About 30 persons who appeared to be university students tried to disrupt the 97th anniversary celebrations of the zoo at Parque Bolívar Sunday morning. Three were detained for throwing rocks.
The Fuerza Pública said that the arrests were made before the group reached the zoo entrance. The individuals appeared to be trying to prevent others from entering the zoo. During a scuffle, one protester grabbed the radio of a zoo security guard and smashed it to the pavement, said police.
One of the detained trio, identified by the last names of Mireno Solano, went to the flagrancia court on a rock-throwing allegation, said police.
The Parque Zoológico Simón Bolivar is in the news this week because the environmental ministry is trying to close it. Animal rights groups have complained for years about the condition of the zoo, the size of the cages containing the animals and other factors, including odor. The zoo and Parque Bolivar where it stands in north San José are state-owned.
The zoo contractor, Fundación Pro Zoológicos, said that the notice that the ministry would not renew the agreement came too late. The issue is likely to be a drawn out legal case.