Costa Rica has announced that it will be the first country in the world to shut down its zoos and free the captive animals they hold.
Costa Rica is an especially biodiverse country, holding about 4% of the world’s known species. Treehugger reports that the nation, which is also the first to completely ban hunting for sport, intends to close its only two zoos in the country, the Simon Bolivar Zoo, and the Santa Ana Conservation. By closing these two establishments, the nation seeks to convey to the world its respect towards wild birds, mammals, and reptiles. Sadly, the country is contractually obligated to keep two of its zoos open for another decade. Still, after that, they plan to shut it down in favor of a cage-free habitat for the animals to live in.
Environmental Minister René Castro says, “We are getting rid of the cages and reinforcing the idea of interacting with biodiversity in botanical parks in a natural way.”
We don’t want animals in captivity or enclosed in any way unless it is to rescue or save them.”
Any animals currently in captivity that would not survive in the wild will be cared for in rescue centers and wildlife sanctuaries. No new zoos will be opened.