In the spirit of setting the record straight, we at The Tico Times are starting a new occasional column called “For the record.” In this first column, we take apart the false news recently reported in online and international media that Costa Rica is closing its zoos.
The Costa Rican Environment Ministry’s plans to revamp the country’s public zoos and turn them into cage-less bioparks came to a halt last week, when an administrative court granted zoo administrators Fundazoo another 10-year management contract.
Public zoos will remain open in Costa Rica for at least 10 more years following a court ruling last Friday. An administrative court ruled in favor of nonprofit group FUNDAZOO, which administers San José's Simón Bolívar Zoo and the Santa Ana Conservation Center, citing a contractual technicality that will allow the group to continue operating the zoos until 2024. The Environment Ministry, or MINAE, had said it would close both zoos in May.
Animal rights activists are celebrating the Environment Ministry's decision to close Costa Rica's two public zoos next May. However, zoo administrators are not going out without a fight and plan to take the case to court.