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Simon Bolivar National Zoo and Botanical Garden Achieves Certification for Animal Welfare

First Zoo in Central America to Earn Certification through Global American Humane Conservation Program

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA, March 14, 2019 — The Simon Bolivar National Zoo and Botanical Garden has achieved certification through the global American Humane Conservation program for the welfare and humane treatment of the animals under their care. The zoo and botanical garden, located in San Jose, Costa Rica and administrated by Fundación Pro Zoológicos (FUNDAZOO), passed a rigorous third-party audit to earn the prestigious Humane Certified™ seal of approval, becoming the first institution in Central America to join an elite group of organizations worldwide that have achieved certification under the American Humane Conservation program.

The American Humane Conservation program is the first-ever certification program solely devoted to helping verify the humane treatment of animals living in zoos, aquariums, and conservation centers across the globe. The program enforces rigorous, evidence-based standards of comprehensive animal welfare, developed by an independent Scientific Advisory Committee comprised of world-renowned leaders in the fields of animal science, animal behavior, animal ethics, and conservation.

“We are thrilled to recognize Simon Bolivar National Zoo and Botanical Garden as the first facility in Central America to receive the American Humane Conservation program’s Humane Certified™ seal of approval,” said Robin Ganzert, PhD, American Humane president and CEO. “It has made significant improvements to the facility over time in order to achieve certification for providing humane, verifiable and transparent animal care.”

“Over the years, the FUNDAZOO administration has been concerned about the scientific management of the animals and plants that inhabit the park, following the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) highest standards,” said Yolanda Matamoros, institution director. “With this objective, the Foundation wanted to do a performance evaluation and chose American Humane for being an internationally-recognized certifier.”

The American Humane Conservation program’s extensive criteria verify the many dimensions of animal welfare and well-being, with areas of evaluation including: excellent health and housing; positive social interactions within groups of animals, as well as between animals and handlers; safe and stimulating environments, with concern for factors such as appropriate lighting, sound levels, air quality, and thermoregulation; and evidence of thorough preparation and protocols established to prevent and manage medical or operational emergencies.

For added rigor, Simon Bolivar National Zoo and Botanical Garden’s compliance with the American Humane Conservation standards was verified through an independent audit.

You can read more about the American Humane Conservation program here:

About American Humane

Founded in 1877, American Humane is the United States of America’s first national humane organization. For more information about American Humane, please visit

About Simon Bolivar National Zoo and Botanical Garden

Founded in 1916, this is an institution whose main functions include environmental education, flora and fauna species investigation and conservation programs support.

The park belongs to Ministerio de Ambiente y Energía (MINAE) and it is administrated by FUNDAZOO, which since 1994, established programs of veterinary medicine, animal nutrition, biology, botany, conservation, environmental education, records, environmental enrichment and museography, based on modern technical and scientific criteria, by highly-trained professionals. You can learn more at

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