History & Exopolitics

Costa Rica Plans to Close all Zoos, Freeing Creatures Back into the Wild

  • jude
  • http://www.photographercostarica.com Sean Davis

    I don’t mean to be negative, but this factoid gets a lot of press and deserves a bit more clarity. I believe that the term sanctuary is being misused in Costa Rica as wikipedia states “A sanctuary is not open to the public in the sense of a zoo; that is, the public is not allowed unescorted access to any part of the facility. A sanctuary tries not to allow any activity that would place the animals in an unduly stressful situation”. I have been to and photographed a number of sanctuaries in the country and I will use one as an example. La Paz Waterfall gardens is a Disneyesque representation of Costa Rica complete with a “sanctuary” that includes big cats. The cats are kept in pens, smaller than what I have ever observed in any zoo, and are accessed by the general public for the low price of $40 per adult. Streams of people pass the bored cats all day with the highlight being feeding time where the zookeeper (!) feeds the cats raw meat while the public packs together to witness the spectacle. These cats will never be released to the wild and their offspring will never freely roam the jungle either. If La Paz does not meet the criteria of a zoo, I don’t know what does. The reason that I am prickly about the semantics of this is simple, La Paz zoo should be closed; but by calling it a sanctuary and greenwashing the false press that there are no zoos in Costa Rica it makes the public lazy and hesitant to voice outcry. A zoo is a repellant concept from a long past colonial era, painting it as a sanctuary just gives its idea a few more years of festering before we catch on to the grift.

  • Violeta Bucuresti

    I’m sorry to say it, but this is really foolish ! Release zoo animals BACK INTO THE WILD? Close down the zoos? Zoo animals can’t live in the wild! The zoo pandas released into the wild were immediately killed by the real wild pandas (check this info out ) , the baby bears who have not been taught to hunt into the wild were killed also when released after being brought up in a zoo-like environment. Zoo animals are NOT wild animals, they cannot survive in the wild. In fact, there are animal shelters and zoos that I know of, where the DNR guys brings the baby animals found in the wild who can’t survive on their own- and they remain in the shelters for the rest of their lives and make the subject of much love, protection and delight- instead of serving as food for other beasts.
    Zoos have a very important role and place in the environment: they educate, they get children excited and in-touch with animals they would never see otherwise, they get people sensitized to all living things and reflecting on the diversity and the extraordinary world we live in, they foster research, preservation and saving/taking care of animals that can’t survive in the wild, they save and protect species that are on the verge of extinction, etc.
    Needing to change and improve the conditions for the animals -like giving them more and better suited space for animal life of quality, should not be tantamount to closing zoos down completely…

    • Karin

      Violeta, they are better off dead than in a zoo. Even if all of these animals from these zoo’s die, at least there will be no more animals put into cages. Open your eyes and look at the big picture. As for zoo’s having an important role in childrens lives, that’s a bunch of B.S we have technology for that, they can see those animals anytime they want online. Did you ever see “BlackFish”? Do you actually feel that we are so important that we should imprison millions of animals so WE can learn and enjoy them? You are the type of human that makes me sick.

      This story isn’t true anyway but wouldn’t it be lovely if for once in the history of man, they actually put something other than themselves first….

      • Mike Earwood

        Karin, you are a flaming idiot and don’t have the first clue what you’re talking about….smh..they are better off dead…REALLY….maybe you belong in a cage….stupid

  • mikCND

    FAKE. The animals would die, being unable to look after themselves.

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