Learning to Live with Cats: How Costa Rica’s Cats and Farmers Coexist

By Panthera

Costa Rica puma

“The pumas give you opportunities and even open doors.” — Sandra Rodríguez, Costa Rican farmer 

For many farmers living in Costa Rica, the threat of wildlife conflict is a daily reality. Frequently, hungry wild cats who have experienced ecosystem depletion and fragmentation as a result of human activity hunt livestock to avoid starvation. However, this has resulted in further escalating an already tense situation that oftentimes results in retaliatory killings against the hungry cats.  

Stuck between a rock and hard place, both wild cats and farmers can oftentimes struggle to coexist peacefully, each focused on their own survival. Living amidst this change are Sandra and Jose Luis Rodríguez, two farmers who are starting to see benefits because of Panthera's intervention. The couple’s farm houses several goats and chickens, which would make easy prey for a jaguar or puma. While the pair sometimes hear complaints from neighboring farmers about puma attacks on their livestock, Sandra and Jose have a different outlook. 

Watch this emotional interview to learn more about how they’ve learned to live with pumas and the benefits these big cats are bringing to their community.

Learn more about pumas and jaguars.