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Trafficked pets released back into the wild
“It is such a joy to see these animals go back to the wild where they belong."

Turtles and tortoises were illegally kept and sold as pets 

A new initiative to return trafficked exotic animals to the wild has begun with the release of 79 turtles and 10 tortoise in the Peruvian Amazon.

Most of the yellow-spotted river turtles, which are classed as ‘vulnerable’, were seized from traders who kept them illegally in tubs, buckets or fish tanks. They were sold as pets to members of the public who were wrongly advised that the species is easy to care for.

All 89 animals were rehabilitated at establishments in Lima over a period of months, before being released at the Taricaya Ecological Reserve near Puerto Maldonado.

The successful release was organised by Animal Defenders International (ADI), government authorities ATFFS Lima, the regional government of Madres de Dios and organisations IRUPA, UPA and Animal Voice. It is expected to be the first of many, helping to ensure the future survival of the species.

ADI president Jan Creamer said: “It is such a joy to see these animals go back to the wild where they belong. A life of captivity is no life for a wild animal, and we look forward to returning many more to the habitats from which they were torn.”

IRUPA coordinator and vet Milagros Ramos, who helped to care for the turtles, added: “This is a new beginning and it is immensely satisfying to know that we can rehabilitate more turtles and tortoises, giving these neglected species the attention they deserve.”

Image © ADI

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Vets save premature penguin chick

News Story 1
 Vets have saved a tiny Humboldt penguin chick after her egg was accidentally broken by her parents. Keepers at ZSL London Zoo were shocked to find the chick, named Rainbow, still alive and rushed her straight to the Zoo’s on-site veterinary clinic.

It was a little way to go until the chick should have hatched, so the process was touch and go. Vets removed bits of shell from around the chick with tweezers until she could be lifted out and placed in a makeshift nest.

Rainbow is now in a custom-built incubation room where she spends her days cuddled up to a toy penguin. Keepers will hand-fed Rainbow for the next 10 weeks until she is healthy enough to move to the penguin nursery.  

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