Gulf Caribbean Tours
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A Modest Start

Sadly, some animals, such as illegal pets kept in homes since they were newborn, do not possess the skill sets to survive in the jungle and can never be released. But they don't deserve to live with a  short rope around their necks. Some of these animals will be available for viewing in large areas of natural habitat on the lodge's grounds and will live out their lives in the care of the native Rama Indian attendants.

 Pet Monkey

 A modest start is already underway as a personal effort by Dr. Lopez. Almost weekly he is contacted about many different types of animals that are in need of help. Some of the more common ones are birds, cats, deer, monkeys, and even tapirs. Each type of animal presents its own unique set of needs and challenges. Each has its own requirements for habitat, diet, nutrition, husbandry, and medical care, and in many cases all are complicated by injuries. Dr. Lopez doesn’t mind saying that he and his staff can’t be all things to the recovering animals and there is a great need for help on many fronts. To those ends, discussions have started with several interested international organizations and George Mason University of Fairfax, Virginia. The Rio Indio Lodge has the room on its grounds to house the necessary facilities and a staff to help care for the animals. The real needs are in the areas of habitat design, proper nutrition, and expertise in veterinary care.

Meet Paco and Cosito

 Paco is a red Macaw that was recovered with another Macaw being smuggled in a burlap bag. Both birds had been shot through the wing and drugged for transport. Unfortunately one of the birds died, but with the care of the staff of The Rio Indio Lodge, Paco survived. Until recently Paco lived in a spacious cage and greeted guests at the main entrance to the lodge. His wing having been damaged, it was doubtful he would fly again. One day while out of his cage and perched on a handrail a group of Macaws flew past the lodge. Paco heard their calls and suddenly flew to a nearby tree and called back. The group of Macaws circled back and Paco took to the air and joined them. We can only hope he has survived, as he has not returned to the lodge. His voluntary return to the wild has thrilled the staff to see their efforts produce a complete recovery.



 Red Macaw (Paco)


 A young Tapir (Cosito)

Cosito (Little One) is a young Tapir that was recovered after he had been raised from an infant. Never having learned to survive in the jungle, he spent his days tied around the neck with a rope and confined to a very small area. When he arrived at the Rio Indio Lodge, he was in poor condition and required a great deal of nursing to return to health.

 Today Cosito lives in a large enclosure, built on the grounds of the lodge, in his natural jungle habitat. Cosito is feed a healthy diet, has plenty of room to exercise and even has a water feature to enjoy. It is important to build a proper habitat, and in this case Tapirs spend about as much time in the water as they do on dry land. Cosito will live out his life in the care of The Rio Indio Lodge.

  Cosito's new home

Gulf Caribbean LLC, J. Vincent Phillips, Owner/Manager
 Contact: 601-954-2287 or

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