Wildlife Internship Wildlife Internship La Garita, Costa Rica Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center
Help us care for and return wild animals to the wild and gain valuable animal care experience in a lush tropical setting with all the comforts of home.

18 Project reviews of Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center

Project Details

Costa Ricas largest wildlife sanctuary encompassing a Rehabilitation Center, Endangered Species Breeding Center, Lifetime care sanctuary and two release sites.

Who We Are

Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center (formerly Rescate Animal Zooave) is a registered non-profit wildlife rehabilitation facility founded in 1989 and located on 34 acres of natural tropical forest in the province of Alajuela, Costa Rica.

What We Do

Our mission is to protect and restore the country’s biodiversity through wildlife rehabilitation, endangered species breeding, habitat preservation and the provision of lifetime care for truly non-releasable animals.

There are three main centers at Rescate’s facility in Alajuela:

1.      A state-of-the-art Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

2.      An Endangered Species Breeding Center

3.      A Lifetime Care Sanctuary with more than 125 species of animals.

Over 2,700 wild animals are admitted to Rescate on an annual basis including sloths, jaguars, monkeys, tapirs, pumas and coyotes as well as a wide variety of birds, small mammals and reptiles. 

Roughly 2% of the birds, mammals, and reptiles that have been rescued cannot be released due to health or behavioral reasons. Non-releasable endangered species in the Endangered Species Breeding Center have an opportunity to contribute to the survival of their species through successful breeding and release of off-spring. Non-releasable wildlife of other species are provided with lifetime sanctuary in the Lifetime Care Sanctuary.

Where we work? 

We are located in Alajuela, Costa Rica just 20 minutes from the main international airport. Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center is a lush green forest that provides a natural environment to our resident animals. Costa Rica is known for it’s incredible biodiversity and there are beautiful views at almost every turn. As we are so close to San Jose it’s possible to get a bus to just about everywhere in the country!

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for people passionate about animal welfare and conservation who would like to learn more about real-world conservation and improve the lives of animals.

Why choose us?

Rescate Wildlife Rescue Center is the largest wildlife sanctuary in Costa Rica and we are one of only two sanctuaries in Costa accredited by GFAS (Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries). There is no other organisation in Costa Rica that provides the opportunity to experience a sanctuary, rehabilitation center, endangered species breeding center and two release sites! 

The main focus of the project is on
NPO Status
Yes, registered non-profit organization
Contact Person
Jeanne Marie Pittman Conservation Programs Manager
Spoken Languages

Social Impact

Our lifetime care sanctuary is open to the public, guests experience animals being cared for in huge natural enclosures with minimum contact with humans and discounted entry for Costa Ricans. We are leading by example to demonstrate that wild animals do not make suitable pets and deserve to be treated with respect. Part of our work is to spread awareness of their exploitation and global conservation issues resulting in mass extinctions.

The stories of our animals have travelled worldwide. Most notably the story of Grecia the chestnut-mandibled toucan who had her beak broken-off when she was violently attacked by humans. Her story sparked international outrage and she became the face of a national movement demanding stronger protection laws for wildlife in Costa Rica and harsher penalties for animal abusers resulting in a new Animal Welfare Bill.

We are currently supporting the #stopanimalselfies campaign to raise awareness of animals being exploited by the photo-tourism trade with the goal of stopping the practice altogether.

Pursued Sustainable Development Goals

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