Keep Bocas Wild (and Safe for Animals): Community Urges Power Company to Protect Local Fauna

Sorry for the distressing featured image. However it has become an all too familiar reality in the Bocas del Toro of 2024.

Unfortunately, the community is seeing an increase in the electrocution of monkeys, sloths and other jungle animals at an alarming rate. As the road construction continues with wider roads, less canopy connection and no wildlife crossings, the current outlook for our jungle friends is going from bad to worse.

So how can you help? Sign the letter that is going around! Make your voice heard. Advocate for the animals!

Keep Bocas Wild is circulating a strongly-worded letter to Naturgy urging the electric company to implement either of the “measures to minimize impact on fauna” included in section 10.1.4 of the Environmental Impact Study for the Isla Colon road project, which details two ways to prevent jungle animals from being harmed by the power lines:

(1) “The electrical system must be installed underground, based on the technical specifications to develop this type of activity, and in this way prevent arboreal animals from dying due to contact with the current.”

(2) “It may also be evaluated, in the event that the electrical wiring needs to be suspended, using coated cables, thus allowing the isolation of the electric current and the animals not suffering a lethal accident in contact with the cables.”

Read the complete letter in English and Spanish here: March 22, 2024 Letter to Naturgy

If you believe action should be taken to protect wildlife from electric shocks, we urge you to sign the letter and help spread the word. Signatures are being collected until April 22, 2024 (Earth Day!) You can sign today at the following places around Bocas:

Super Gourmet
The Hummingbird
Lula’s Bed & Breakfast
Bocas Docks
Tequila Republic
Kawi Voyage
Bocas Vet Clinic
Mosana Reef Garden
Pipa Beach
La Buga Dive and Surf
Casa Papaya
BDT Panama

April 22 Update: A digital document has been created so that visitors, part-time residents and friends of the Bocas del Toro around the world can make their voices heard:ón-en-bocas-del-toro-panama/ Share this link with anyone who loves Bocas, loves wildlife and wants to see them protected against electric shock!

Keep Bocas Wild is also working with the seasoned Costa Rica-based wildlife conservation organization The Sloth Institute to create wildlife crossings over the new wider roads of Isla Colon. The first “sloth speedway” wildlife crossing was actually installed in Bluff earlier this month. Keep Wild Bocas is currently collecting data on where the most wildlife traffic is in Bocas. If you see a monkey, sloth or other animal trying to cross the road, use the Keep Wild Bocas app to register the location. This will help them assess where wildlife crossings are most urgently needed. Here is a link to the app:

Follow Keep Bocas Wild on Facebook and @keepbocaswild on Instagram and be a part of the movement that aims to protect the wildlife of Bocas del Toro!

Keep Bocas Wild

Example of a howler monkey crossing the road.

Keep Bocas Wild

The Bocas Breeze is a digital and print newspaper proudly serving the Bocas del Toro community since 2004; reporting news, advertising local businesses and promoting tourism in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

One Comment

  1. Virgil Eaves Reply

    Humans and wildlife CAN coexist. Wildlife is doing its best, but the burden of how and the burden of making it happen, is solely in the hands of humans.

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