In Costa Rica, wildlife rescue centers care for thousands of animals every year. Legislators are considering an animal welfare bill that would impose up to six years of jail time on abusers of domestic animals, livestock, or wildlife. But the legislation has stalled, according to local reports.
In 2013, Costa Rica’s environment ministry attempted to close the country’s two public zoos after reports of poor conditions afflicting their animal inhabitants. Although the plan was blocked in court in 2014, the government stated that it intends to appeal the ruling.
If successful in shuttering the zoos, officials intend to transfer the animals to wildlife rehabilitation centers for care and return to the wild, if possible.
Abuse of wildlife is reportedly a rampant problem in Costa Rica and other parts of Latin America. But there are also centers devoted to aiding injured animals, and the country’s wildlife officials are working with Humane Society International to change people’s attitudes.
Here are images of several wild animals that encountered human brutality but are now being cared for at a wildlife sanctuary.
Grecia, a Wounded Toucan
Baby Howler Monkey
Injured Pygmy Owl
One-Eyed Blue Peacock
One-Eyed Tiger Heron
This fasciated tiger heron lost an eye to abusers and is now at the Rescate Animal ZooAve.