Last week in our Behind the Business feature we highlighted Nosara Wildlife Rescue and Sibu Sanctuary. So, this week I delve into the other side of the partnership. I sat down with Brenda Bombard to spread the word about her work with Refugio Animales de Nosara. We also talked about the successful 2nd Annual Save the Howler Monkeys Fundraiser and Auction that was held last week for Nosara Wildlife Rescue.
For many years there was no “Nosara Wildlife Rescue”, but Brenda and Refugio Animales de Nosara have been rescuing animals here in Nosara for over 12 years. Then, a few years ago when Vicki and Steve Coan rescued their first monkey and met Brenda, they too wanted help the cause and be a part of what Brenda was doing. So, when Vicki and Steve developed Sibu, it was a natural fit, and exactly the partner organization that Refugio Animales de Nosara needed. Together they formed Nosara Wildlife Rescue to help market, promote and bring more awareness to what both organizations were doing.
Brenda’s side of the partnership has their own distinct responsibilities as does Sibu. Visit: http://www.nosarawildlife.com/shared_mission.html for their mission statement and a list of each organization’s duties.
Basically, Brenda and Refugio Animales de Nosara are the first respondents on the scene. They get the call if an animal has been found injured, orphaned or killed in the area. So, they rescue the animals that are in need and able to be rehabilitated, and for those that are too far gone, they also help with the euthanization. It is a very emotionally trying job for Brenda and her helpers, but it is for the best after you see the pain and damage that these monkeys endure. Many of the rescues they are called out for occur when the Howler Monkeys have been shocked by the electrical wires. As a result they fall to the ground and are sometimes attacked by unleashed dogs or hit by passing cars. So, after they rescue these animals they take them to a small house where local vets can work on them. It is also here where the young, orphaned and displaced monkeys are rehabilitated, nurtured and raised. Then, once the monkeys are mature enough and in good health Brenda takes them to the refuge she has at her house. It is the full intent and mission to eventually release these monkeys back into the wild, once they are ready and mature enough. This is where the monkeys assimilate, bond and learn how to become monkeys. They are grouped into surrogate “families” and learn how to get along with each other, climb, swing, eat and play just like they would in the wild. Howler Monkeys like all monkeys operate in family units in the canopy. They forage, travel, eat, sleep and roam together as a unit. So, since these rescued monkeys are all from different families, they have to learn how to get along together to form their own “family”. This is very important because after about 11-14 months of rehab and nurturing, they are ready to leave Refugio Animales de Nosara, and go as a “family” unit to Sibu Sanctuary where they are enrolled in the successful step down program. It is at Sibu where they further mature and are better prepared for life up in the canopy again. Then, once they feel the monkeys are ready, they release them back into the jungle.
The Nosara Wildlife Rescue partnership has proved to be very successful and there are now eight monkeys at Sibu that Brenda has brought over. She also has four more on the way by the end of March. So, things are working out great between both organizations and they couldn’t be better complements of each other. One of the biggest drivers of this success has been the incredible fundraising efforts that the two organizations have put on over the last couple years.
In fact, they just had their 2nd Annual Save the Howler Monkey Fundraiser and Auction. There was a silent and a hilarious live auction hosted by Steve Coan from Sibu, who was the life of the whole party. It was a beautiful evening filled with great food, great people and amazing sunset views. I’m sure glad I got the chance to go, that’s for sure! The big news though is that this one event raised almost $8,000 for Nosara Wildlife Rescue, and every cent of that will go to Refugio Animales de Nosara and Sibu Sanctuary! So, this was certainly a success and a step in the right direction, but they need more to keep things going. For example, the budget last year just with Refugio Animales de Nosara was almost $87,000. It costs approximately $23 per week to feed ONE monkey, and that adds up. Right now, Brenda has 11 monkeys at the refuge. So, if they could raise even more money with a couple more events like this each year they will be on the right track. Speaking of which, mark you calendars for February 16th when Craig Chaquico takes the stage live at Harbor Reef. It is $35 per ticket and includes sushi, cocktails and other great food, and ALL proceeds go to Nosara Wildlife Rescue.
The main goal for Brenda, Steve, Vicki and Nosara Wildlife Recue is to be put out of business. They all want to see the day when the monkey electrocutions numbers start to go down, instead of up like they are right now. That is a very realistic request, and here are a few very cheap and basic things that home and business owners can do to help reverse that trend. If we can be responsible and accountable for the power lines on our own property that will go a long way. Make sure to cut down any branches, vines etc that are touching and/or are close to the lines. Many times these lines run right through the middle of the natural monkey corridor. So, try to find out if there’s one on your property and if so, just be aware of it. Also, the best way to help prevent these electrocutions is to bury the lines when your run your electric. If you don’t bury them request and demand shielded power lines from the national power company, ICE. Nosara Wildlife is constantly working with ICE to try to change their policies and practices with the power lines, but that process is slow and will take a while. Also, if you have a dog, make sure to keep it leashed and/or fenced in. So, all that Nosara Wildlife asks is that you take accountability for your own land/property here and do what is best for our native wildlife. We have all come to this beautiful country for many different reasons, and whether it is for the wildlife or not, we all appreciate it and therefore should respect it.
Check out the video and interview with Brenda here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1CyhdZf4c4