Costa Rica’s wild plan to free all zoo animals

Costa Rica’s wild plan to free all zoo animals

Costa Rica is becoming a zoo.

Two, in fact, as the country's leaders say it's planning to open the cages and release the animals from two public zoos to give the captive animals freedom, according to the Associated Press.

A lion, monkeys, birds and crocodiles live at the zoo among about 400 animals in total.

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The Simon Bolivar Zoo will become a botanical garden while the Santa Ana Conservation Center will become a park beginning in 2014 if the plan goes forward, according to CNN. Some of the animals would be sent to animal sanctuaries.

The controversial decision is sparking debates as vicious as some of the animals. Past complaints have suggested the wildlife at these zoos lives in small, stressful environments, and releasing animals is intended to improve their lives, according to the Associated Press.

However, a veterinarian at the Bolivar zoo told CNN many of the animals are injured or they have lost their ability to survive in the wild.

The decision is also tangled up in legal issues thicker than the forest, with Fundazoo, the organization that runs the zoos, fighting the closures through a tribunal, the Associated Press reported.

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Costa Rica takes its animal issues seriously; the country has banned recreational hunting and animal circuses.