End of wildlife executions


Call to action:
End the electrocution of wildlife on Costa Rica’s power lines
Every day, monkeys, kinkajous, sloths and other arboreal wildlife are brutally electrocuted on Costa Rica’s electrical transmission system. Based on the hundreds of electrocuted animals reported to local wildlife rescue groups in 2008/2009, projected annual electrocution estimates in the thousands arereasonable. Escalating real estate development and the expansion of the electrical grid have intensi?ed the problem. These deaths and injuries are preventable: when power lines and transformer wires are shielded, animals are not harmed. Some shielded hardware has been installed in parts of the country, but the higher costs of this safe technology are considered by the power industry to be unaffordable,so it is not integrated into the industry’s current business model. Other methods to prevent electrocutions have been tried: monkey bridges, branch- and vine-cutting operations, and wider power line spacing. Although these methods can reduce the number of electrocutions, none is an e?ective, long-term solution. Costa Rica lost half of its monkey population in the 12-year period between 1995 and2007. Change in power industry policy and actual practice in the ?eld is needed now. Working together, public and private institutions can solve the electrocution problem by calling for and contributing to the development of a comprehensive, strategic solution. Creative approaches to the cost issues, including new product sourcing and technology design, are critical. If shielded or buried powerlines became a best practice – the default practice for the power industry – the su?ering and death of arboreal wildlife on Costa Rica’s electrical transmission system would end.

To respond to this call to action, email: [email protected]

April, 2009 – During the week following the installation of this new transformer, three Howler Monkeys were electrocuted on the wires attached to it,including a mother carrying a young baby. Two of the monkeys died. The mother was rescued, but her hand was badly burnt. She tried to eat it o?, so it had to be amputated. She is now healing and her baby is doing well.

Call to action:
End the electrocution of wildlife on Costa Rica’s power lines
Animals cannot understand that electrical power lines and transformers carry deadly current.
Tomonkeys, kinkajous, sloths, and other arboreal wildlife, power poles and lines look like the trees and vines that are their homes and highways. When an animal grasps a live electrical line while its feet or tail touches the parallel line beneath it, a deadly circuit is formed, and it is electrocuted. Tree branches and vines touching a live line can also create this circuit. High-voltage wiresconnected to transformers, which sit at the top of electrical poles, are common sources of electrocutions as well. When gripped, these wires send searing current through the animal’s body, burning fur, ?esh, and internal organs.

Baby Howler Monkey. His ?ngers, jaws, arms, neck and chest were severely burned on a power line. His mother died from the electrocution.

Excruciating, gruesome, andoften fatal, electrocutions are not occasional accidents. They occur daily to vulnerable climbing animals across Costa Rica. Thousands* of animals are brutally maimed or killed on the electrical transmission system each year. If an animal survives, the hands, feet, or tail that grabbed the line will be severely burned and become unusable. Some injured animals crawl back into the jungle, where—slowlyand painfully—they die. Babies clinging to their electrocuted mothers can sometimes escape injury, but, as orphans, they are unlikely to survive.

No time to lose – wildlife populations in rapid decline
Electrocutions are not only cruel; they have become a signi?cant factor in the decimation of the country’s wildlife populations, which are also under threat from habitat loss and fragmentation…