Building on field research in Costa Rica and Belize, this study analyzes environmental and endangered animal protection policies, rights, and practices in Central America, and assesses impacts of veterinary science and conservation biology on animal welfare concerns. Informed by the recent surge in awareness regarding the spread of zoonotic diseases, given COVID-19, the study analyzes Manis javanica and the impact of illegal trafficking of this critically endangered animal. The project theorizes if awareness of zoonotic disease transmission, especially during a global pandemic, could be key to reducing sales, legal or illegal, of wild animals in order to mitigate zoonotic infection spread. Given nearly sixty percent of all emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic in nature, and seventy-one percent of those zoonotic diseases originate in wildlife, the project argues the current global pandemic could be instrumental in raising awareness of and encouraging policy development on reduction of illegal trafficking of critically endangered species.