San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Drivers Creaming Endangered Animals in Panama City

PANAMA CITY Automobile motorists pose the biggest threat to wildlife in the Panama City metropolitan area, where they have run over more than 70 animals in danger of extinction this year, the state s environmental protection agency said.

The animals are run over when they instinctively cross roads in and around the capital that are adjacent to protected areas, such as the Metropolitan Natural Park, the Camino de Cruces National Park and the Soberania National Park, the environmentalists said in a statement.

Anteaters, opossums, sloths, snakes and squirrels have been among the species run over by unsuspecting drivers this year, the agency said.

The chief of protected areas for the Panama City metropolitan area, Marcos Salbarria, said these types of situations are an everyday occurrence, adding that although awareness-raising campaigns alert drivers to be more careful and not run over these animals, the number of victims is increasing.

Most of the animals struck by passing vehicles on roads that cross protected areas are mammals and reptiles.


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