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HomeTopicsArts and CultureCosta Rica Shuts Down State Zoos, Ends Animal Captivity

Costa Rica Shuts Down State Zoos, Ends Animal Captivity

The government of Costa Rica announced this Thursday that it will close the country’s two state zoos, following 11 years of litigation over a law that in 2013 prohibited keeping wild animals caged in captivity. The Ministry of Environment and Energy (Minae) indicated that “the contract with the Fundazoo Foundation, which expires this Friday and managed the two state zoos, one in the heart of the capital and another on the outskirts of the city, will not be renewed.”

“The animals that will be recovered from the state zoos will be transferred to the rescue center known as SOAVE,” said José Pablo Vázquez, a conservation area official at Minae.

Both facilities should have been closed in 2014, following the approval of the law, but various judicial appeals regarding the concession delayed the closure for a decade.

The Simón Bolívar Zoo in the center of San José has 374 animals of 56 different species. The San Ana Conservation Center has 26 animals from seven species.

These 400 animals under the care of the Foundation will be “recovered” by the government, which did not say what it will do with them.

“This transfer is being carried out so that all these animals can be examined, assessed, and undergo the necessary veterinary clinical examinations,” commented Vázquez. Following the examinations, their final destination will be decided, added the Minae expert.

In Costa Rica, there will no longer be any more zoos with caged animals. However, there is a private park in the northern city of Liberia, where visitors go on safari in vehicles to observe the animals. There are also animal rescue centers.

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