Costa Rica is one of the most bio-diverse regions on the planet. The country is beautiful and they have been making steps towards conservation for years. Costa Rica seems to be ahead of the rest of the planet in this sense, as they have officially decided to shut down all zoos and free all captive animals in an effort to ensure that all animals live happy lives, rather than trapped in cages.
However, a hitch in the plans has caused some problems for this step forward. Two zoos in the country had already begun planning conversions. The Simon Bolivar Zoo Conservation Center was to become a botanical garden. The Conservation Center of Santa Ana was to be converted into a forest reserve. However, they may be facing issues. There was already a contract signed to keep the zoos for another decade before the nation was able to shut them down- the decision was announced one day late. The group Fundazoo, who has had control over the zoos for 19 years, has unfortunately kept them in poor condition.
The government may have no choice but to keep the doors of the zoos open until 2024, however, there are new laws and regulations regarding animals in captivity being put in place. Environment Minister Rene Castro plans to remove all cages so as to interact with wildlife in a more natural way. There will be no more captive animals unless it is for rescuing purposes.
Over 25% of the land in Costa Rica is protected and this land provides a habitat for roughly 500,000 species.
Sources: http://www.takepart.com/article/2014/03/28/costa-rica-fighting-right-shut-down-its-zoos http://www.ticotimes.net/2014/03/17/environment-ministry-loses-court-battle-to-close-costa-ricas-zoos http://www.collective-evolution.com/2015/08/27/costa-rica-is-shutting-down-its-zoos-and-freeing-all-animals-in-captivity/