We are thrilled to announce that McCarter, one of our margays, has officially been released! Last Saturday night, we opened the door to his pre-release enclosure in La Ceiba and he returned to the wild!
McCarter first arrived here at the Jaguar Rescue Center around one month of age after being rescued in Monteverde. He stayed here at the center with us for about two years before we transferred him to our primary forest reserve, La Ceiba. Our protected land allows the animals to have a safe area to get accustomed to their natural habitat again. However, our land is not fenced in or enclosed, allowing the animals to roam as far as they want. Here, we built an enclosure immersed in the primary forest for the wild cats. This enclosure allows him to take some time getting accustomed to the new sights, sounds, and smells of his new environment.
La Ceiba is a vital step in the release process for the animals. This time allows them to re-acclimate to their natural habitat while finding some of the comfort and safety of the habitat they had been raised in for a period of their life. We find this step allows the animals to make an easier transition back into the wild. McCarter is one of hundreds of animals, and the second wildcat, to be released in our primary reserve.
Margays are one of six species of wild cats to live here in Costa Rica and one of the best climbers of the bunch. They have many amazing skills, one of which being the ability to rotate their hind ankles 180 degrees. Giving them the ability to descend down trees face first, similar to a squirrel. Margays are also nocturnal and solitary making them quite difficult to see in the wild.