According to Yolanda Matamoros, director of the Simón Bolívar Foundation (FUNDAZOO), the number of visits to Simón Bolívar Zoo dropped almost 50% in the last four months.
Matamoros blamed the national press for scaring people, after showing citizen complaints regarding the health of Kivú the lion.
All these things that come out in the press, all they do is scare people and people stop coming. This zoo is maintained with people who pay an entrance and since the month of July it has been greatly reduced. We generate approximately 50% of what must be generated and that does not help because all the money goes entirely to animals,”
MINAE ordered Fundazoo to build a new enclosure for Kivú. Nevertheless, at this moment the foundation does not have the resources to execute the work.
Matamoros said that in order to build a new enclosure in the Simón Bolívar Zoo, 100 million colones will have to be collected and a campaign to raise funds will be drawn up.
On the other hand, if the Kivú’s home is built in Santa Ana, the cost would amount to 250 million colones.
In addition, Matamoros said there is a “harassment” against the foundation and she can’t explained why.
Why do they attack us so much? Why are they harassing us? We have been harassed for 20 years and still we have fought for wild animals’ well-being,”
said the woman.
The first order of MINAE, issued in September, sought to build a new center. However, it was not followed and yesterday the foundation asked 25 months and 16 days to complete the project in Santa Ana. Now the national authorities will have 10 days to decide the future of the lion.
Kivú, like any other wild animal is a public property and therefore it is the State that determines its destiny and conditions,”
said Minister Édgar Gutiérrez. In fact, MINAE received 3 proposals from centers that are willing to receive Kivú, but the authorities will analyze the pros and cons, because the transfer is considered risky.