spider monkey

Building Bridges

When animals move from their forest canopies onto dangerous, uninsulated electrical wiring, electrocutions become responsible for more than 3,000 mortalities every year. The Building Bridges Project will supply funding to create and maintain safe crossings for wildlife.

The original summer 2020 project of Savage Hart got canceled due to COVID-19. The organization was supposed to provide assistance in taking care of animals at a wildlife rehabilitation center located in Costa Rica. However, due to the pandemic, many such centers faced a tough time with a lack of donations and volunteers. Since Savage Hart could not offer services to KTSR, we decided to support one of their programs.

The Building Bridges Project provided funding to create and maintain safe crossings for wildlife. As a result, we helped keep over 22 native species in Costa Rica safe.

The Problem

Electrocutions can be fatal. However, some animals that suffer extreme burns and/or life-threatening injuries can survive if admitted into wildlife rehabilitation. 

Wildlife electrocutions in Costa Rica are responsible for over 3,000 mortalities yearly, leading to a staggering 50% decline in local arboreal mammal populations. These deaths occur when animals move from the forest canopy onto dangerous, uninsulated electrical wiring, often the only thing connecting their fragmented habitats.

As urban developments expand in Costa Rica, trees are cut down, and electrical wires are installed to supply power. This creates many gaps in the jungle canopy. Wild animals such as sloths, monkeys, anteaters, squirrels, birds, and reptiles are forced to use electrical cables as links in the urban jungle. 

Almost all of the electric lines are aerial and are constructed without insulation. Even though there are laws in Costa Rica that should serve to protect the environment,  they are either ineffective or not properly enforced.

According to KTSR, the leading causes of death of the endangered Squirrel monkeys in Manuel Antonio are electrocution by high-voltage wires while crossing roads and getting run over by cars.

The Solution

Creating a wildlife-friendly alternative to high-voltage wire crossings. Rope bridges are carefully positioned above the roads by local experts and the local hydroelectric company. 

Keeping the wildlife bridges safe and functional is an enormous job due to tropical storms and numerous other factors. 

These bridges have been a critical life-saving feature of KTSR’s program. The Squirrel Monkey population has increased from 1200 to 3700 thanks to projects like these.

How We Helped

Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of our followers, we met our goal of raising funds to construct FIVE rope bridges for Costa Rican wildlife! The conservation value of these bridges, which allow animals to traverse fragmented forest habitats safely, cannot be overstated!

We at Savage Hart are immensely grateful for your continued support in our efforts to keep wildlife wild!

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PO Box 451 – Fortson GA 31808
Savage Hart Wildlife Rehabilitation, Inc. is a nonprofit tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation. Federal Tax ID 47-3097192.