From January to June this year, at least 240 wild animals were saved within the metropolitan region of Manaus, capital city of the northern Amazonas state, by the Institute for Environmental Protection of Amazonas (IPAAM). Sloths, monkeys, alligators, birds, snakes, among others, were facing the hazards of living outside of their natural habitats. The rescue was conducted following reports from locals.
“These animals are usually running away from deforestation or even the contact from the city of Manaus with major wooded regions within the urban area and the surroundings of the municipality, which is bordered by primary forest, so they end up sneaking into people's houses,” said IPAAM Fauna Manager Marcelo Garcia. Garcia also mentions more complicated cases, in which critters have been hit by a vehicle or injured by other means. “Many sloths get a shock from high-voltage electric wiring,” he said.
Also striking are cases in which birds are wounded by glass-coated kite line. Wounds can be so severe their wings must be amputated, Garcia revealed. Another commonly reported story is that of animals raised illegally. Perpetrators are subject to legal charges and fines.
After being rescued by IPAAM, the critters that cannot be released back into nature immediately are taken to Wild Life Screening Centers, where they are received and taken care of. “They're returned to the wild after they recover.”
If the animals are in no conditions to be returned, agents seek out an organization capable of housing them, like zoos. Another option, Garcia mentions, is sending them to animal carers, who are willing to keep them under protection.
Marcelo Garcia noted that animals cannot be rescued at all times. “Sometimes, people call us asking for an alligator to be removed from the rivulets that run through the city, but we can't perform this sort of operation, because that's the animal's natural environment, and we must not interfere in its life,” he explained.
Local callers also request special measures when people are attacked by hawks building their nests and nursing their young. “In order to protect their offspring, they hover to try and scare people away from their nests. We can't interfere in such cases; it's a crime against the environment.” When that happens, people are advised to find objects to protect themselves or avoid walking near the nests until the birds leave the spot.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira
Fonte: Agência Brasil.