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Wildlife Rescue and Releases

Wildlife Rescue and Releases

Capuchin monkey confiscated by the national authorities, the Ronda Campesina and NPC

The battle against illegal wildlife traffic has become one of our main activities. Wildlife trafficking is one of the major causes of species loss. Wild animals are routinely hunted for meat, skins, as trophies, or for the pet trade. Throughout South and Central America there are large areas of forest almost without large mammals or birds because of overhunting. Large bodied primates, such as woolly monkeys and spider monkeys are often the first species to disappear as there large size and conspicuous nature makes them particularly attractive to hunters.

As part of our holistic approach to conservation we are targeting the illegal trade in wildlife as a priority. To this end we work closely with regional and national wildlife authorities, police, public prosecutors and the ‘Ronda Campesina’ in Peru. We also commit a lot of time and resources to educating local communities about the pressures faced by wildlife from hunting, the dangers of keeping wild animals as pets and the illegality of trafficking wildlife.

In 2008 we produced a quick identification guide for use by the police and wildlife authorities in northern Peru to aid them in confiscations of illegally trafficked wildlife. The guide gave photos and descriptions of some of the most endangered and commonly trafficked species. The book was distributed for free throughout the area and we gave capacity building seminars which include explanations of how to use the guide book. We continue our work with the authorities with vigilance and confiscation of wildlife in markets, checks of local tourist centres and zoos as well as restaurants that supply bushmeat.

Female spider monkey right after confiscation. © Noga Shanee

We have been involved in the confiscation of hundreds of live animals as well as countless confiscations of skins and other trophies. One of the major problems facing authorities throughout the world is what to do with the wildlife once they have been rescued?. To this end we work closely with several animal rescue centres always with the intention that if possible the animals can be returned to wild. In the majority of cases this is not possible as the animals are either unable to survive in the wild after captivity. In many cases the animals have contracted diseases from domestic animals or people during their time in captivity and would pose a risk to wild populations if they were released. Fortunately this is not always the case and we have been able to release numerous primates, birds, deer, sloths and other animals back to the wild.    

If you are travelling or thinking about it then please read the how to help section of this website which contains information on what you can to help stop wildlife trafficking and the potential impact your actions can have whilst abroad.

A confiscated Andean bear. © Noga Shanee


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