22 de enero de 2020
ÚLTIMAS NOTICIAS:
English - News

Colombia, victim of lucrative exotic animal smuggling

By Claudia Polanco Yermanos

Bogota, Aug 19 (efe-epa).- The case of a spider monkey that, after being captured in the Colombian jungles, was trained to eat "empanadas" (meat pies) and drink soda water, despite being a member of one of the world's 25 most-endangered species, demonstrates the dreadful consequences of the extraordinarily lucrative business in Colombia of illegally trafficking in exotic animals.

According to the United Nations, animal trafficking is the third most profitable illegal activity on the planet with revenues of up to $26 billion per year, exceeded only by drug trafficking and people smuggling.

In Colombia - where many citizens ignore the fact that there are 54,871 registered species of animals, plants, fungi and microorganisms, making it the world's second most biodiverse nation - the situation is of significant concern.

Figures compiled by the Environment and Sustainable Development Ministry indicate that in 2017 a total of 23,605 animals were seized by authorities after they had been removed from their habitats to be sold abroad.

On the list of the 10 most trafficked Colombian species both inside and outside the country are Slider Turtles (Trachemys callirostris), Morrocoy Turtles (Chelonoides carbonaria), iguanas, orange-chinned parakeets (Brotogeris jugularis) and the yellow-crowned parrot (Amazona ochrocephala).

Also on the list are the blue-headed parrot (Pionus menstruus), the red-tailed squirrel (Notosciurus granatensis), the white-footed tamarin (Saguinus leucopus), the white-fronted capuchin (Cebus albifrons) and poison dart frogs of the genus Dendrobatidae.

Just in Bogota between January and July 2019 "35 operations ... (against) the trafficking of wild animals have been conducted in which 382 animals have been recovered," the deputy secretary of the environment, Oscar Lopez, told EFE.

Official figures show that between Jan. 1, 2016, and today more than 10,000 wild animals have been recovered by authorities in the capital.

Among them were 32 saffron finches (Sicalis flaveola) that, after being captured and placed in cages, were forced to participate in a singing contest promoted on Facebook.

That operation, which was undertaken in July at a bird club in Bogota, "was very striking, since it involved a custom deeply rooted not only in Colombia but in Venezuela and showed our lack of interest as human beings for other living creatures that we deprive of freedom and wellbeing just for our own pleasure," Lopez said.

Two years ago, a case came to light in which an ocelot (Leopardus pardalis) - a species in danger of extinction, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature - was found malnourished in a Bogota residence.

After authorities intervened, the feline was nursed back to health - to ensure that it regained the ability to hunt for itself in the wild - over a period of 20 months in wildlife centers in Bogota and the town of Victoria in central Caldas province.

Ultimately, in May the ocelot was released into the Bojonawi Nature Preserve in Colombia's eastern jungle region, to where it was transported by air and where will be monitored via satellite for at least a year.

Not all of the 6,700 animals that have been cared for at the capital's Wildlife Center since October 2017 are as lucky, since "some arrive in very bad shape, with dehydration, stress and malnutrition due to extreme conditions of captivity and trafficking, since they are put into suitcases, cardboard boxes or plastic tubes," the director of the Animal Protection and Wellbeing Institute for the Bogota District, Clara Lucia Sandoval, told EFE.

Although authorities aim to return all the animals to their natural habitats after they are seized, mainly at the El Dorado International Airport or at land transportation terminals, sometimes they have been so severely affected by their ordeals that they either die or can never be returned to the wild.

Trafficking in wildlife and endangered species goes on in Colombia despite the fact that, if caught, perpetrators could be subject to fines of up to 3.6 billion pesos ($1 million) and imprisoned for up to nine years.

Sandoval says that "Animal trafficking is not only a crime but also an act of horrible cruelty due to the way the species are captured and treated and because probably they will never be able to return to their homes, thus failing to reproduce and putting Colombia's much-admired biodiversity at risk."

 600x350
 750x300

Comentarios

Histórico de noticias
Democrats make their case against Trump at Senate impeachment trial

Washington, Jan 22 (efe-epa).- The Democratic "managers" of the Senate impeachment trial against President Donald Trump on Wednesday began laying out in...

Pictoline, successful Mexican Web site tells the news with pictures

By Eduard Ribas i Admetlla

First US case of Wuhan virus diagnosed

New York, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- A patient in Washington state has been diagnosed with the Wuhan virus, or coronavirus, in the first confirmed case of this type...

Boeing doesn't expect 737 MAX to fly again until mid-2020

New York, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- Boeing announced Tuesday that it does not expect regulatory authorities to approve the return to service of its 737 MAX jets...

Weinstein case moves to opening arguments with witnesses in focus

New York, Jan 21 (efe-epa).- The the 12-person jury and three alternatives now selected, the sexual abuse trial of Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein will...

Millions of Mexicans take part in macro-earthquake simulation

Mexico City, Jan 20 (efe-epa).- Millions of people participated on Monday in a nationwide earthquake macro-drill as memories persist of the last big tremor...

Trump's defense team asks Senate to speedily reject impeachment case

By Susana Samhan

Thousands protest gun controls in Richmond, Virginia

Washington, Jan 20 (efe-epa).- Thousands of people, most of them men, demonstrated on Monday outside the Virginia state capitol building in Richmond against...

Young people committing suicide in Nicaragua due to social crisis

By Wilder Perez R.

Animals at Medellin zoo get ice cream to help them deal with the heat

Medellin, Colombia, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Ice cream, copious amounts of water and refreshing baths are all part of the "Wild Coolness" initiative being...

Migrant caravan delays entry into Mexico, expected to double in size

By Pedro Pablo Cortes

Former UN chief Javier Perez de Cuellar celebrates 100th birthday in Lima

Lima, Jan 19 (efe-epa).- Peru's Javier Perez de Cuellar, the first Ibero-American to serve as secretary-general of the United Nations, is celebrating his...

#SuperCoralPlay social network campaign seeks to save coral reefs

By Alberto Domingo Carreiro

Pinochet victims join Chilean protesters 3 mo. into crisis

Santiago, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- Groups of relatives of the victims of the 1973-1990 Augusto Pinochet dictatorship, along with associations of those injured and...

Koala toys invade NY in fundraising campaign for fire-ravaged Australia

New York, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- Plush koala toys perched on lampposts, traffic signals, trees and scaffolding at different spots around New York City these...

Model Gigi Hadid ruled out as Weinstein juror

New York, Jan 16 (efe-epa).- The selection of the jury that will decide in a New York court whether Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein is guilty of sexual...

Mural art exhibit to highlight the untold bridge between Mexico and the US

By Jorge Fuentelsaz

Guaido: Paramilitary takeover of parliament reveals Maduro's dictatorship

Caracas, Jan 15 (efe-epa).- Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido called the actions under way on Wednesday outside the National Assembly (AN) building a...

Artificial intelligence posing new challenges for cybersecurity in 2020

By Marc Arcas

House Democrats deliver Trump impeachment articles to Senate

Washington, Jan 15 (EFE).- Articles of impeachment against Donald Trump were transmitted to the US Senate on Wednesday nearly a month after the...

HRW denounces China's massive attack on human rights at home and abroad

By Mario Villar

Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon in 2019 was 85 percent greater than in 2018

Rio de Janeiro, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- Deforestation in Brazil's Amazon region last year was 85 percent greater than that reported in 2018, according to...

Boeing ends 2019 with more cancellations than commercial plane orders

New York, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- Aerospace giant Boeing said Tuesday it delivered a total of 380 commercial airplanes in 2019, or less than half the number it...

US gov't, Apple at odds again over terrorist's iPhone

San Francisco, Jan 14 (efe-epa).- The US government and Apple on Tuesday publicly put on display their ongoing dispute over the alleged refusal of the tech...