Zoo operator wins delay in eviction by government

The foundation that runs the San José zoo and a conservation center in Santa Ana has won a delay in an effort by the central government to evict it.

The Fundación Pro Zoológicos said that a temporary restraining order had been issued by a judge in the Tribunales de Justicia de lo Contencioso Administrativo. This is the judicial section that evaluates government actions.

The decision, issued by Paulo André Alonso Soto, keeps the Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía from taking any action until the case is decided on the facts by the same tribunals. No date was given for that trial.

The foundation said that the ministry acted too late in voiding its contract. It has said that the contract to manage Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar renewed automatically before officials decided to close down the zoo.

Such rulings are typical in freezing actions until a case is heard fully. The decision did not address the main facts in the case, which will be presented at trial.

The foundation argued that any action by the state to evict the foundation or close down the zoo would cause grave damage including to the 270 creatures that are housed there. The foundation also argued that the dispute has damaged its reputation, it said in a summary.

Ministry officials have spoken out about their dislike of zoos in general and on conditions at the zoo here. Their opinion is shared by many environmental activists who oppose keeping animals in cages.

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