• What To Do In A Wildlife Emergency

    Refuge for Wildlife Stop the Shocks


    Many people have asked us what they should do if they find a monkey being electrocuted on an uninsulated electrical wire or transformer. It’s important to know the best way you can help our wildlife in need. Always follow these important steps:

    1. CALL 8824 3323 – We will come and rescue the monkey and provide immediate medical attention.

    2. DO NOT try to knock the monkey down if it’s being electrocuted on uninsulated wires or power transformers! You can be killed!

    You risk being killed by electrocution if you try to help an animal who is stuck on a live electrical wire or transformer. Do not use bamboo poles, tree branches, palm fronds or anything at all to reach the monkey. You WILL get electrocuted.

    We know it is hard to watch an animal in pain, but you cannot help without special equipment.
    Refuge for Wildlife has a special fibre glass pole that will not conduct electricity and is safe to use. We will come prepared with all the equipment needed to rescue the monkey.

    3. Try your best to keep people, cars, and dogs away from the area until we arrive. This is just in case the monkey falls or runs out into traffic.

    4. If the monkey is injured and on the ground, DO NOT TOUCH IT.

    This is especially important for adult males, but applies to all wild animals who may attack when they are frightened. Always keep your distance and remember that your safety comes first. We have special gloves and equipment to rescue an adult monkey that may be aggressive.


    If the monkey is a mother with a baby DO NOT TOUCH IT.  NEVER take a baby away from it’s mother. Even if you think the mother is dead, it can be very traumatic for a baby and mother to be separated. Often the mother is simply knocked unconscious and is not dead and then becomes very aggressive when she sees her baby has been taken. Leave them together, keep your distance, try to keep them safe from dogs and cars and wait for Refuge for Wildlife.

    If the mother is severely injured and conscious and trying to escape into the jungle, try to block her path. If she escapes with the baby and dies, the baby will die too. A baby will not survive in the wild without his mother. The other members of the troop will not adopt the baby, they will not feed the baby, and the alpha male will kill the baby. Call Refuge for Wildlife.


    If you find a baby monkey alone and crying on the ground, look to see if its family troop is nearby. Baby howlers often fall from trees. A baby has a better chance of surviving with its mother, do not remove a baby from the wild when the troop is nearby. Call Refuge for Wildlife first.

    A baby howler might be easy to capture and hold, but we advise against this as even babies will bite humans. Call us, we can advise you on what do to – every case is different, it is safer if you do not touch wild animals.


    If you find other injured or orphaned wildlife like pizotes, raccoons, opossums, owls, parrots, lizards, marguays, osolots,  always call us on 8824-3323. We do not rescue domestic animals – for help with cats or dogs, please call your local vet.

    Never touch a wild animal, especially adults. An injured animal can be especially aggressive because it is frightened. Keep your distance and and call us.

    If you find baby animals alone without their mother, wait and see if the mother returns. Sometimes a mother is chased away by a dog or other preditor and is forced to leave her babies, but she might return. Keep your dogs and cats away from abandoned baby animals until the mother returns.

    Never take babies away from their mothers. Even if you think the mother is dead – some animals, like opossums are famous for playing dead when they’re scared and can hurt you. Call us and we will come and investigate.


    It is illegal to capture and sell or keep wild animals as pets in Costa Rica. This includes monkeys, parrots, squirrels, raccoons, owls, bats, anteaters, opossums, birds, porcupines and all other creatures that live free in the wild.

    Domesticating wildlife can ruin all chances of them ever being returned to the jungle. They become too tame and dependent on humans and will then have to spend their lives in a cage so they do not harass residents and businesses. Some  Parrots learn to mimic humans and then legally are not allowed to be released. Most wildlife, especially monkeys, will become aggressive as they get older and may hurt you. Although baby animals are incredibly cute, they will grow up to become aggressive when they reach sexual maturity and can injure humans, even their “owners”.

    It is always best to let registered rescue centres regulated by MINAE help an injured or orphaned animal. Many animals need special diets and care. Do what’s right for the animal and call Refuge for Wildlife to ensure it receives the best chance to be rehabilitated and released.

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