The residents of Santa Cruz de Guanacaste are up in arms once again since the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC) denied them permission for the traditional ‘lagarteada'(the catch and release of a crocodile).
The tradition that is more than 200 years old in the communities of Las Palmas in Boston de Ortega in Santa Cruz has come to an end, as SINAC officials continue to deny the customary activity every Good Friday.
During the ‘lagarteada’ some 3,000 people come out to cheer on the 14 men in charge of capturing the large reptile, put it on display for a day in a pool and the release it.
The decision to suspend the activity, SINAC and Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE) officials justify, is that the species is in danger of extinction.
Officials made it clear that they have the full support of the Fuerza Publica (National Police) to prevent any group from capturing a croc without their consent. In someone does, they are subject to a penalty of up to three years in prison.
Source (in Spanish): La Teja