Zoo foundation wins a court battle to stay operating

The Laura Chinchilla administration has been rebuffed in its efforts to close down the zoo in north San José.

The foundation that runs the zoo said Monday that a court has determined that it will operate the facility for 10 more years. However, there still is the possibility of an appeal.

The zoo is operated by the Fundación Pro Zoológicos. There are two facilities. One is the Parque Zoológico y Jardín Botánico Nacional Simón Bolívar in north San José. The second is the Centro de Conservación de Santa Ana.

The case was in the Contencioso Administrativo, which oversees the actions of government.  The Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía moved to close the zoo. The judicial plan basically upheld the foundation’s claim that the ministry had tried to terminate the contract after a deadline to do so and that oral notices to this effect do not count.

The ministry has been trying to evict the foundation for at least the last 10 years. The ministry has complained about the condition of the animals there.

The plan was to eliminate the zoo and install some form of sprawling garden instead.

Since the ministry began trying to oust the foundation, zoo workers have become more conscious of public relations and have promoted the research efforts of the workers there. They also have been open to the press on matters of cleaning the teeth of big cats, for example.

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