+506 2268-4041

About Us


We focus on the care, rehabilitation and the study of Costa Rican toucans and other wildlife. We receive and care for confiscated, sick and injured toucans and other wildlife from government agencies. We give them a loving home with the goal of providing appropriate medical treatment, rehabilitation and then, when possible, returning them to their wild and natural environment. The Toucan Rescue Ranch is a licensed Costa Rican wildlife rescue facility.


  •     • To establish a captive breeding program for all 6 species of Costa Rican toucans.
  •     • To accept, evaluate and treat rescued and decommissioned toucans, sloths, owls
    and other birds and animals in need.
  •     • To rehabilitate and release when possible any injured bird or animal back to its’ natural environment.
  •     • Provide educational programs, research sites and facilities as well as volunteer opportunities for local, national and international community members.

Our Team

The Toucan Rescue Ranch is a licensed rescue facility in Costa Rica and continues to take in all types of rescued birds and animals. MINAET (Ministry of the Environment, Energy and Technology) continues to call on the Ranch to take in very severe cases, and works closely with the Ranch not only to rescue animals and birds but to train veterinarians and animal handlers and to educate school children and all community members on the importance of doing our best to preserve the diversity that is so important to our eco systems.

Bio leslieLeslie Howle
Director, grew up in Costa Rica. Her father was one of the first property developers on the Pacific coast, laying the foundation for ecotourism in this country.

Many years later, back in the United States and working as an Occupational Therapist and Outdoor Adventure Ropes course entrepreneur, with her own growing collection of birds she traveled to the jungles of Peru to study wild macaws. This lead her back to her roots in Costa Rica in pursuing her life-long dream of operating a wildlife refuge center, for parrots and toucans.  Later, the bed and breakfast was started as a guesthouse when friends stayed while visiting.

BIo jorgeJorge Murillo
Director, a native of Costa Rica, Jorge lived and worked in the United States with a successful career with Continental Airlines. He was drawn back home (and Leslie called him home). Back in Costa Rica, he raises exotic birds, runs the Ranch, works with a wildlife refuge center, and is a Licensed Realtor.


Leslie and Jorge
Work as a team, taking care of the resident rescues and the new arrivals that coming into the program. They have both dedicated their lives to the rescue of Costa Rican wildlife.



BioCarolCarol Friesen
Has worked and volunteered all over the world.  Carol came every Saturday for a few years helping us chop fruit. Now she works with us part-time doing administration and technical work and conducting tours.



BioJanetJanet Sandi Carmiol
Vetranarian. Janet obtained her DMV from Escuela de Medicina y Cirugía Veterinaria San Francisco de Asís in 2006. During her studies, she worked with Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary 2005-2006 and interned with the Dallas World Aquarium Dec. 2006 (exotics). She also interned with the Wimberley Vetranary Clinic in Texas in 2007. She opened her private veterinary clinic in _Curridabat, San José in 2008, and became a consultant to the zoo in Playa Bonita, Moín, Limón (Paradero Ecotour) in 2008.

BioCineyDr. Cindy DiGesualdo
Vetranarian. Cindy obtained her DVM from Texas A&M University in 2000. She participated in a Zoological internship with the Tulsa Zoo in Tulsa, OK and did her zoological residency with the Oklahoma City Zoo. She was the attending veterinarian at The Dallas World Aquarium from 2004 through 2008. She has considerable veterinary experience with species from South America, and is employed by the United States Department of Agriculture as a Veterinary Medical Officer.

Has been with us for several years and manages the household, keeping everything under control! She prepares food for all the various animals, cleans the house and takes care of the inside birds. She has adapted well to having baby toucans, sloths, macaws, and parrots all in our kitchen at various times!



BioJennyJenny Papka
Has been involved with wildlife care and education for over 20 years, and is currently the curator for Native Bird Connections [LINK http://www.nativebirds.org/site2010/index.html], a small wildlife education organization specializing in birds. She has experience with over 30 species of raptors in captivity.


BioMauricioDr. Mauricio Jimenez
And his team of students at the University of Costa Rica Veterinary School operated on Rainbow, scarlet macaw, successfully putting in a pin for his broken leg.


Alvaro6314Alvaro Carmona
Is our outdoorsman, he is in charge of all the maintenance of the gardens, the coffee, and all the outside animals. We don’t know how he maintains everything so well! He helps with all the new arrivals and does some light construction work when needed.



TRR JerryJenningsJerry Jennings
Of Emerald Forest Bird Gardens on our Board of Directors. He is one of the largest breeders of birds including Toucans in the world and has been involved in numerous research projects, funded conservation studies and be awarded numerous first breeding awards.

Make a Donation

Toucan Rescue Ranch is a 501(c)3 charitable organization and a Costa Rican Foundation. We do not receive any government funding. EIN: 80-0516453

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Contact Us

Phone: +506 2268 4041

Additional Phone: US 011 506 2268 4041

E-mail: info@toucanrescueranch.org