“Trafficking Wildlife Is a Crime”, Costa Rican Authorities Warn

    The official entities referred to a viral publication of a young woman who helped a 3-fingered sloth when it tried to cross the street

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    The publication of a young woman, identified as Adriana Chaves, went viral, when she recounted that she helped an endangered sloth trying to cross the street. The woman indicated on her social media that she moved the furry animal a few meters and put it safely in a nearby forest so as not to interrupt its habitat.

    “Today, I ran into this cutie animal trying to cross a street. I took it to a nearby forest. Go slow; if you see them, help them. It is getting too hot and these little animals resent it a lot. Nothing costs and it is worth a lot”, wrote Adriana.

    In an interview with Mauro Vargas, spokesman for the National System of Conservation Areas (SINAC), assured that transferring wildlife is a crime. “People must understand that moving wildlife in our country without permits can constitute a crime of wildlife transfer. So people should avoid these types of actions so as not to expose themselves to legal situations. Wild animals are not used to the presence of humans and can have a negative reaction, such as hurting the person and affect the animals a lot due to the stress generated by contact with humans. In addition, there may be a transmission of diseases from humans to animals or vice versa”, explained Vargas.

    Crime raid indicated that according to the Costa Rican Legal Information System, transfer is the action of transferring, carrying, driving or passing wildlife, its products, parts and derivatives, from one place to another. The following are the sanctions to which people who trade, negotiate, traffic and transfer these animals, their parts and derivatives are exposed. This is in accordance with article 95 of the Wildlife Conservation Law:

    “a) With a fine of ten (10) to forty (40) base salaries or a prison sentence of one (1) to three (3) years, and the confiscation of the animals or products that are the object of the infringement, when It deals with species whose populations have been declared as reduced or in danger of extinction.

    b) With a fine of one (1) to five (5) base salaries or a prison sentence of four (4) to six (6) months, and the confiscation of the animals or products that are the cause of the infraction, when in the case of animals that are not in danger of extinction or with populations declared as reduced”.

    And then, what do I do if I find a sloth?

    “If we see an animal crossing the street, we must stop our car and wait for the animal to continue on its way. These animals have pre-established routes to go to their burrow, where they bring food to their young cubs. If we mobilize them, we cause the animal to go astray. If we see an injured animal, let’s try not to have contact with it because a negative interaction may occur; what we must do is call the experts and SINAC authorities or 9-1-1 to provide support in that situation”, the spokespersonof the entity said.

    Resonance Costa Rica
    At Resonance, we aspire to live in harmony with the natural world as a reflection of our gratitude for life. Visit and subscribe at Resonance Costa Rica Youtube Channel
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