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Wild Costa Rica

- Photo via Guanacaste Fire Department -

Social Deer spotted running through Liberia Canton streets was released

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Published on Wednesday, April 24, 2024
By the A.M. Costa Rica staff

The Guanacaste Fire Department rescued a white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), also known as the whitetail deer, that was spotted running along roads in Liberia Canton, Guanacaste.

According to the press department, the unusual case began on Monday, when emergency calls were received from witnesses who stated seeing a deer running through the Avenida 25 de Julio District.

The rescuers conducted numerous rides around the city before spotting the creature hidden in a narrow alley.

The deer was trapped and placed in a special wooden box designed for animal transportation.

Later, it was delivered to park rangers from the National System of Conservation Areas (Sinac), the official organization in charge of safeguarding Costa Rica's national parks and wildlife reserves.

The rescuers reported that the young male deer was in good health. 

The source of the animal's escape is unknown; however, officials believe the deer was running from the facility where it was being housed in captivity or was seeking to find a safer place due to forest fires in the area.

Authorities started an inquiry to establish what caused the animal to run through the city's streets.

On Tuesday, the deer was released in the forest near the Horizontes Forest Experimental Station in Guardia District.

White-tailed deer is one of Costa Rica's 10 national wildlife symbols, including the mangrove hummingbird (Amazilia boucardi), the coppery-headed emerald hummingbird (Microchera cupreiceps), Guaria Morada flower (Cattleya skinneri), Guanacaste tree (Enterolobium ciclocarpum), Yiguirro bird (Turdus grayi), manatee (Genus trichechus), Morpho butterfly (Helennor narcissus), two-toed sloth (Choleopus hoffman) and the three-toed sloth (Barypus variegatus).

Recently, agents from the Prosecutor's Office for Wildlife Conservation Unit rescued one porcupine and one emu that were kept in captivity on private property in San Josť Province.

Hunting wild animals or keeping them captive is illegal in Costa Rica. People found guilty of keeping wild species in captivity may face a fine ranging from $600 to $26,000 or potentially a one to three-year jail sentence under Wildlife Conservation Law No.7317.

Authorities stated that anyone can lodge anonymous complaints about wild animals that have been hunted or kept in captivity by calling line 1192.

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


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