Traveling for a change is more than exploring new places and gaining new perspectives. Meaningful travel is a way to give back to local communities while embarking on a personal adventure, and Greenheart Travel is grateful to all our overseas partners working to improve their communities through important volunteer projects. To show our gratitude in this season of giving, Greenheart Travel will make a charitable donation to one of our non-profit partners and we want you to be a part of selecting who will receive the donation.
Today, we are previewing the second of three volunteer projects in the running to receive Greenheart Travel’s “Give Back” Award. Read on to learn more about how this project is making a positive impact on the local community and how our donation could be used if awarded to our Costa Rica Animal Rescue Center project.
Greenheart Travel’s volunteer project in Costa Rica relies on volunteers in their efforts to rehabilitate rescued exotic animals and injured wildlife for eventual release back into the wild. This is no easy task.
The black market of illegal animal trade is a multi-billion dollar industry, second only to drug and weapons black market trading. The Humane Society estimates that approximately 4 million animal are forced into the exotic pet trade every year for the purpose of becoming someone’s pet or entertaining the masses in a circus or roadside zoo. As the animals’ needs for food and space increase and become unmanageable for the owners, they are often left neglected or abused.
The volunteer rescue center in Costa Rica is a haven for animals captured and sold as illegal pets, and new animals are anonymously dropped off multiple times per month.
The goal of this volunteer project is to rehabilitate these animals with the intention of releasing them back into the wild. At the rescue center, staff are trained in handling exotic animals and have spent years studying their behavior, so they know when an animal is ready to be released.
Typically, the younger the animal is when it’s brought in, the higher chance there is for its release. However, some animals cannot be released if there are behavior issues, no pack to return to, clipped wings, or they are too accustomed to human life. In these cases, the animal will become permanently cared for at the center.
Because of the increasing number of animals being brought to the rescue center, the facilities are getting crowded with different species that cannot coexist in the same areas and require habitats to rehabilitate.
Greenheart Travel’s “Give Back” Award would go toward building a new and larger rehabilitation area on site that can be used specifically for wild animals in the process of being released. During this final phase, these need to be largely isolated from other animals and humans to “relearn” their natural behavior. With the expansion, Greenheart Travel hopes to help double the number of rescued animals released back into the wild.
The Costa Rica Animal Rescue project has not only made a tremendous impact on the animals in the area, but the volunteers who have helped at the center.
Cast you vote for this volunteer project to receive an additional rehabilitation facility and continue its efforts in rescuing and releasing animals back into their natural environment.