Costa Rica News – For anyone that has had the unfortunate experience of visiting the Simon Bolivar Zoo in San Jose, you will leave feeling so sorry for the animals that are there in captivity. They seem like they have had the passion and life taken out of them as they sit in their cages.
It is not natural for wild animals to be kept in captivity while patrons pay to watch them as they slowly dwindle into only a shadow of their former selves. But it seems they most are going to live in their individual prisons the remainder of their lives.
The Simon Bolivar Zoo and the Conservation Center in Santa Ana will not be shut down as we originally heard, but will continue for another ten years. It appears there was confusion in the legal communication about deadlines for contract extensions. According to the judge, Enrique Rojas, the renewal of the contract is legally implemented.
Ana Lorena Guevara, the Deputy Minister of Environment, said that MINAE will appeal the ruling. “We disagree with the resolution issued by the judge and hope that on appeal this decision will be overturned,” said Guevara.
They could keep the parks open without the animals. In July, MINAE said keeping animals in captivity was not in accordance with the country’s policies on wildlife, and therefore did not sign a renewal contract. The confusion came when it was declared automatically renewed in court.
Their proposal was to convert the parks into botanical gardens and relocate the 400 animals to the 28 rescue centers running in the country.
The National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) created a plan for this that was to be implemented in May but it is now on pause until the appeal is processed. No matter the judgement, MINAE is working on protocols for rules on handling animals in captivity that would apply to zoos and rescue centers. There are also plans in the works to remodel Simon Bolivar with professionally designed enclosures around the lagoon.