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!
Recently, I went with some other Kids Saving the Rainforest volunteers to help put up a bridge! Our team included my Mama, Kerri, the Volunteer Coordinator for KSTR, a volunteer named Rowena who came all the way from the UK to help us out, and our Wildlife Bridge Manager, Rocio Perez. Rocio has worked with Kids Saving the Rainforest on the bridge project for over seven years, and every month she goes out checking them to see if they need to be repaired or replaced.
This time, our friends from Plinio’s Hostel told us about three Grey Crowned Squirrel Monkeys (or Titis, as we call them) that had been hit by cars just this year in one particular spot near them. They wanted to sponsor a bridge be put up to stop it from happening again. We knew we had to do something right away! We coordinated with ICE, the electric company to put up a wildlife bridge where it was happening. We learned which trees the monkeys were using, and where they were crossing, so we could be sure they would use the bridge. We even got to put it up with their big, loud, machines! The ICE workers directed traffic, and a man rode in a bucket up into the air to secure the rope to the right trees.
As we were standing there, another friend came over to see us. It was Julie Vigneault from Castillo De La Riveria, a hotel just around the next curve. We know Julie from Operation Rich Coast, a great group that organizes beach clean ups here, and also all over Costa Rica! Julie told us that the monkeys had been struggling to cross the power line by her place, too! So, we took the lead! We told the ICE workers what Julie had told us, hoping they would do something sooner or later, but they put up the wildlife bridge right after they finished the first one!! Two in one day! Wow!
So next time you see an animal or a troop of animals having a hard time crossing a dangerous area, let us know and we will put up a bridge where it is needed! Be the change and help save the lives of animals that need your help! If you would like to sponsor a wildlife bridge, you can do that on our website at kstr.org. Next time you are in Manuel Antonio, just look up, and you might see some animals crossing a bridge!
And don’t forget! If you find or know about injured or orphaned wildlife, contact our veterinary team via WhatsApp at 88-ANIMAL (506-8826-4625) and we can rescue it! Thanks for reading, and see you next time!