Just like drug smugglers, wildlife traffickers usually pack smuggled wildlife on their bodies while traveling through an international border. Authorities at Juan Santamaría International Airport have seen some doozies.
Costa Rica’s National System of Conservation Areas placed a one-year moratorium on the exportation of hammerhead sharks last Thursday. The moratorium will put Costa Rica in compliance with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, known as CITES.
The United States is one of the world’s largest importers of wild fauna and flora. Central America’s proximity to the U.S. makes it even more important for the region and U.S. customs officials to be on the same page when it comes to flora and fauna trade. “As a consuming country, it’s incumbent on us to make sure that trade is happening legally and sustainably,” said Christina Kish, project manager with the International Technical Assistance Program of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
The airline made the announcement via its Twitter account in response to several queries posed by users of the social media site. The Tico Times confirmed the announcement with the airline’s media office.