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Shock Free Zone Donations

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

Shock Free Zone

The Shock Free Zone project began several years before the formalization of the 2017 agreement between ICE (Costa Rican Electricity Institute) and the La Ceiba Primary Forest Foundation, and it has undergone significant evolution over time.

Through the years, the Foundation has purchased and provided materials to ICE to isolate transformers, single-phase lines, three-phase lines, and installing stretches of underground lines and wildlife crossings. Collaborative efforts have been made in designing and installing anti-climbing devices for wildlife in the area. kilometers of electrical lines and dozens of transformers have been isolated. In other words, lot’s of work has been done.

But electrocution numbers are growing due to the rapid urban development in the area, and so we continue our work. From prevention to advocacy, we are at the forefront of this challenge.

We are proud that the project stands out in the community thanks to various collaborations in detecting wildlife accidents, and for its potential of replication in other parts of the country.

Currently, our main focus areas are:

  •  ⁠Developing and periodically updating a map of all of the isolated power lines and transformers from Hone Creek to Manzanillo.
  •  ⁠Selecting priority points for intervention by ICE.
  •  ⁠Purchasing ropes for the installation of wildlife crossings.
  •  ⁠Negotiating with various administrations to make the insulation of new power lines mandatory and to implement territorial planning based on sustainability criteria.

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). They are therefore a permanent risk of electrocution for any living being that has contact with them.

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.

Our Survival Stories

Electrocuted animals attended to 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.

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.


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