Costa Rica Is Getting Rid Of Its Zoos

The government announced the closing of the country's two public zoos in July, with many of their residents moving to private centers. However, a separate law passed in December means those centers don't have a lot of vacancies.

What's the Latest Development?


Citing concern about captive animals as its motivation, last month the Costa Rican government announced that the country's two public zoos would be closed and its residents -- more than 400 animals -- either rehabilitated and released back into the wild or sent to private animal rescue organizations. The announcement came months after a new law went into effect that prohibited the keeping of wildlife as pets. Consequently, those same rescue organizations have received more animals in the past eight months than they normally get in an entire year.

What's the Big Idea?

All parties involved agree that the health and safety of Costa Rica's wildlife is paramount. The country is home to five percent of the world's species, and ideally visitors should be able to see them in their natural environment. Hopes are that rehabilitation efforts will be successful, but in the meantime, poorly-funded rescue groups are struggling to make more space and enlist more volunteers to help care for the influx of animals. As a way to help, the government has inserted a loophole in the no-wildlife-as-pets law allowing longtime owners to hang on to their animals for now.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at National Geographic

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
  • The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
  • Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
Keep reading Show less

Here's how diverse the 116th Congress is set to become

The 116th Congress is set to break records in term of diversity among its lawmakers, though those changes are coming almost entirely from Democrats.

(Photo: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Women and nonwhite candidates made record gains in the 2018 midterms.
  • In total, almost half of the newly elected Congressional representatives are not white men.
  • Those changes come almost entirely from Democrats; Republican members-elect are all white men except for one woman.
Keep reading Show less