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US man donates insect collection to Costa Rica

October 26, 2013

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica (AP) — A U.S. biologist has donated 4,000 insects he collected over 62 years to Costa Rica.

Richard Whitten has donated his collections of giant scorpions, tarantulas, grasshoppers, butterflies, beetles and other insects to the University of Costa Rica, where it is being exhibited this week.

Whitten, who has lived in Costa Rica for 16 years, said Friday he and his wife are moving back to the United States, where several universities wanted to house the insects.

Whitten says he decided to give the collection to the Costa Rican university because they promised to permanently exhibit it.

He says that leaving his collection behind “is like leaving my children.”

Collection curator and biology professor Ricardo Murillo calls the collection “invaluable.”

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