animal-Rescue Station in Costa Rica. How does a usual day go by?
Linah: “My Alarm goes off around 7 a.m. First the volunteers have breakfast, then, at 8 a.m. the animals! We peel fruits and cut them into pieces and clean out empty bowls, while two of us clean the cages.”
So what is there to do after the animals are fed?
Linah: “Then, for example, we let the monkeys into the butterfly-garden, where they can frolic around for hours. They pick leaves and catch insects. And, of course, play with each other a lot.”
Do the volunteers join the playing sometimes?
Linah: “Usually not. Mainly we keep a close watch, so none of them is able to abscond. Furthermore it is important, that the animals do not get too accustomed to humans, since, later, back in the wild, they have to be able to get along on their own again. Additionally, one must not forget, that we are dealing with wild animals, rather than cuddly toys. But then there is something monkeys love to do with volunteers – to play with their hair.”
What other kinds of animals have been accommodated by the Rescue Station at the time you were there?
Linah: “In total there have been about 70 animals. Among them different species of monkeys like capuchins or howler monkeys, as well as sloths, a kinkaju, land- and seaturtles, many different birds, like macaws, falcons and owls. Also there has been a fawn, chickens and a great number of dogs. Any animal is welcome to the Rescue Station.”
How long do those animals stay, before being set free again?
Linah: “From one animal to another it is different. Some can get back into the wild again after one or two months. They are being checked by a veterinarian and if everything looks alright, they are being brought to a special compound, where they can disaccustom from humans. They will not be fed any more, but have to find food for themselves. If this works out, we set them free.”
Has there been a particularly beautiful moment for you?
Linah: “Oh yes! Once, four sea-turtles were being brought to the Rescue Station. The poachers, who caught them had been arrested by the police, that is how we happened to get hold of those animals. The turtles were in a very bad shape: injured and dried out. We stayed with them the whole night and dashed them with seawater, put bees wax on their wounds and gave them medicine. They recovered so well, that we could set them free the next day already. I will never forget that moment!”
Thank you, Linah, for that interesting interview.