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. 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.
Treehugger reports that the nation, which also recently banned hunting for sport, will close the last two zoos in the next 10 years and give the animals a more natural habitat in which to exist. They want to convey to the world that they respect and care for wild animals.
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.