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COSTA RICA'S LEADING ENGLISH LANGUAGE NEWSPAPER

Costa Rican Ministry Confiscates Two Caged Jaguars

Yesterday, the Environmental Prosecutor’s Office (MP), the Judicial Investigation Agency (OIJ), and the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) seized two jaguars that were in captivity on a cattle ranch in Río Cuarto de Alajuela.

Authorities were alerted by locals, who reported the situation. The Environmental Prosecutor’s Office is currently investigating the incident.

SINAC-MINAE, under its legal authority, proceeded to confiscate the two animals, which were caged on a cattle ranch in the area.

Veterinarians from the Hospital de Especies Menores y Silvestres of the Universidad Nacional proceeded to anesthetize the two animals to examine them and place them in transport cages to be taken to an authorized Rescue Center for detailed evaluation.

In addition, a subcutaneous microchip was placed on each animal. This allows the individualization of these endangered animals.

The animals will begin their quarantine and scientific-technical evaluation by specialized professionals. These evaluations will determine their condition and possible management options.

On numerous occasions, environmental authorities have reminded individuals that it is illegal to keep these animals. In addition, they stress that removing them from their habitat is harmful.

“Wild animals are fundamental parts of ecosystems because they maintain vital ecological processes; when they are removed from their habitat to be held captive, they are prevented from developing their ecological roles. In addition, the inability to display their natural behaviors in a cage causes them stress and suffering,” indicated SINAC authorities.

For those in charge of environmental conservation, it is urgent that controls be strengthened and that the State increase its vigilance to prevent these illegal actions.

Wildlife belongs to Costa Ricans. Therefore, the State must guarantee its conservation and technical management for present and future generations,” they added.

In addition, awareness-raising is fundamental, as people must understand the importance of preserving animal species.

“The deterioration of ecosystems and their essential services reduces people’s quality of life. Ecological preservation is everyone’s duty,” reminded SINAC.

Unfortunately, these problems are recurrent. Despite the prohibitions, unscrupulous people decide to keep wild animals in captivity. Government authorities urge the population to denounce this activity.

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