Wildlife Rescue and Releases
The battle against illegal wildlife trafficking 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 empty of wildlife due to 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 one of our main priorities, and as part of NPC´s holistic approach to conservation, we target the illegal trade in wildlife. To this end, we work closely with regional and national wildlife authorities, police, public prosecutors and grassroots organizations 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 illegalities of trafficking wildlife. Above all, our work with communities focuses on the benefits of maintaining healthy forests, which is dependent on the presence of wildlife.
The work against wildlife trafficking can be repetitive and frustrating; and it is dangerous. The lucrative nature of the trade and presence of corruption at all levels within the authorities makes our work seem, at times, like an endless task. However, we have seen many improvements. Our actions were instrumental in the closing of the notorious Bellavista wildlife market in Pucallpa, and we have achieved a sharp reduction in the wildlife trade in Yurimaguas and in many other centres that have for years traded in wildlife and/or used wildlife as tourist attractions.
Over the past nine years we have organized and participated in the confiscation, rescue, transport to rescue centres and/or release of more than 3,900 wild animals. Animals arriving at our project after being in the trade suffer from a variety of physical and emotional problems related to the terrible conditions they were subjected to. We provide veterinary and general care to hundreds of animals a year. Some stay with us for a few months until they are strong enough to be transported to a rescue centre. We try to send each individual to the most suitable centre possible to ensure that their future is as promising as can be.
Generally, we believe that animal welfare and conservation need to be treated together and are not mutually exclusive. By working for the rescue and long-term care of trafficked species we aim to minimize the effects of the illegal trade on endangered species, and by conserving forests we hope to provide a safe haven for animals where their capture and related suffering is prevented.
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 while abroad.