Sloth Electrocutions in Costa Rica: Our Experience

Sloth Electrocutions in Costa Rica: Our Experience

Electrocutions caused by the poorly insulated power lines and transformers are a common and growing problem here in the South Caribbean.

We rescued Mamasita after being electrocuted by the power lines and severely burned. Upon arrival we were worried for her survival. While examining her we realized she was pregnant!  After one month of recovery here at the Jaguar Rescue Center she had her baby! Both Mamasita and her baby are doing incredibly well. Though Mamasita may never be able to return to the wild due to losing tendons and muscles in two of her arms.

Recently, we have had one of our very own Howler monkeys die due to an electrocution from the power lines. Sole was a monkey that was born in the Center. She was raised by us and going to the forest every day with the rest of our group in attempt to be released. She had finally started to venture off on her own and soon to be released when she was electrocuted. Her stomach, tail and hands were severely burned.  Our only option was to amputate her tail. Shortly after the amputation we realized her flesh was rotting.  Unfortunately, Sole did not survive.

We are currently collaborating with ICE to fix this major problem that is costing many of our wild animals their lives.  If you find an animals that has been electrocuted please do not touch it! It is potentially dangerous due to the live wires. Call us or the local police or firemen to handle the situation and give the animal the proper medical attention.

One of the best solutions to this problem are to bury the power lines, however, this is quite costly. Current solutions include placing cones and balls on the powerlines making it more difficult to climb around and reach the transformers.  There are also ropes being put across the roads running parallel and perpendicular to the power lines to try and encourage the animals to use this as a means of transportation.

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