Welcome to NATUWA
Place of refuge and protection of wildlife
Red more ...
Guided tours
Empathize with the animals we shelter by knowing their stories.
Red more...
Volunteer Program
Enriching human perception of nature
Red more...
Welcome to NATUWA
Sanctuay of refuge and protection for wild animals
Macaw Conservation program
NATUWA and the Communities, together conserving the macaws.
Guided Tours
The animals we shelter eat thanks to your visit.
Volunteer Program
Enriching human perception of nature
Great green Macaw
Ara ambiguus Conservation Project

Wildlife Sanctuary

Volunteer wih us!

Be part of our rescue team and learn by enjoying caring for wild animals.


Wildlife Veterinary Internship


Join our Biology program and do your professional graduation practices.

Meet our animals

Book a tour and live a unique bio-educational experience.
Guided tours

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary Costa Rica

Rescate Jaguar: Onka y Baguira
Onka y Baguira, Jaguar (Panthera onca)

Animal rescue Costa Rica

NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary provides refuge and protection to the wild animals that have been victimized by human actions, such as hunting, removal from their environments, and deforestation.
These actions within natural environments of wild animals increase the vulnerability of the species and cause immense damage to ecosystems. Many times, the result is a large number of animals rescued expelled from their habitats, with physical and psychological ailments overcome with much difficulty.

NATUWA Wildlife Rescue Center Ocelote
Cristal de female Ocelote (Leupardus pardalis)

Among the species of wild animals, the Sanctuary offers attention to exist in captivity with dignity are Jaguars (Panthera onca), ocelots (Leopardus pardalis), monkeys, tapirs (Tapirus baiirdi), white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus); also, some homeless exotic animals. These animals present physical and behavioral problems. For that reason, they need an adequate place in a real sanctuary for their conservation and to educate people.
Also, for more than 20 years, as an animal rescue center has made the task of returning to its natural environments, the rescued fauna enters the Sanctuary.

Voluntariado en Costa Rica con animales silvestres

Why these animals arrive at NATUWA?

Unfortunately, wildlife is removed from their natural environments by anthropogenic causes; like hunting, destruction of the habitat and even problems of coexistence between fauna and people (See Sanctuary of Jaguars).

On the other hand, the life of an animal in captivity demands special physical and mental health; this implies, a lot of space to run or fly. Also, they need the free decision to isolate themselves from other animals or from any situation that generates stress.

Also, the sanctuary houses more than 200 macaws that require environmental enrichment every day, thus guaranteeing these beautiful birds of the neotropics a life in captivity that promotes animal welfare. Besides, among these parrots, we give protection and care to more than 20 disabled macaws; in enclosures specially built for birds that can not fly. This is due to the mismanagement that they have received when being captive in the house of the humans; being part of our project of animal conservation for the next human generations.

The five freedoms of animal welfare

Therefore, the NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary, in addition to scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and great green macaws (Ara ambiguus) and other exotic parrots, also gives sanctuary to mammals of great biological importance for the ecosystems that need to be conserved. Such as anteaters, tapirs, jaguars, sloths, macaws, white-tailed deer, spider monkeys. This fauna of Costa Rica is supervised and cared for by a team of specialists in order to provide them with the following freedoms:

  • From thirst, hunger, and malnutrition.
  • Of discomfort.
  • From pain and illness.
  • To express normal behavior.
  • From fear and stress.
Mono araña
Machita the Spider Monkey (Ateles Geoffroyi)

Macaw Conservation

The Macaw Sanctuary promotes the conservation of the wild populations of scarlet macaws (Ara macao) and great green macaws (Ara ambiguus).
Macaw conservation NATUWA Costa Rica.
Scarlet macaw's natural nest (Ara macao)

The most important, the information generate in our animal sanctuary, is being well used to create awareness in the communities about the protection of the macaws. In this way, together we can preserve the functions that the macaws fulfill in the ecosystem, and so, the next generations can enjoy these beautiful birds.

For this purpose, the Macaw Sanctuary make uses the macaws that are under risk, illegally in houses, these are confiscated and brought by the officials of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE). Also participate, the Police, the Fire Department and the civilian population with voluntary deliveries.

Lapa verde (Ara ambiguus)
Great green macaw (Ara ambiguus)

The macaws are in the most beautiful group of birds of Costa Rica, its function in nature is to destroy and disperse seeds of a large variety of trees, helping to keep the forest healthy. Therefore, NATUWA executes a management program for macaws, to preserve the functions of these charismatic birds in the wild. This involves rescue, physical-ethological rehabilitation and experimental reintroduction to the environment. Besides, NATUWA investigates aspects of animal behavior in captivity.

Macaw conservation NATUWA Costa Rica.
Manmade nest for scarlet macaw

Exotic parrots

In contrast to the parrots of Costa Rica, we also provide support to many exotic animals that come from other ecosystems: South America, blue and yellow macaws (Ara ararauna), sun conures (Aratinga solstitialis), hyacinths (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus); Australia, Eclectus (Eclectus roratus); Africa, Yacos parrots (Psittacus erithacus) and among other species.

These organisms, being exotic birds, can NOT be released in the natural ecosystems of the national territory of Costa Rica. But, they do require the same care that is given to the native animals of Costa Rica, in addition to due respect. In their original environments, exotic birds suffer the theft of nestlings from their nests to be sold in the illegal pet market. In this way, they are under threat of extinction as are many parrots in the world; these also require help from animal conservation initiatives in their origin countries.

Exotic macaw, blue and glod macaw (Ara ararauna)

International animal rescue

Volunteers play a leading role in the rescue of wildlife

In addition to the support of Costa Ricans, we also have the support of our community of international volunteers. These wildlife conservationists are people who offer their generous help to the animals of the sanctuary. The NATUWA wildlife project acquires part of its economic resources from the International animal rescue Volunteer Program.

The help of the volunteers is vital, since they give support from the arrival of the rescued animals, during the healing process, the rehabilitation and even the liberation of the rescued animals to the ecosystem. All these processes require extensive hours of work (day and night), and the volunteers generously fulfill satisfactorily.

The wild animals of Costa Rica are protected by the Wildlife Law.

The NATUWA Sanctuary works with the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE); under the Costa Rican wildlife conservation law.

Iguanas decommitted by the Public Force (Police) of Costa Rica.
NATUWA Wildlife Sanctuary, Costa Rica