Costa Rica announced in 2013 that it will become the first country in the world to close down its zoos and free all captive animals. The small tropical nation is home to 4 percent of all known species, making it one of the most biodiverse places on earth. Treehugger reports that Costa Rica wants to close its two government-run zoos as part of an emergent new environmental consciousness that questions humanity’s dominion over all other creatures. But plans to move forward fell through when FUNDAZOO, the non-profit that runs Costa Rica’s zoos, sued to keep the zoos open for at least another decade.
Although there are only two zoos in the country, which was also the first in the region to completely ban hunting for sport, the Simon Bolivar Zoo and the Santa Ana Conservation, Costa Rica’s announcement sends a very clear message about its national attitude towards its wild birds, mammals, and reptiles.
“We are getting rid of the cages and reinforcing the idea of interacting with biodiversity in botanical parks in a natural way,” said Environment Minister René Castro. “We don’t want animals in captivity or enclosed in any way unless it is to rescue or save them.”
The zoos were originally slated to become urban parks or gardens in March, 2014, when existing management contracts have run their course. FUNDAZOO sued Costa Rica’s Environmental Ministry, claiming that they weren’t given enough notice to terminate their management contract. An administrative court found in favor of the complaint, meaning that the zoos can’t close until 2024 at the earliest. When, and if, Costa Rica is able to close the zoos, the area will still be available to wild creatures that choose to visit, and those captive animals that can’t be released into the wild will be cared for in rescue centers and wildlife sanctuaries throughout the country.
Via Treehugger and Tico Times
Costa Rican National Zoos are open and working every day! Simón Bolívar National Zoo and Botanical Garden and Santa Ana Conservation Center, are the most important zoos and rescue centers of Costa Rica. Visit our website (www.fundazoo.org) to know about our educational, veterinarian and nutricionist programs, conservation research with the most important universities. Look for our infraestructure improvements in the facebook page (www.facebook.com/zoosimonbolivar) (www.facebook.com/CentroDeConservacionDeSantaAna)
hOW WILL ANIMALS that have been in captivity all of their lives supposed to know how to hunt? Is this really going to work...or, will you be killing a whole bunch of already "tame" animals? hmmmm? I hope to heck they did their research!
I hope their resort hotels follow suit and stop keeping animals captive. It does not entice me in the least.
May every country learn from Costa Rica! Animals do not belong behind bars.
I am very pleased with Costa Rica"s decision to FREE all wildlife in their country! I do hope that others will follow. Freedom is for everyone and that includes animals, reptiles, birds and yes even people!
Great news,but it would be unreasonable to expect this from countries with much less natural fauna,Costa Rica can afford to do this because you just have to look up in a tree or raise up some leaves and you're bound to encounter some sort of wildlife,very similar to Trinidad where I'm from. The idea is very admirable and noble,but we must also think about those who would be denied the experiences of seeing and learning about animals if this idea were to be proliferated to lesser naturally endowed countries. It's a give and take situation,but the one constant must be awareness and sustainability.
please keep the snakes behind glass
And this happened?
but i must agree with bartdamir, they're not used to hunt, somewhat it would be very difficult for them to adapt i dunno
those a great news, just a little start but nonetheless a awsome start!
fantastic news - love Costa Rica even more!!
I'm not sure if it's the smartest thing, to let out in the wild animals which might have been living most of their lives in the Zoo and expose them to the natural selection.... to me it sounds cruel. However, I like the idea of letting animals live their lives in the natural habitats.... if there are such things left on this planet :/
This is so wonderful to hear and I hope it will encourage other countries to work toward improving the lives of so many captive animals. The world is changing and this gives me hope that our fellow inhabitants on this planet we share will benefit:)
Finally one step at a time. Global awareness one village at a time brings change. Thank you Costa Rica!
Finally, a consciousness is emerging about mans arrogant thinking we own this planet. We have been poor custodians, but Planet earth will fix the damage once she eradicates us.
How amazing! Love for Costa Rica <3