On Monday, 408 animals that were seized from animal traffickers, including turtles, snakes, canaries, armadillos, parrots, iguanas and macaws were set free at a Mata de Santos nature reserve in Casanare, Columbia.
The occurrence further reflected Mayor Enrique Peñalosa’s commitment to heighten control operations against the trafficking of local wildlife.
According to The City Paper, “while many of the species are on the endangered species list and were seized by the national police at control points in the capital, many other animals were voluntarily handed over to the Center for Reception and Rehabilitation of Flora and Fauna of city’s Environmental Secretary after having been purchased on the black market.”
“It’s a very important day to return these animals to nature, said Óscar López, director of Environmental Management of mayoralty, explaining that the Eastern Llanos plains “offers the necessary conditions of temperature, humidity, and diverse ecosystem for these animals.”
A team of biologists and veterinarians were responsible for the welfare of confiscated animals, which had experienced a variety of ailments including exhaustion, nutritional disorder and stress, for the year leading up to their liberation; many having had to learn or re-learn how to find food for themselves.
As turtle eggs and meat are thought to be delicacies that are used in soup by locals along the Caribbean coast, the animal-friendly Mayor reportedly also recently appealed to citizens not to buy or consume these species during Easter.