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Shock Free Zone

The Shock Free Zone program that we launched from the La Ceiba Primary Forest Foundation, in cooperation with the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) and the supervision of the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), consists of insulating transformers and electrical lines that are currently without insulation. We have identified the problem areas where more accidents occur, thanks to the ICE and La Ceiba Primary Forest Foundation records.

Buying the materials to insulate a transformer costs $250 per transformer. ICE has graciously volunteered to provide professional staff, equipment and specialized vehicles for installation.

La Ceiba Primary Forest Foundation must provide insulating materials and equipment in those cases where ICE does not have enough stock. It should be noted that these insulating materials are very specialized and therefore expensive.


 

Average cost of materials required to insulate a pole with three-phase mounting: $500. The average cost to isolate a kilometer of three-phase line is $6,000.

 

Average cost of materials required to isolate a transformer: $250

 

Average cost of materials required to insulate a pole with single phase mounting: $180.The average cost to isolate a kilometer of single-phase line is $2,000.

Wildlife Electrocutions in Costa Rica

Monkey over treeEach year there are more than 3,000 electrocutions of wild animals in Costa Rica. Dozens of mammals such as monkeys, sloths, anteaters, foxes and squirrels, as well as birds and reptiles are electrocuted daily on power lines throughout the country.

Almost all the electricity lines used in Costa Rica are aerial and are constructed with conductive materials without insulation (e.g. bare aluminum conductors), and are therefore a sleeping permanent cause of electrocution risk for any living being that has contact with the power lines.

The low voltage or secondary lines have a voltage level of 120 and 240 volts. Medium voltage or primary distribution lines have voltages greater than 14,000 volts. Both types of line have the potential to cause the electrocution of any living being.

The transformers that are installed on the poles have the same voltage levels as the electric lines, therefore they are also the cause of many cases of electrocution of fauna.

What've we done so far

Monkey hanging from treeFor more than 10 years, the Jaguar Rescue Center has been making various environmental efforts and actions regarding the prevention, and bringing awareness to the impact on fauna caused by electric shock and electrocution.

Shock Free ZoneWe have held multiple meetings with ICE to find integral and permanent solutions to the problem. Many of our resident animals serve as proof that there is a real need to design appropriate steps for the safety of arboreal fauna. In collaboration with ICE, several canopy bridges have been installed in the area for animals to cross roads safely instead of using the power lines or the roads themselves. We also support efforts filed with the National Environmental Technical Secretariat (SETENA) and the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) to ensure that environmental legislation of the development and operation of power lines in the country is modified. Going forward it is mandatory that the new power lines are insulated.

Meanwhile, we feel a responsibility to continue the battle undertaken with these governmental institutions as well as to execute environmental actions that prevent and avoid, to some degree, the environmental impacts on fauna due to electrocution

In 2018, ICE took greater interest in addressing the problem of animal electrocutions in the South Atlantic region.

Our Survival Stories

Electrocuted animals attended at the Jaguar Rescue Center

Monkey hanging from treeIn the South Caribbean of Costa Rica, hundreds of electrocutions to wild animals occur every year.

We receive an average of 25-30 electrocuted animals per year, of which we manage to save and recover 30% (see graph below).

Monkey hanging from tree70% of the electrocuted animals are sloths and monkeys, with the other 30% mainly made up from kinkajous, opossums, birds, and reptiles.

Each electrocuted animal represents an enormous challenge. Electric shock causes a myriad of very serious problems that usually result in death. Sometimes the animal’s body temperature increases to more than 43° Celsius (109.4° Fahrenheit), causing multi-organ failure. Frequently we find large areas of tissue necrosis. Saving the animal usually involves severe surgery, including amputation of limbs and large areas of affected skin.

Sometimes animals can recover with a lot of time and effort, but their number is minimal compared to the number of those killed.

Shock Free Zone Donations

Let's stop the wildlife electrocutions together! Make your donation and help us to achieve our goal.


Some Statistics about the

Shock Free Zone Project

Since 2017 the Jaguar Rescue Center, ICE and MINAE have worked together to protect wildlife in Costa Rica's Southern Caribbean.

3581 secondary lines isolated (mts)
1802 semi-isolated conductor (mts)
30870 tree pruning (mts)
7 aerial wildlife road bridges
38 transformers isolated
32 single-phase posts isolated

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