For years, Costa Rica’s environmentalists have been trying to ban hunting. In 2012, they forced a bill in front of the lesgislature which passed and is poised to make it the first country in the Americas to ban virtually all hunting.
This tropical country, known for its national parks and ecotourism, has always advocated for their protection of its wildlife and environment. This hunting takes it a step further and though some are pleased with the passing of the bill many, such as the hunters, are fighting it. Though Costa Rica does not have a lot of hunters a talk with its environmentalists will reveal to you that hunting has caused problems in certain parts of the country.
Take Tapantí National Park, a patch of tropical rainforest in the heart of Costa Rica.
“Purisíl is a town close to the national park,” said park ranger Leonel Delgado Pereira. “(It) has many, many hunters.”
These hunters outside the park have caused trouble inside, says Delgado Pereira. He says sometimes hunters sneak into Tapantí to kill animals, even though it is illegal. At other times, they hunt with their dogs along the border of the park, and occasionally the dogs escape and end up killing animals in the park or getting killed themselves.
Delgado Pereira says recently a group of hunters blamed the disappearance of their dogs on a rare black jaguar, and in retaliation, the men killed the jaguar.
These types of activities have caused a noticeable decline of animals within Tapantí and in other protected areas, says Delgado Pereira.