After a successful dinner party on Wednesday night when we cooked fillet mignon steak stuffed with gorgonzola cooked to perfection on the barbecue…

[custom_script adID=149]

I woke up at 3am the following morning to drive up to San Carlos to visit some friends in a private animal rescue centre called ‘La Marina.’

Mario Araya, a fully bilingual Costa Rican photographer, videographer and semi-professional racecar driver (?) drove me up there at high speed … and I do mean ‘high’ speed…

When we arrived, the owner of the refuge, Juan Jose Rojas personally showed me around explaining how he rescues and tries to rehabilitate many of the wild animals.

Juan Jose speaks perfect English having worked in the USA as a truck driver for many years. He is a mountain of a man with gigantic, paddle-like hands which is unusual because the average Costa Rican tends to be more petite.

The truth is, Juan Jose isn’t average in any way. He has made tremendous progress and saved the lives of too-many-to-count precious animals. Jose has big ambitions, big plans and a huge heart…

His goal is always to rescue, rehabilitate and release the animals wherever possible. He has over three hundred animals and the thing that really hits you is how much he genuinely cares about the animals…

If he cannot release them, if they are too badly injured then Juan Jose will keep them and truly care for them.

I was personally handled by three different some spider monkeys and one in particular named Cola who is a sweet and gentle animal and, a very elegant young lady spider monkey who even tried to kiss me…

I never kiss and tell but I do hope those photographs of Cola and I smooching together come out well.

Later in the morning, I was grateful for a refreshing head and chest hair grooming session performed by a very energetic, somewhat hyper capuchin monkey who refused all forms of payment.

I also spent some time flirting with Suzie the full-figured jaguar who wasn’t remotely interested and two lionesses (one of which was recently shipped in from England). She and I did have a good chat together probably because she was more comfortable with my British accent than my Spanish speaking friends around me.

I even witnessed with my own eyes full-grown lioness running towards Jose when he called her, it was magical!

There is a ghost-like silvery ocelot in the reserve, tapirs, a margay and a 3ft tall, staggeringly powerful looking harpy eagle which, as far as I know, is the only one of it’s kind in captivity in all of Costa Rica, thanks to a misguided individual who shot it and damaged it’s wing thinking it was a vulture… Duh!

So there you have the real story behind this photograph…

[custom_script adID=151]

For kids of all ages the La Marina Animal Rescue Centre is a great place to visit and while you are there, please make a generous donation.

Jose may allow feeding in the rescue center but,
You should never feed wild animals!

[custom_script adID=153]

[custom_script adID=97]

Written by Scott Oliver, author of 1. Costa Rica Real Estate Scams & How To Avoid Them, 2. How To Buy Costa Rica Real Estate Without Losing Your Camisa, 3. Costa Rica’s Guide To Making Money Offshore and the Director of Costa Rica Living & Retirement – Secrets To Happiness, a new DVD which reveals all with 14 in depth interviews…

Are you into beautiful Costa Rica?

All interesting things you want to know about Costa Rica are right here in our newsletter! Enter your email and press "subscribe" button.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *