Published Monday, February 15, 2021
Begins surveillance operation
to detect illegal hunters
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff
This past weekend authorities launched a surveillance operation, focused inside protected areas of the country intending to detect illegal hunters and people who commit environmental crimes.
The first operation was carried out in the province of Guanacaste, specifically in the protected areas of the Arenal Volcano National Park and its surroundings.
The police team made up of officers from the Ministry of Security, Border Police, National Coast Guard Service and Park Rangers made tours both day and night.
The surveillance teams are already making a difference.
Among the first results was the arrest of several people suspected of illegal hunting, and illegal fishing within protected areas. The men arrested had knives and machetes, presumably used for hunting wild animals.
On Feb. 6, Border Police and Coast Guard officers arrested alleged illegal hunters when they stopped a vehicle with 5 people who had allegedly illegally entered the Guanacaste Conservation Area.
While inspecting the vehicle, police found 20 black spiny-tailed iguanas (Ctenosaura similis) allegedly products of illegal hunting. "Unfortunately among the iguanas, there were 7 females, some with eggs," the police said.
The men were taken to the cells of the Liberia Public Ministry, as suspects of illegal hunting. The park rangers seized the vehicle and the animals as evidence in the case.
Park rangers call on people to report any suspicion of illegal hunting or crimes against nature to the line 8935-6906 or 1192.
The conservation surveillance operation will continue by land, water and air throughout the rest of the year.
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