Today It’s The National Wildcat Day In Costa Rica! So, to celebrate, let’s get to know this amazing Las Pumas Rescue Center , a very special place dedicated to help and rescue all species of Wild Felines in Costa Rica.

Situated in Cañas, Guanacaste, Las Pumas Rescue Center and Sanctuary was founded by a couple from Switzerland: Mr. Werner Hagnauer and his wife Mrs. Lilly Bodmer. It has been an animal shelter home to injured or abandoned Costa Rican animals since the 1960s. Las Pumas is mainly focused on rehabilitating Costa Rican jungle cats but also extends a helping hand to other animals, including different types of birds and monkeys.

Las Pumas is a wildlife rescue center, taking in the injured, the orphaned, and the illegally captured. Their mail goal is to protect animals that have been taken out of their natural habitat and rehabilitate them back to their natural habitat. Guaranteed animal sightings and a feel-good, do-good kind of day, where you not only see some animals but put your tourism dollars toward a worthy nonprofit.

Animals are brought into the shelter in a variety of situations including motor vehicle accidents and confiscation from people who keep them as pets. 

The Animals at the Rescue Center

Animals that are unable to return to their natural habitat are kept and treated properly at the shelter, open to the public for visits.

There are six species of wildcat in Costa Rica, and five wildcat species at Las Pumas Rescue Centerjaguar (Panthera onca), cougar (Puma concolor), jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi), ocelot (Leopardus pardalis), and margay (Leopardus wiedii). In this center you will have chance of spotting three out of six species of Costa Rica’s felines very closely.  This center is housing big cats including pumas, jaguars, ocelots, jaguarundis and margays. It also encourage society’s respect and appreciation for wildlife through these actions.

The jaguarundi is unique among wildcats due to its coat, which goes through color-changing phases and roams all over Costa Rica, but they seem to like Guanacaste and are often spotted near beach communities

Puma or Mountain Lion ranks second in size of the wild cats in Costa Rica. Its fur is uniform brown and unspotted. The puma is a panamerican species, able to live in extremely varied habitats from Canada to Chile and Argentina.

Jaguar or The Panthera onca is the largest of the Costa Rica wildcats. This beautiful feline is characterized by its spotted fur and by not fearing the smell of humans, it is even said that it seeks to follow its tracks.

The ocelots are animals of the cat family, commonly distributed in Costa Rica. They somehow resemble the leopard and are thus known are ‘dwarf-leopard’. The appearance is also similar to the domestic cat in terms of shape and size. Earlier they were classified as vulnerable-endangered but not they come under the category of least-concern. The reason for their hunting was the high resemblance to the leopard and jaguar which have an appealing fur. This makes the fur of Ocelot very valuable.

The Margay cats are like to ocelots, but greatly smaller. They contain golden ground color, with big spots. Their tail is very long that can reach to 70% of its total body length. They use their long tail for balance.

Need to Know:

It is open From 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday-Sunday

Price for Nationals:
Children (4-12 years old): ₡1000
Students (more than 12 years old) and Seniors: ₡ 2000
Adults: ₡3000

Price for Foreign: Children (4-12 years old): $8
Students (more than 12 years old) and Seniors:$8
Adults: $12

Reception: +506 2669-6019 Reservations: +506 8479-7025 Office: +506 2669-6044 Email : [email protected]

Volunteer program

​​The Las Pumas Rescue Center opens its doors to national and foreign students interested in internships and university community work.

They work directly with students from the University of Costa Rica, National University, National Technical University and Technical Colleges. Additionally, young people and adults interested in volunteering and learning about the conservation of wildlife and especially wild cats of our country can visit Las Pumas.

If you would like to learn more about Las Pumas Rescue Center click here. Also, check out their Facebook page to receive updates on the animals and information about the shelter. If you’d like help arranging a visit to Las Pumas Rescue Center, please get in touch with our Travel Expert! Her services are free and we promise, she’ll hook you up with the best option to match your wildlife-watching adventure style.

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