Monthly Archives: December 2014

Sagu and Jojo:Club Rio’s double surprise

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If you have had the opportunity to visit Costa Rica, and more importantly The Springs Resort and Spa you will be very well aware of the wide array of animals we house, treat and care for down at our outdoor activity center Club Rio. From Pumas to Capuchins’, Toucans to Spider Monkeys and Crocodiles to Ocelot’s we have it all.


Our furry, feathery and scaly family down at Club Rio has just expanded… again! We’ve been fortunate enough to have two very new and special additions to our family, Jojo and Sagu.

The story behind these two little souls is rather quite unique. Hotel Capitan Suizo, a member of the Small Distinctive Hotels in Costa Rica, an organization of which The Peace Lodge is also a member were kind enough to have donated both Jojoand  Saguto our family down at Club Rio. Ursula Schmidt and her son, Urs, the owners of Capitan Suizo accompanied the two special critters on their adventure to a new home personally, to ensure that they settled in well and comfortably at Club Rio. Ursula and the Schmidt family who originally hale from Switzerland and relocated to Costa Rica after a new found love for the country and the pursuit of a dream, establishing Capitan Suizowere not only amazing in the fact that they accompanied these animals to ensure that they blended into their new surroundings comfortably but they too left us a donation to help aid in the care and continuous development of our animals at Club Rio. Ursula, Urs and everyone at Capitan Suizo have been nothing but a blessing.

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Our generous donors Ursula and her son Urs

With that being said,lets get to meeting these two new little faces.

Jojo a white-faced capuchin is native to the forests of Central America. As was the case with the marmosets from our previous blog posts, capuchins too are often found being used illegally as pets  in Costa Rica. They are a prized possession not only because of their attractive features but because of their intelligence.  In the wild, the white-headed capuchin is versatile, living in many different types of forest, and eating many different types of food, including fruit, other plant material, invertebrates, and small vertebrates. The capuchins live in troops that can exceed 20 animals and include both males and females. With Club Rio already having a number of these little guys, it will definitely ensure that Jojo feels right at home.  Capuchins are also noted for their tool use, including rubbing plants over their bodies in an apparent use of herbal medicine, and also using tools as weapons and for getting to food. They are known to be is a long-lived monkeys, with a maximum recorded age of over 54 years. So we’re sure Jojo will be with us for a while.

Sagu is a Coatimundi (Pizote) and is also native to Central America, and for those who have never heard of this little critter, the Coatimundi resembles what would be known as the common raccoon. These little guys generally inhabit wooded areas, for example dry and moist forests. The males are known to be significantly larger than that of the females. Whilst very similar looking to that of the raccoon, Caoatimundis are different in the sense that whilst raccoons are nocturnal the Coatimundi or Coati’s for shortare active by day, retiring during the night to a specific tree and descending at dawn to begin their daily search for food. They are omnivores, preferring small vertebrates, fruits, carrion, insects, and eggs. They can climb trees easily, where the tail is used for balance, but they are most often on the ground foraging.Adult males are solitary, but females and sexually immature males form social groups. They use many vocal signals to communicate with one another, and also spend time grooming themselves and each other with their teeth and claws. During foraging times, the young cubs are left with a pair of babysitters, similar to meerkats. The young males and even some females tend to play-fight. Many of the coatis will have short fights over food.

We rest assured that these two fellows will thoroughly enjoy their new home here at Club Rio,  and thanks again to Ursula and Urs from Capitan Suizo for their gracious addition to our Club Rio family. These two unique beings are definitely a must see at Club Rio, and they will definitely leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Next time you find yourself wondering along the animal tour be sure to ask your guide about Jojo and Sagu.

Pura Vida!

This Week’s Bloom

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Our “flower a week” project is back, after a brief break and this week, we have in my opinion easily one of the most unique and distinctive flowers found in Costa Rica.

These particular blossoms can be found in a number of various areas in the country, partly down to the fact that there are a large amount of different species of this particular flower. “lobster claw” as it is more commonly known.

One of the reasons this “lobster claw” is special is due to its abundance of nectar, this being a huge attraction for the hummingbirds as they are the main pollinators of these flowers.

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The Heliconia in all it’s beauty

Heliconias are grown for the florist’s trade and as landscape plants. These plants do not grow well in cold, dry conditions. They are very drought intolerant, but can endure some soil flooding. Heliconias need an abundance of water, sunlight, and soils that are rich in humus in order to grow well. These flowers are grown in tropical regions all over the world as ornamental plants. The flower of H. psitacorrum (Parrot Heliconia) is especially distinctive, its greenish-yellow flowers with black spots and red bracts reminding of the bright plumage of parrots.

Heliconias provide shelter for a diverse range of insects within their young rolled leaves and water-filled floral bracts. Insects that inhabit the rolled leaves often feed upon the inner surfaces of the leaf, such as beetles of the family Chrysomildae in bracts containing small amounts of water, fly larvae and beetles are the dominant inhabitants. In bracts with greater quantities of water the typical inhabitants are mosquito larva. Insects living in the bracts often feed on the bract tissue, nectar of the flower, flower parts, other insects, microorganisms, or detritus in the water contained in the bract. Almost all species of Hispinae beetles that use rolled leaves are obligate parasites of plants of the order of Zingibirales, which includes Heliconia. These beetles live in and feed from the rolled leaf, the stems, the inflorescences, or the unfurled mature leaves of the Heliconiaplant. In addition, these beetles deposit their eggs on the leaf surface, petioles of immature leaves, or in the bracts of the Heliconia. Furthermore, some wasp species such as Polistes erythrocephalus build their nest on the protected underside of large leaves.

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The Humming bird’s best friend

Be on the lookout for these beauties wherever you may be in Costa Rica, stop for a minute, admire it’s rich colours and intricate beauty and who knows you may just find a humming bird passing by.

Till next week

Pura Vida!