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Wild Costa Rica

- Photo via Ministry of Public Security -

Baby deer rescued from captivity in Guanacaste

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Published on Tuesday, September 5, 2023
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

Border Police officials from the 
Peñas Blancas District in La Cruz Canton in Guanacaste Province rescued one white-tailed baby deer (Odocoileus virginianus) that was kept in captivity.

The white-tailed deer is a medium-sized species of deer native to Costa Rica. The animal was declared a symbol of the fauna in 1995. The docile four-legged animal appears on the reverse side of the Costa Rican 1,000 colón bill.

According to the police report, patrol officers reported witnessing the baby deer inside a small hen house on a property. After a brief interview, they confirmed with the house owner that the animal was kept as a pet.

The deer was rescued and taken to an animal rescue center of the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac), which is the organization in charge of all the wild areas and national parks in the country.

Police officers issued a complaint before the Public Ministry against the owners of the property as suspects of illegal possession of a wild animal.

The deer is regarded as vulnerable from a conservation standpoint. It is threatened by deforestation, hunting and for pet trade, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN),

Taking wild animals and keeping them captive is a crime in Costa Rica. According to Wildlife Conservation Law No.7317, people found guilty of keeping wild species in captivity could pay a fine between $600 to $26,000 or even receive a prison sentence of one to three years.

Anonymous complaints about wild animals hunting or in captivity can be made by calling line 1192.

Recently, Border Police officials rescued one white-faced monkey that was kept in captivity.

What have you heard from people who keep wild animals in captivity in your community?
We would like to know your thoughts on this story. Send your comments to news@amcostarica.com

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