Police make first pre-holiday wildlife confiscation

Police officers check out the orchid plants that were confiscated Sunday. Ministerio de Gobernación, Policía y Seguridad Pública photo

Frontier police stopped a vehicle Sunday that was carrying 112 orchids, mostly guarias moradas. That is a clear violation of the environmental laws, in part because the plants appeared to have come from the Parque Nacional Volcán Miravalles.

The orchids, with a value of about $3,000, were the first confiscation of plants and wildlife as part of the Semana Santa holiday police effort.

Police said the vehicle was stopped at a routine checkpoint in Bijagua de Upala.

Meanwhile, the private Preserve Planet, environmental organization says get a cat or dog.

The organization is campaigning against what has been a long Costa Rican tradition: To bring back part of nature at the end of the holidays.

The Policía de Fronteras noted that the man who was carrying the cargo of orchids can face stiff fines. The case is being studied now by local prosecutors, they said. The Ministerio del Ambiente y Energía sent workers to put the plants back in the national park.

Luis Diego Marín of Preserve Planet notes that such activities is a violation of the nation’s wildlife laws. He said in a release that Costa Ricans have been known to bring home chicks from endangered birds

He called on vacationers to enjoy the nature where they find it and leave it there.

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