Quepolandia logo

Volunteer at KSTR

KSTR LogoYoung and old volunteersBy Karma Imagine Casey

Hello fellow Quepolandia readers! This is Karma Casey, the Kids Saving the Rainforest spokes kid. If you’re not familiar with KSTR, it’s a nonprofit rescue, rehabilitation, and release program for all of the majestic wildlife of the Costa Rican jungle in the Manuel Antonio/Quepos area. They also plant trees, put up life saving wildlife bridges, and have a wildlife sanctuary that offers educational tours.

Have you ever wished you could do your part to help save the rainforest? Well, today I’m going to tell you about lots of ways that you can join Kids Saving Rainforest in their important work. Whether you’re a local, in town for a visit, or reading from far away, everyone can help make a difference!

Read More…

Kids Saving the Rainforest – July 2019

KSTR LogoGreetings Quepolandia readers! This is Karma Casey. I’m the spokeskid for Kids Saving the Rainforest. If you’ve never heard of us, KSTR is a wildlife rescue, veterinary clinic, rehabilitation and sanctuary in Quepos, Costa Rica. We work hard saving animals, planting trees, and educating the public.

This month, I’m going to tell you about the rescue of a very special animal you may have never heard of. A Jaguarundi! Although quite common, these elusive animals like to stay hidden in their rainforest homes, and you may have never caught a glimpse of one.

Django the jaguarundiThe Jaguarundi is a wild cat about twice the size of a house cat. They come in two colors, either a blackish brown, or a reddish yellow. I think they look like small cougars. It’s not usual that we get in wild cats at Kids Saving the Rainforest, but this was an emergency and we are always there to help!

Jennifer Rice, the president of KSTR (Kids Saving the Rainforest) was driving down the highway when she saw something in the middle of the road. She stopped traffic, getting out of her car to see what the animal was. It was a Jaguarundi!

The Jaguarundi was in bad shape and needed help. As fate would have it, a vet named Diego Zuniga who helps KSTR also just happened to be driving by! Diego got out and examined the animal. It was still alive, only unconscious! Unable to find a box they put him on a large flat piece of cardboard as a stretcher. Diego sat in the back with him while they drove him to the nearest vet.

Read More…

Kids Saving the Rainforest

KSTR LogoReforestation is vital to solve the climate crisisBy Karma Imagine Casey

Hello fellow Quepolandia readers! This is Karma Casey, the Kids Saving The Rainforest spokeskid! If you are new to my articles, Kids Saving The Rainforest is a wildlife rescue rehabilitate, and release program. We also plant trees, put up wildlife bridges, and educate the public about how to respect our rainforest home.

We also have a sanctuary that is home to about 50 amazing animals including sloths, five species of monkeys, parrots, kinkajous, toucan, and more! If you’d like to come visit us, we offer tours every day except for Tuesday at 9 am. Go to kstr.org to make your reservation!

This month I am going to tell you a little bit about a VERY special holiday that has just passed. Can you guess what it is? Earth Day!! I hope you did something great to celebrate. At Kids Saving The Rainforest, Earth Day is very special because we are all about helping the earth, as you know.

Read More…

In Memoriam of Monty

By Karma Casey

Monty headerHello fellow Quepolandia readers! Its Karma Casey, the spokes kid from Kids Saving The Rainforest, a wildlife rescue and sanctuary in Quepos, Costa Rica. This month I am dedicating my article to a kind-hearted, sweet-souled, three-toed sloth named Monty. I am very sad to report he passed away after spending nine months in Kids Saving The Rainforest’s wildlife nursery and making a huge place in the hearts of everyone who knew him.

About nine months ago, Monty was seen falling from a tree in Manuel Antonio National Park. The Kids Saving the Rainforest professional wildlife rescue team rushed to save him, and he was brought in to the KSTR veterinary clinic where he was examined by the vet, Dr. Carmen Soto. Dr. Soto was unable to find any visible injuries, and he was held for a few days under observation to ensure he would not start developing any new signs of injury or illness. At the time he fell, Monty was about six to seven months old.

Read More…

Kids Saving the Rainforest – March 2019



KSTR LogoHello Quepolandia readers! Its Karma Casey, spokes-kid for KSTR. I just got back to Costa Rica, and I’m ready to help you learn more about saving the rainforest!

This month I will be talking to you about the Kids Saving the Rainforest wildlife rescue center, and some of the animals being helped there!

First things first, every animal that comes into KSTR goes straight to the veterinary clinic. There our clinic team comes to the rescue! They determine what is wrong with the animal, and quickly do what is needed to help save them. Take for example Senor Dona, a two-toed sloth I talked about in one of my previous articles.

Dona had a very bad day, getting electrocuted and then falling onto the road and being hit by a car. But luckily Kids Saving the Rainforest came to the rescue! Poor Dona used to be paralyzed from the waist down. As you may have read in my other article, the KSTR clinic/rescue team have tried everything they can to help Dona, even teaming up with an acupuncturist to help this very determined sloth regain the use of his back legs.

Read More…

Kids Saving the Rainforest – February 2019




By Kerri Conrad

Hello Quepolandia readers. Every month you hear from Karma Casey, the spokeskid at KSTR, an extraordinary young girl I am extremely proud to call my daughter. This month, Karma is out of the country visiting friends and family in the United States. She asked that I write to you this month in her place until she can get back to Costa Rica and continue doing her part to save the rainforest.

Karma and I moved to this beautiful country over a year ago to pursue her dreams of helping wildlife. Through volunteering with Kids Saving the Rainforest, Karma has had the extraordinary pleasure of being able to make her dreams come true. If you’d like to volunteer with KSTR, families with kids 12 and up are welcome to join the Day Volunteer program!

When we came to this country, Karma’s biggest dream of all was to one day grow up and become the Nursery Mom, the surrogate mother who cares for all the orphaned and injured baby wildlife at KSTR. While she has now also developed the aspiration to become a wildlife veterinarian, gaining the skills she needs to be the one who can really save an animal’s life in those critical rescue moments, the care of baby wildlife is still something that is near and dear to Karma’s heart.

Read More…

Kids Saving the Rainforest – January 2019

Baby sea turtlesKSTR LogoBy Karma Casey

Happy New Year Quepolandia readers! It’s Karma from Kids Saving the Rainforest again. If you haven’t heard of us, we are a wildlife sanctuary and rescue center in Quepos, Costa Rica and we also plant trees, put up wildlife bridges, and help educate people on respecting wildlife! I’m the spokes-kid here. I moved all the way to Costa Rica to help animals!

This month I will be telling you about new beginnings. Not too long ago, my school, Life Project Education, and I took a field trip to Reserva Playa Tortuga, a great project in Ojachal that works very hard to help little baby sea turtles with their own new beginnings, and make their way safely out into the ocean where they belong! We learned all about sea turtles, did a beach clean-up, and much more!

Read More…

Kids Saving the Rainforest – December 2018

KSTR logoBuddy the slothby Karma Casey

Hello Quepolandia readers! Its Karma again, the spokes-kid for Kids Saving the Rainforest! Happy holidays from me and all the animals at KSTR! This time of year is a great time for getting together with our loved ones, and appreciating the things we have. It is also a time for reaching out and showing others how much we care about them. I love giving gifts to my friends and family!

Here at the Kids Saving the Rainforest wildlife sanctuary, home to more than 50 animals we like to show the residents of the sanctuary how much we care about them. We will be making special treats and preparing a big holiday feast with fun, interactive food in our animal kitchen!

Last year, I helped make popcorn and cranberry garlands for the parrots, and stuffed hollowed out coconuts full of healthy, nutritious goodies for some kinkajous and white-faced capuchin monkeys! Our sanctuary staff handed out all the yummy treats, and we all got to watch the animals have a great time enjoying their holiday feast! I can’t wait to do it again this year.

Read More…

Kids Saving the Rainforest – November 2018

KSTR logoTiti monkey using a bridgeby Karma Casey

Hello again Quepolandia readers! I’m Karma, the spokes-kid for Kids Saving the Rainforest. This month I’m going to tell you a little bit about our wildlife bridges. In this area, many animals are sadly electrocuted or hit by cars. To help give these animals a safe way to move around this rainforest home we share with them, Kids Saving the Rainforest works together with ICE, the electric company of Costa Rica, to put up wildlife bridges. These bridges are ropes going over the roads, giving many animals such as monkeys and sloths a safe way to cross the road without going on the dangerous power lines.

We now have put up well over 100 wildlife bridges in the Manuel Antonio and Quepos area! We originally called them monkey bridges and put them up for the very special Grey Crowned Squirrel Monkeys, a species that only lives in this area. Through camera traps, we have now learned many types of animals are able to use our bridges, meaning we are helping all sorts of wildlife with this project, and not just monkeys! Sometimes it is sloths on the bottom and monkeys on the top like a two-lane highway!

Read More…

Pura Vida From a Day-Volunteer

KSTR logoBy Maddie Abene

KinkajouSoothing sounds, beautiful views, diverse wildlife, and only a week to take it all in? Costa Rica is unlike any place I’ve ever been. Upon my arrival, my mind was racing with ideas of how I was going to get the very most out of my trip. As an Environmental Studies Major at University of California Santa Cruz, I’m typically curious about different ecosystems and eager to interact with wildlife wherever I am in the world. The two-hour drive from San Jose Airport gave me plenty of time to take in the scenery of the mountainous jungle and ask my driver Oscar any and all questions I had about Costa Rica. I learned everything from the economic/environmental effects of Costa Rica’s biggest industry (Palm Oil) to what species of tree leaves I should use to make henna-like face paint (Teak).

Read More…

Karma Saving the Rainforest – August 2018

KSTR logoBy Karma Casey

Dead Hawksbill turtle

Dead Hawksbill turtle. Photo Jhonny Lopez

Hi again Quepolandia readers! It’s Karma, the spokeskid from Kids Saving the Rainforest!

This month I have a very important message to share with you, and that is about the importance of boating safety and protecting the very special marine animals that share this beautiful place in the world with all of us.

I learned this lesson from a graceful animal called the sea turtle! Let me tell you how it happened. Recently, my amazing mama and I were walking on the beach when we came across two lifeguards carrying something large out of the water. We went over to see what it was, and we realized it was a large Hawksbill sea turtle!

There were three big gashes cut into the shell. We hoped at first that we could call one of the groups in the area that work with sea turtles to help rescue it. Unfortunately, this poor turtle was already dead and it was too late to help her. We asked one of the lifeguards named Jhonny Lopez, what had happened.

Jhonny teaches surfing lessons, and he also volunteers his time as a lifeguard helping to keep everyone safe on the beach. He explained to us that the turtle had been sliced by the propeller of a boat and had washed up on shore. Some people were not showing any respect to the body, bothering it a lot, and he and the other lifeguard had moved it to safety while the turtle was reported to MINAE, the government agency who helps wildlife. My mama had their number in her phone, so she sent a message right away!

Read More…

Karma Saving the Rainforest

KSTR logoBy Karma Casey

Vet examining Dona

Hello again Quepolandia readers. Happy 20th birthday to this amazing magazine, which is twice as old as me! Thanks for reading!

This is Karma Casey, the spokes-kid from Kids Saving the Rainforest. For those of you who don’t know who we are, KSTR is a wildlife rescue and sanctuary outside of Quepos, Costa Rica. We help two-toed and three-toed sloths, monkeys, coatimundis, kinkajous, porcupines, parrots, and more! We also plant trees, put up wildlife bridges, educate the public, and do lots of other things to help save the rainforest. If you find sick, injured, or orphaned wildlife, contact our veterinary staff via What’sApp at 88-ANIMAL (506-8826-4625) and we can help!

This month’s article is about probably one of your favorite animals: A sloth!

I have interviewed some of the lucky, hard-working members of our veterinary clinic team to tell you all about one super special and amazing two-toed sloth named Senor Dona.

Dona is an adult male two- toed sloth who was found over an hour away towards Jaco. Kids Saving the Rainforest was alerted by our friends at MINAE and SINAC (two government agencies that work hard to protect Costa Rica’s environment and wildlife) that a sloth had been hit by a car. The wildlife professionals at KSTR quickly came to the rescue, and Senor Dona was rushed to our veterinary clinic.

Read More…

Please do not feed or interact with the wildlife…it is the law!

Monkey eating a bananaDid you know that Costa Rica has a great wealth of nature, with about 5% of the species worldwide concentrated in our small country? We have over 8,500 species of plants, 220 species of reptiles, 160 species of amphibians, 205 species of mammals, and 850 species birds. However, deforestation, poaching, the use of pesticides, illegal pet trade, and improper feeding have caused a decline in populations of many species to levels that threaten their survival.

You might find feeding and interacting with the wild animals to be a thrilling experience, but you are not doing the them a favor. In fact, you are actually harming them, and it is against the law (Conservation of Wildlife Act No. 7317 according to Decree No. 32633- MINAE). The only exception is a dire emergency where a species would perish without aid or food.

Here’s why you should not feed our wildlife:

  • Wildlife are highly susceptible to diseases from human hands. They can die from bacteria transferred off your hand that has no ill effect on you. They can pass diseases to you as well.
  • Migration to human-populated areas to be fed increases the risk of dog attacks, road accidents, and electrocution.
  • Irregular feeding leads to an aggressive behavior toward humans and other species and creates a dangerous dependency on humans that diminishes the wildlife survival abilities.
  • Contrary to the stereotype, bananas are not the preferred food of monkeys in the wild, nor other wildlife in the area. Tropical fruits, seeds, eggs, and insects found in the wild are what nature intended. Bananas, especially those containing pesticides, can upset their delicate digestive systems and cause serious dental problems that can lead to eventual death.
  • Pregnant females who are fed nothing but bananas during their pregnancy will not give birth to healthy infants. The babies will be malnourished, or even die before birth.
  • Feeding interferes with their natural habits and upsets the balance of their lifestyle.
  • Contact with humans facilitates poaching and the trade in illegal wildlife.
  • Wildlife needs to travel long distances each day to be in good physical condition. If they know that food is available in a particular location, they will not leave that area.

NewbieIn addition, pursuing or getting close to animals for pictures or touching is very stressful to the animal. Sloths may look like they are always smiling, but close human contact causes them to become agitated, so keep your distance!

The wildlife does not realize any of this. Now YOU do, so you are no longer naïve to the harm caused by feeding and interaction. Don’t facilitate the extinction of nature’s most amazing creatures for your own pleasure or financial gain.

For questions or to report violations, please email Kids Saving the Rainforest: [email protected] .

DO NOT Feed the Wildlife!

KSTR logoBy Karma CaseyMonkey eating a banana

Hello again Quepolandia readers! Its Karma, the spokes-kid for Kids Saving The Rainforest. Today, we are going to be talking a little bit about feeding wildlife, and how it affects them. You might think feeding wildlife is harmless fun, but you are actually hurting the animals and putting them in danger. Here are ten reasons not to feed wildlife you may not have thought of.

  1. Monkeys are very susceptible to diseases on human hands. They can even die from the bacteria transferred off your hand that has no effect on you. We can also get diseases from them.
  2. Migration to human-populated areas increases the risk of dog attacks, electrocutions, and being hit by cars.
  3. Abnormal feeding leads to aggressive behavior.
  4. Contrary to the stereotype, bananas are terrible for monkeys! Bananas have a lot of sugar in them . The sugar leads to aggression, sugar addiction, and sometimes their teeth will even rot out!
  5. Feeding wildlife creates a dangerous dependency on humans. That diminishes the animal’s survival abilities. Their whole lives are based around finding food in the wild, and feeding them changes their habits of looking for wild foods such as seeds, insects, small lizards, and fruits growing in trees.
  6. Contact with humans facilitates poaching and the pet trade.
  7. Pregnant monkeys who are fed bananas, will not give birth to healthy babies. The babies will be malnourished, or die before birth.
  8. Monkeys need to travel an average of 17 kilometers each day to be in good physical condition. Once people start feeding them, they stop traveling for their natural foraging.
  9. Not only do we pass disease on to wildlife, but they can pass diseases to us as well.
  10. The Law of the Wildlife says that it is prohibited to feed wild animals unless they are going to die. This is the rainforest. There is plenty of food everywhere, and animals don’t need our help to get it!

Read More…

Karma Saving the Rainforest – April 2018

KSTR logoBy Karma Casey

Hello Quepolandia readers! It’s Karma, the KSTR spokeskid again! This month I am going to be telling you about two memorable wildlife releases, and how to help animals like them.

Just recently, Kids Saving The Rainforest released two Titi monkeys. Titi’s are also known as Grey Crowned Squirrel Monkeys. These monkeys live in the Quepos/Manuel Antonio area, and nowhere else in the world! We are very lucky to have them. This is the animal species we save the most of at Kids Saving the Rainforest, along with sloths, anteaters, parrots, and more!

Elise with broken legOne of the Titi monkeys that were released was an adult female. We called her Elise. Once the KSTR veterinary team got the monkey to the clinic, they found out she had been electrocuted. She had really bad burns on her tail and her right leg, and damage to her head and brain.

They found out something else, too: she was lactating! Lactating means that she was producing milk! If she was producing milk, that means she had a little baby in the wild! I can’t even imagine being away from my baby!

While she was in the clinic, the KSTR staff & interns tried to make her as comfortable as possible, and helped her become well again. She lost her Achilles Tendon, and half of her tail was amputated. When Elise was ready for release, she was brought to the jungle where different troops were seen. She was released with high hopes that she would be reunited with her beloved baby.

Read More…