Costa Rica to Close All Zoos

Will release animals or transfer to refuges

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     Photo: Raul Hernandez Gonzalez

The Costa Rican government is planning to close two of the country's oldest zoos in what it says is the first step to moving all captive animals to sanctuaries or back into the wild. The 100-year-old Simon Bolivar Zoo, located in the capital city of San Jose, will become a botanical garden, and the Santa Ana Conservation Center, just west of the city, are both set to be shut down and turned into a botanical garden and a park respectively.

While environmentalists have championed the move, a veterinarian from one of the zoos set to close down told CNN that releasing many of the animals is unrealistic.

"If they close it down, none of the animals here could be released," said Randall Arguedas. "Most have permanent injuries. Even though they have been treated, these injuries preven them from flying or seeing well."

Comments