Yet one more reason to love Costa Rica. As awareness was raised by the killing of beloved African icon Cecil the Lion at the hand of an American pleasure hunter, Costa Rica voted to ban pleasure hunting altogether. This makes Costa Rica the first country in Latin America to ban pleasure hunting. Coincidence? I don’t think so.
The law was actually a long time in the making. More than 170,000 Costa Ricans joined together to push a reform of the country’s Wildlife Law and ban pleasure hunting, more accurately known as “the hunting of wildlife for recreational purposes,” according to Conservation International.
Before that, hunting had been allowed outside of protected areas–until one social media event tipped the balance. And no, it wasn’t Cecil. In 2014, a hunter posted photos of a black jaguar he had shot, and thousands of Costa Ricans took to Facebook to condemn the act and pleasure hunting in general.
The new law adds $2 million to the government’s budget to enforce pleasure hunting bans. And it makes sense, considering the fact that more than two million tourists contribute more than two billion dollars to the Costa Rican economy in hopes of seeing wild animals like these.
That’s money well spent. And a point well taken.