Colombian authorities have released 150 animals rescued from traffickers into the Amazon rainforest, including primates, boas, ocelots, turtles and parrots.
The animals released included 83 reptiles, 53 birds and 12 mammals that were rehabilitated over a period of 10 months at the Care and Appreciation of Wildlife Centre.
All animals rescued from the hands of traffickers in Colombia receive immediate medical attention, with many having to undergo surgery and specialized care. In addition, all enter into a process of rehabilitation that aims to re-adapt them to a natural habitat so they can survive on their own again and be free.
“We selected individuals who could defend themselves in their environment and not adults so that they would not be easy prey for predators, also alpha males of good size in the case of primates and felines from whom we saw in action a carnivore instinct,” said Lorena Gomez, biologist with the Regional Autonomous Corporation of Valle de Cauca (CVC), in a statement.
Many of the rescued animals will never return to freedom due to the abuse they suffered.
“Those who have been beaten, abused, lacerated, amputated, changed their eating habits may not return to freedom, but every day we strive to rehabilitate them and bring them to freedom,” said Pedro Nel Montoya, a biologist at CVC.
The animals were sent on a military plane to Solano, where they then travelled over five hours by boat to the middle of the jungle where they were released.
According to official figures, more than 20,000 wild animals were rescued in the country in 2013, with the figure hovering around 30,000 in 2014.