EU Commission head Jose Manual Barroso warned on Saturday that the crisis in Ukraine was reaching the point of no return, after reports Russian troops were fighting in the east of the country. "We are in a very serious, I would say, dramatic situation... where we can reach the point of no return," Barroso said after talks in Brussels with Ukranian President Petro Poroshenko.
Thousands of parrots, monkeys, iguanas, toucans, turtles and other rainforest animals are kept as exotic pets in Costa Rica, a practice putting some species at risk, according to experts. The Central American country, famous for its rich biodiversity, won plaudits from conservationists two years ago for banning sport hunting in a pioneering move to protect wild animals. "There are no precise figures, but we know it's a problem of great magnitude, because a study by the environment ministry found that 25 percent of households have a parrot or a parakeet as a pet," said Andrea Aguilar of the Instituto Asis, a key figure behind the conference. Aguilar's institute runs a shelter for wild animals in La Fortuna de San Carlos, a lush region in northern Costa Rica that draws large numbers of foreign tourists with its famous wildlife and tropical vegetation.