- Photo for illustration purposes only -
Published on Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Five men were detained by park rangers on suspicion of illegally hunting a mountain pig (Dicotyles tajacu) also known as collared peccary, inside the Maquenque Wildlife Refuge, a protected zone located in the northern zone of Alajuela Province near to Nicaragua border.
According to the police report, during a routine patrol, park rangers along with border police officers found the suspects within the protected area.
The detained men were identified as two Costa Ricans surnamed Vargas and Álvarez and three Nicaraguans surnamed Alemán, Martínez and Maradiaga.
Officers found in the same place, a dead wild pig, a 12-gauge shotgun with three cartridges, a 380-caliber pistol with its respective magazine, and eight ammunition. The animal was allegedly shot.
The weapons found had no legal registration, the police said in their report. In addition, the suspects had five hunting dogs.
A short video of the detentions was released by the Ministry of Security and can be seen on the AM Costa Rica YouTube channel.
The wild pig, the dogs and weapons were seized by the police as evidence in the case.
The men were taken to the cells of the Sarapiqui Prosecutor's Office, where after being interrogated, must wait for the order of a judge to establish pre-trial measures against them accused of illegal hunting within protected areas.
The dogs were turned over to the National Animal Health Service where, if their owners are found guilty of the charges, the dogs would be placed for adoption, according to police.
Trading or hunting or capturing wild animals is a crime in Costa Rica.
Wild flora and fauna are protected by Wildlife Conservation Law No.7317. According to the law, those who are found guilty of keeping wild animals will be fined between $1,400 and $2,800. In the case of wild animals in danger of extinction or with small populations, these fines could be higher.
Under the law, any person who is found responsible for committing an environmental or wildlife crime could face a prison sentence of one year.
Agents of the National Animal Health Service ask for people to report any suspicion of captivity or trade of wild animals to the 911 line.
A similar case happened recently in the Tortuguero National Park when rangers arrested six men on suspicion of illegal hunting inside the park.
What have you heard of expats hunting wild animals in Costa Rica? We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to email@example.com
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