Costa Rica pushes to close public zoos, return some caged animals to the wild


Costa Rica’s two public zoos may be closing next year as officials attempt to build a new, cage-free environment. Environment Minister Rene Castro says that due to “a change of environmental conscience” in Costa Rica, the Simon Bolivar Zoo will become a botanical garden with no captive animals. Instead, visitors will be able to observe animals that arrive naturally, likely a variety of birds, reptiles, and small mammals. The Santa Ana Conservation Center is also supposed to close in its current form, but it’s not yet clear what it will reopen as.

Together, the two zoos hold 400 animals of 60 species, according to the Associated Press. When possible, these animals will be returned to the wild. However, that likely won’t be possible for…

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