La Ceiba Natural Reserve
Named in reverence of a magnificent Ceiba tree (Ceiba pentandra) on the property that is thought to be over 500 years old, La Ceiba Natural Reserve consists of 490,000sqm (49 hectares) of primary forest that forms part of the Gandoca-Manzanillo Wildlife Refuge. This in turn forms part of the natural biological corridor running through Costa Rica and Panama and contains a hugely diverse range of flora and fauna.
Primary forest is classified as an area where there are no visible indications of human activity and therefore this mature and untouched property is the ideal place to locally release many of the animals that arrive at the JRC as it gives them the best chance of a clean and naturally safe environment with little chance of interaction with humans in the future.
After being rehabilitated of their injuries, or when baby orphans have grown to an age of independence, we can take animals from the JRC to the La Ceiba Release Station and either release them immediately, or temporarily house them deep in the property in one of our pre-release enclosures so that they can acclimatise to the smells and sounds of the forest at their own pace.
The diverse range of flora at La Ceiba also naturally provides approximately 90% of the food required by the animals prior to their release.
With our expert staff and volunteers living on site, we closely monitor the release process, (sometimes remotely using a small number of cameras) and ensure that potential releases are safe and have sufficient food until they are truly ready for independence. After release, we can monitor their transition using the remote cameras to check on their ability to find food as well as their general health.