The time is long past when Costa Ricans can get away with taking souvenirs from the wild.
That includes orchids, iguanas and even fish.
Police in Upala have confiscated orchids believed to have been stolen from a protected zone in the country’s north. More than 130 fish were also retrieved in a separate seizure Thursday in Alajuela’s capital city, according to a Fuerza Pública report.
Officers detained a Nicaraguan man who they said had been transporting the fish in an illegal and unsanitary manner.
The report said police immediately threw out the fish, citing worries
for eventual consumers who could have bought the product.
Also in Upala, police found 26 various orchid plants inside a sack that a local was carrying through the street. Authorities said the orchids were taken from the Volcán Miravalles protected zone in northern Guanacaste.
The plants were handed over to officials from the environmental ministry who are responsible for putting them back into their natural habitat.
At a checkpoint in southern Costa Rica on the Interamericana highway officers found two young iguanas hidden in a shoebox in a car. They were confiscated, too, and the driver faces criminal charges.
Police pointed out that the Ley de Protección a la Vida Silvestre prohibits taking wild plants or wildlife from their habitats for home gardens or as pets.